Chapin’s Bar Mitzvah – Temple Shalom and The Biltmore Bar & Grille, Newton, MA

When Chapin’s mom, Pamela, called me they were in a bit of a pickle.  The location they were planning on having his party had closed its doors.  Of course this is always a real possibility but it’s never happened to any of my clients.

Luckily, she was able to book a restaurant very close to their home, that they very much love, The Biltmore Bar & Grille in Newton.   The nice thing is that it has great ambiance, but it is intimate in size so how to make the space work for a party was the main challenge.  Secondly, they had never closed for a private party so the staff, while very accommodating,  wasn’t familiar with Mitzvahs or how to logistically run a party.   That’s where we came in.

Our first meeting was about figuring out how to map things out. Can this be done?!  Who would go where, where certain formalities would happen, what kind of food and when it would come out.  We reconfigured tables to create the largest possible dance floor and established a spot for the DJ and the pop up photo booth.

Next on the priority list was how to bring it all together.  Because it was a tricky spot, Michael from Siagel Production made a trip over to Biltmore to scope things out.  He was accommodating with revising their DJ package (their previous package was larger and more extensive than they could fit or needed in the new space).

Once the foundation of the party was established, we got into the details!  No matter how large or small your space or guest list is, the flow of events for the evening is imperative!  In this case, essentially, we had 2 parties going on at once.  The adults were in the bar area and the kids were on the restaurant side.   And it all came together perfectly on paper, and the night of the party.  For example, the motzie and kiddush were in the bar with the adults, while the kids continued with games and dancing.  Chapin’s parents momentarily slipped away from the adults to say hello to the kids and introduce a video montage, and after that the kids ice cream sundae bar opened and the video montage ran for the adults.

There were many moving parts and not only was it seamless, but it was a fun celebration perfectly geared towards the adults and the kids.  It was a wonderful evening and we were so glad to be part of this special celebration.

Here is a note from Pamela:

Dear Michelle,
I just want to thank you again for making Chapin’s bar mitzvah such a success on many levels. The party was just what we wanted it to be, which of course required a lot of work from a lot of people including you. What you and you alone did was remove the tremendous stress and anxiety from my shoulders. When I found out, only four months before the party, that our “perfect” venue in the South End was declaring bankruptcy — I really did freak out. I am an organized person and had everything set and ready to go 18 months in advance, until it all came crashing down. Thanks to you, however, my freak out was fairly short lived! Once I got you involved you were so on top of things and thought of solutions and people to contact that I never would have thought of. You had chairs I could rent, you worked with my DJ, you had a great eye for arranging the space in the restaurant, you had ideas for activities for the kids that would work in the new space, and the list goes on. I really could not have done it without you — or maybe I could have but I would have been a very stressed out person and I would not have enjoyed a moment of the planning or execution. Instead I really did enjoy both. The lesson I learned was, next time I will involve you from the beginning! Thanks again for all that you did!!
Best,
Pamela

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Event Coordinator: The Day Of

Venue:  The Biltmore Bar & Grille

Reception Music: Siagel Productions

Photographer: Melissa Karen

Josh’s Bar Mitzvah – Congregation B’nai Shalom Westborough, MA + The Verve, Natick, MA

When I began planning events in 1997 I was 25 (you can do the math) so the age gap of the mom’s I work with has shortened up a bit.  Melanie and I knew each other because our kids went to the same preschool and she was my spin instructor, but of course planning any life event, you get closer and we had a blast!

Josh became a Bar Mitzvah the morning of April 5th at Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough.  The service was followed by a Kiddush luncheon and the celebration continued at The Verve in Natick.

Josh knew from the get-go that his theme was going to be basketball.  I also knew that there was a certain look that we wanted to achieve to satisfy Melanie’s taste and style which is clean, modern and fun!  Here’s what we did!

The kids cocktail hour was inside the reception room with flip books, two double shot basketball games and the DJ to entertain.  The adults enjoyed their own hour in the foyer of the ballroom, which was decorated with uplights and light up tables and bars and simple basketball centerpieces.

We tossed around the idea of a cocktail formatted party but a very happy medium was achieved by assigning seats to the adults while the kids enjoyed open seating, with a mix of low cocktail tables and high long tables with bar stools.  The all black dancefloor, amber uplighting and soft seating area really helped to tie the two sides of the room together effortlessly.

But of course it’s about how the unique details seamlessly worked together, that really made this party outstanding.  The logo on the custom, light up basketball centerpieces was used also used on the cocktail napkins, the flip book covers and the kids sweatshirt party favors.  The freestanding basketball cake was unbelievably amazing and so unique…guests couldn’t believe it was really a cake!  The custom table numbers were a favorite detail of mine, as they were made from “basketball” texturized paper.  And that sign in board…a framed basketball jersey, with Josh’s last name, was mounted on parquet flooring, for a classic themed look.

So many special moments throughout the evening including the blessings, over the bread and wine, which were given by Josh’s 3 grandfathers, the much awaited hora and one of the many highlights of the night was the hilarously fun and always entertaining special video which starred Josh and his family.  Without a doubt, this entire day was a “slam dunk”!

IMG_3686Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography  Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography

Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography

Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography   Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography

Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography

Harmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve BostonHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips PhotographyHarmon Mitzvah at The Verve Boston, photos by Brian Phillips Photography

Click here for party highlights!

Click here for Josh’s story.

Event Planning + Coordination: The Day Of 

Venue: The Verve

Kiddush Caterer: Franklin Caterers

Photography: Brian Phillips Photography

Videography + Custom Video: Hal Slifer

Music: Northern Lights Entertainment

Cake: Party Favors

Entertainment: Creative Event Services

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

Decor: The Prop Factory

Hair + Makeup: Stacey Frasca

Invitations: Allure Invitations

Favors: Atlantic Sportswear