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

Itsy’s Bat Mitzvah – Tented at their Home, Weston, MA

Itsy is a sweet, kind, thoughtful young lady who happens to also be an outstanding ice hockey player!  She became a Bat Mitzvah on the rear patio of her home.  As guests arrived, they mingled and enjoyed a little pre-cocktail hour with fun foods like popcorn in take out boxes, sliders and fresh lemonade with mint.  The weather forecast was a little iffy so we ended tenting the patio which was set with NECRs beautiful weathered garden chairs (although the weather did hold out).

Following the ceremony adults enjoyed cocktail hour on the lawn near the patio while the kids ventured down to the beautiful Sperry Tent.  Two chalkboards on easels flanked the entry to the tent for table assignments (Hint: Have your calligrapher use the Bistro Chalk Marker.  It writes beautifully and mistakes can be erased…and…no chalk dust).   The big WOW came as you entered the tent.  The tent was so happy!  Yellow paper pom poms in a variety of shades and sizes hung from the top of the tent.  For interest, the farm tables were arranged in all different directions and configurations and set with walnut crossback chairs and natural table runners. The centerpieces were beautiful happy shades of yellow and creams in a variety of containers running the length of each table. In keeping with the casual atmosphere, the adult dinner was served family style.  Marinated seared wild salmon, classic fried chicken, chilled haricot vert with feta, macaroni and cheese with a ritz crumb topping, yellow beet and orange salad, quinoa cakelettes and chive biscuits and strawberry rhubarb muffins. YUM!

Lots of people do candy displays but I have to say this one was my favorite. On the outside of each candy jar was a sign indicating which family members favorite it was.  SO cute!  The favor was a deck of playing card and as a fun, organic keepsake, we set up a rock table where guests used paint pens to write Itsy personalized messages.

And as with any outdoor event, it’s the details that matter.   The reception tent was down in the lower part of their yard.  At the bottom of the steps were baskets with bug spray and flashlights and lanterns with candles lit the was up to the house.  Inside the house was a video of Itsy that ran all night long so if people going in and out of the house were able to enjoy.  Every last detail was well planned and was a family effort (they put together all those pom poms and stored them in their basement…did you see how many there were?).  This is a family who knows what matters and it was a pleasure to be part of this very special day!

Enjoy!

(the photos in this blog were taken with my iPhone)

 

Event Coordination: The Day Of

Service and Reception: Seeman Residence

Caterer: Capers Catering

Tent/Lighting/Farm Tables: Sperry Tent

Rentals: New England Country Rental

Floral Design: Lindsay Norris

Photography: Joanne Cheng

Entertainment: Upside Entertainment

Valet: Ultimate Parking