When I meet parents who are looking to plan their son or daughter’s bar or bat mitzvah, I always ask them if they have hired or plan to hire an event coordinator or bar mitzvah planner. I often get a response that oh no they are way too expensive and it will blow the budget.
I always explain to them that there’s definitely different packages offered by event planners : one hour consulting fee, one month leading up to the event package, a day of package or the deluxe all inclusive help you plan everything. But basically there are lots of options and varying prices.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah planners can help a family save money because they know about a lot of the hidden costs that you can anticipate but don’t know about. They can also negotiate rates with all the trades including the caterer, the band, photographer, videographer if that’s not something you’re comfortable doing. Another huge benefit of event planners is that they help ensure that your big day runs on time and like a well oiled machine.
I can tell you one personal experience I had where a family chose not to have an event planner and try to do things themselves instead of starting the ceremony at 5 PM , they started an hour late at 6 PM. The result was the kitchen got completely messed up, food was served ice cold and the service was very scattered and disorganized which left a very bad experience for the guests and the hosts, who felt very embarrassed.
And think about this, when the family is taking pictures with the bat mitzvah girl, who is there to watch if the dining room is being set up incorrectly? If you have an event planner, they can oversee the chair set up to make sure that your grandmother doesn’t get left out at the table where she is supposed to be seated!
Let’s be real. Sometimes the parents of the bar mitzvah are separated / divorced for example, and do not see eye to eye on how the event should be run. For example, the father may want Eastern European style food with platters of food on the table family style and the mother may want more Canadian style with plated meals that are smaller portions, and very well presented. An event planner can be a neutral party and navigate those waters with both parents so that there’s no drama and the student gets an awesome day!
As a Cantor, who loves to officiate bar and bat mitzvah celebrations for Jewish boys and girls, I can tell you I absolutely love officiating a bar or bat mitzvah where a family has hired an event coordinator. I really do see the difference most notably in the stress level of the family and the efficiency of staying on schedule.
Please let me know what you think – the benefits and drawbacks of having an event planner – share a story of when you attended an event that had a planner or when they didn’t have a planner – thanks !