Brady’s Bar Mitzvah – Temple Beth Avodah, Newton, MA

Brady became a Bar Mitzvah during a Havdalah service, at Temple Beth Avodah in Newton, this past October. One of the best parts, about a Havdalah service and reception at the Temple, is that the celebration gets started right away!  Brady’s older brother’s reception was  a couple years ago.  It’s not always easy to hold another amazing celebration, in the same space, with many of the same guests, so close together. However, making the room come alive with sports-themed lighting, seating and decor, Ellen made that happen with flying colors!

Place cards were printed on small Gatorade bottles for adults and for kids seating she brought in two sets of bleachers which sat on either side of the dance floor. Ellen designed and created life-sized mannequin centerpieces for the adult dinner tables, all suited up in Boston sports jerseys. The table settings were  complete with custom embroidered sweatband napkin rings in corresponding team colors!  A small sign in locker stood in place of the traditional sign in board.

To kick off the first dance set, each guest received a rally towel with Brady’s custom logo. As Brady ran into the room, everyone waved their rally towel.   Pure Energy Entertainment kept everyone on the dance floor all night, while showing a live feed of the Bruins game (Brady couldn’t fathom missing the game)! Brady and his friends played a double shot basketball, foosball, had fun at the open Photo Booth and loved the fun sport fan classics such as popcorn, pizza, pretzels, franks in pastry, sliders and french fries.  Adult dinner was delicious and there was something for everyone. Lo mein noodles with stir fried veggies, citronaise salmon on jasmine rice, pulled BBQ chicken, burger, fries and two salads…yum!  Dessert was a big hit too! A cotton candy spinner spun fresh candy floss,  the always loved sundae bar served in Boston Red Sox helmet bowls and delicious mini dessert were passed for those guests who just couldn’t get off the dance floor!

The party was so much fun no one wanted it to stop, so while Brady’s parents decided to skip the planned speeches, the one tradition they couldn’t do without was the hora!  Both the adults and kids went home with favors, because who doesn’t love a great party favor?  For the kids, there were custom t-shirt with each kids last name and water bottle favors for kids and adults. The adults were all so thrilled to walk away with a little memento of this incredible party! Mazel Tov, Brady!

A few words from Ellen:

Working with Michelle at The Day Of was a great decision! She and I met several times prior to the event, where she was very helpful with assisting me in organizing my thoughts and making vendor recommendations. However, her expertise really shown through on the day of our event when she and her assistant worked tirelessly throughout the day (and into the evening) to pull all o the moving parts of our event together! I would not hesitate to use Michelle again for a future function!


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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Ceremony Venue: Temple Beth Avodah

Reception Music: Pure Energy Entertainment

Photographer: Picture This! Event Photography

Bleachers: Special Events of New England

Lighting: Advanced Lighting and Production Services

Rentals: Be Our Guest

Catering: Swartz Catering


Julia’s Bat Mitzvah – The Verve, Natick MA

Julia became a Bat Mitzvah in November at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham.  She was so fortunate to be able to share the bima  with one of her closest friends.  They celebrated, immediately following the service, with a shared kiddush catered by Swartz Catering with gorgeous donation centerpieces for Cradles to Crayons created by Hopple Popple.

My first meeting with Julia was the only one, so we got right to business. And that was easy because Julia knew exactly what she wanted her party to be. Colors: black and white.  Decor: balloons. For a girl of 13, her choice to keep the theme of her party a very graphic black and white, was impressive!  My one recommendation was to pick a color to pull in, and she chose purple.

We jazzed up the black and white by choosing a combination of polka dotted, chevron and striped tablecloths.  The end result was a very impactful, fun party that, well…looked like a party! The centerpieces packed a punch with enormous balloons and ribbons with more stripes and dots. The logo that we came up with for Julia was also very clean and simple. I love to use logos in places that make sense; enough to tie the party together, but not overdone. The first place guests saw the logo was the adult placecard board where we had a 3×3 foot board showcasing the design. We also tied the dot design into the adults custom placecards.  The logo also appeared on the various shades of purple cocktail napkins, the purple gobo that shined on the all white dance floor, the cover of the scrapbook, the logo on the photobooth pictures and the kids long sleeve t-shirt favors!

The kids went right into the room and ate kids favs like jumbo pretzels, mozzarella sticks and loves the purple mocktails.  Adults remained in the lobby with crowd favorites that included fall inspired tomato soup with mini brioche grilled cheese, butternut squash panzerotti and mini lamp lollipops…just to name a few!

Following cocktail hour, the crowd went wild as Julia made her entrance into the party to her favorite Lady Gaga song, Applause. Julia stunned in a bright pink dress and her signature Adidas kicks. This girl has style!  Friends and family gathered on the dance floor to boogey and play games thanks to the fantastic Siagel Productions Entertainment.  This party just never stopped!  Adults and kids both enjoyed stations for dinner, which is always a great way to keep the party in motion, particularly when there aren’t several formalities to slow the party down.  However, such memorable moments, where things did slow down, were when Julia’s brother and her Great Grandmother cleared the dance floor for the traditional mozie and kiddush. Soon after, Julia’s parents welcomed everyone with a heartfelt toast. After all the girls had chosen their socks, a longer dance set followed and everyone jumped in for Coke Pepsi and  a fun snowball dance. Next, guests circled up for the Hora! We ended the night on a sweet note as adult dessert was a combo of passed and stationary while kids enjoyed a sundae bar.  And on the way out the kids grabbed  long sleeve white t-shirts, with the logo printed on the back, to remember the night! Mazel Tov, Julia!


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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Entertainment: Siagel Productions

Photobooth: The Snapboxx

Photographer: Evolution Media

Balloons: Big Balloon Bash

Decor: Art of the Event, Inc.

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

Linen: Party Designs

Stationary: Allure Invitations

Synagogue: Temple Beth Shalom, Needham

Kiddush Caterer: Swartz Catering

Donation Centerpieces: Cradles to Crayons 


Lila’s Bat Mitzvah – Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline + Jewish Community Center, Newton

Lila became a Bat Mitzvah this past April at the beautiful (and newly renovated Synagogue) Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline. The celebration continued with a Kiddush immediately following the services and then continued that evening with a celebration at the JCC in Newton.

The Leventhal Sidman JCC holds a very special place in the hearts of the Goldstein family, so for their youngest of three daughters, they decided to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at the JCC. The space is ample, so that wasn’t a problem. The caterer had worked there several times, so that wasn’t a problem.  It was how do we transform the space into a party that Lila would love?  To start with, we had to convince this sweet and savvy 13 year old girl that this space, which started as a blank canvas, could and would transform. And that yes, it would be the outstanding party she envisioned.  First, we had to gain her trust and involve her by listening to her ideas and input. Knowing what was most important to Lila and pairing that with what Mom and Dad envisioned and wa-la, “Fashionably Lila” was born, and it couldn’t have been more fitting!

Lila is a little fashionista herself, a true girly girl through and through.  But like many of our parties today, she didn’t want a full out theme so we had to capture the feel of the party in another “fashion”.  Our top picks for amplifying impact are: color scheme, logo, lighting and rentals (and that includes renting a dance floor, even if you don’t need one!). If you are forgoing a theme, these are absolutely necessities to pulling off a look that is going to transform!  The first time I met Lila and her mom, they showed me paint swatches that Lila thought would be great for her party. These became the color scheme of the entire day; from the invitations, to the kiddush and the party itself.

As guests arrived, they walked in on the “pink carpet” and had their photo taken in front of the custom step and repeat.  Adults remained in the lobby which was transformed into a cocktail hour space and the kids went into the room with the DJ and flip book station.  During this time, Lila’s friends also had the chance to say a few words (there was a line up of kids)!

The celebration was a party in progress; lots of food, people moving about and no assigned seating.  This kept the party moving and allowed for a more casual, social vibe.  From the dinner stations to the passed desserts, dancing and eating was definitely the main focus but there were lots of other formalities including a speech from Lila’s older sisters (who changed into costumes for the occasions), a few words from her parents, a candlelighting and a video montage.  So, as always, a well constructed flow of events was imperative!

Thank you for letting us take part in your big day, Lila! Mazel tov!

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Event Planner: The Day Of

Synagogue: Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline

Reception Venue: Leventhal-Sidman JCC, Newton

Photography: Stefanie Jasper

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

DJ: Siagel Productions

Decor: Art of the Event

Entertainment: Fun Photo Flips

Caterer: Catering by Andrew

Liquor: Murray’s Liquors