As the founder of TPS, I have definitely planned my share of parties. That said, COVID has provided some new and unique challenges for everyone, including my own family, when it comes to planning milestone events. Today, I’m sharing my own experience planning my daughter’s bat mitzvah, COVID-style! I decided I wanted to turn this unfortunate situation into an opportunity to celebrate life, our daughter’s hard work and accomplishments and this important milestone. “Celebrate now and party later” is now my motto. So, whether it be a micro mitzvah, intimate wedding, birthday, baby shower or other lifecycle event, you can still celebrate now on a micro level and plan for the big party later…when we can all be together.
Pivot and get approval.
Originally we thought about postponing Sofia‘s bat mitzvah, but we realized that with all of the uncertainties going on right now, we did not know when that would even be. So, after a little persuading, Sofia agreed to a “micro” version of her big day, and we decided to honor all of her hard work and plan for a zoom service and “micro mitzvah” hybrid celebration to follow on her scheduled date. Getting the “ok” from the person being celebrated is crucial since some people might actually just want to wait until they can go all out.
Start checking in with vendors.
My party planning wheels began to spin, and I started to reach out to all of my vendors we were already planning to use for the bigger party. The new plan was a more intimate celebration with 10 immediate family members in our backyard. I reached out to the florist and decor stylist, caterer, calligrapher, lighting specialist and photographer to capture some moments, created custom hoodies, sweet treats, and other customized merchandise for a goodie bag for all her friends (which we delivered a few days before the ceremony). I really wanted to fill this day with pretty details and make it super meaningful and extra special for Sofia.
Invite guests who might not have been able to attend IRL.
The silver lining in all of this is that we were now able to have family and friends from around the world (in a variety of time zones) join in and celebrate this special day with us. We had a total of 275 guests attend virtually!
Add in special in-person elements.
Not only were we able to surprise Sofia with a video montage and well wishes from her friends (and her favorite actress, Courtney Cox Arquette!), we also surprised her with a DJ in our driveway and her friends stopped by in 30-minute segments and danced in our quiet street corner (with social distancing and CDC guidelines, of course).
If you do have outdoor space, use it.
We transformed our lower terrace into a secret garden with a beautiful, long al fresco dining table adorned with twinkle lights and a balloon installation over the dessert table. This made Sofia feel the party vibe and was also great for photos!
Planning: The Planning Society // Photography: Next Exit Photography + Next Exit Mitzvahs // Catering: Fundamental Events // Balloon Installation: Michelle Rogers Styling // Florals: Lovestruck Blooms // Tabletop: Soiree 8 // Rentals: Premiere Party Rents // Pillows + Poufs: Teak + Lace // Lighting: Padano Productions // Desserts + Custom Treats: Sweet E’s Bakeshop // Cotton Candy: Twisted4Sugar // Logo + Place Setting Cards: Signs of our Lives // Personal Merchandise: Invite Amy // Fashion Styling: Julie Woolenberg // Bat Mitzvah Dress: Un Deux Trois