A VARIETY OF MITZVAH INVITATION STYLES FROM BASIC INVITE
A friend and I were marveling the other day about how it is only a few precious years away that our sons will become bar mitzvahs. Yikes, were did the time go?! I’ve been mulling over some b’nai mitzvah related posts and products for some time but here is my first foray into the subject. I can tell you now that I won’t be having the 6-figure simcha at the fanciest hotel in LA. Mine will be a more subdued affair because that is just how we roll but as I always say, small can be stylish! One of the more fun aspects to think about is the b’nai mitzvah invitations and stationery (like these ones from Basic Invite you see here on the post). Here are my top 10 tips for getting this first part right:
#1 – Get the Feel Right
The first thing you need to do is think about what kind of event you and your child want to have. Is it going to be a formal affair in a splendid temple with stained glass and an event space at a fancy hotel? Is it going to be informal, at your spartan shul with the simcha at your house? Understanding where your event falls on the spectrum of fancy will help guide you on the appropriate invitation to send. Invitations are important indicators to your guests about what kind of event they are attending. As you can see from the mitzvah invitations above, some are fancy with traditional scripted fonts, others are more informal with handwritten fonts, and there is everything between. I go to a shul that meets in a gymnasium so really formal bar mitzvah invitations would set the wrong expectation for the event I will be having. Matching the venue is one consideration but another is the personality of your child too, which leads to…
#2 – Ask Your Kid
It is important to remember the mitzvah is about your child. It’s not the bat mitzvah or wedding you always wanted to have but didn’t. This is their event and they need to be really comfortable (and on board) with the proceedings. That said, teenagers don’t know how to throw formal events and your guidance is critical, so like all parenting decisions at this age, you have to balance your advisor role with the wants and desires of your child. Even if you are lucky in having a kid that is totally uninterested in the party details, I would advise giving an FYI on all decisions you are making so there are no surprises later on.
REGAL WREATH BAT MITZVAH INVITATION SUITE FROM BASIC INVITE
#3 – You Do You
Just because The Rosenfeld’s had 500 guests doesn’t mean you have to. Just because The Shapiro’s had their celebration at W doesn’t mean you have to. Just because The Greenberg’s worded their invitation in a certain way doesn’t mean you need to. You do you (and your kid).
#4 – Let the Invitation Lead
Want me to let you in on how to easily chose a color theme and party decor? Let the invitation lead the design of the entire event. If you have picked a bar/bat mitzvah invitation you and your little mitzvah kid love, why not expand that look out to the entire event? Here’s how. See in the first picture the kraft paper invitation off to the left? If that was my invite (that’s actually a customized version of the Rustic Kraft Mitzvah Invitation), I’d put kraft paper runners on the tables, stick to simple but stylish recycled paper products for the dinnerware, and probably have the parting gifts in brown bags too. Another example: if using the Regal Wreath invites in the pic above, go with gold and green table decor. With that invite, you can save a ton on florals by having them be all greenery. Instead of being adamant about having a purple and pink party and trying to find a great bat mitzvah invitation to match, work it the other way around.
#5 – Consider Early but Order Late
Thinking about the invitation is important to do early, because if you are following tip #4 above, you can let the invitation dictate many of your event design details. That said, as you can see from the examples on this page, there are a lot of details you need to have confirmed BEFORE you do the actual invitation ordering. Lock down all the deets regarding time and place by confirming with your shul, vendors, and any other event space. Confirm the date with critical guests. Confirm the mitzvah project details. Pull the trigger on the actual invitation purchase only when all details present on the invitation are confirmed with the organizations involved.
#6 – Don’t Redesign a Great Design
Whether you are using an online custom invitation system or your local stationer, watch how many changes you are making to the base design you have chosen. If you find yourself making more than three changes to things such as the colors, the type face, and the type size, you probably don’t like the design to begin with and unless you are a professional designer, your changes aren’t going to improve the look of the invitation. As you can see from the pictures on this post, there are a lot of amazing designs that come off the shelf that are appropriate for just about any event.
FLORAL STAR BAT MITZVAH INVITATION FROM BASIC INVITE
#7 – Order 10% More Than You Need
Even if you meticulously checked and re-checked your invitation list, order 10% more invitations than you think you need. You WILL forget someone, or two. Extras are also nice to have on hand for scrapbooking and photography. The extra isn’t that much more and you’ll be happy knowing you can quickly get one in the mail if you need to.
#8 – Use Professional Portraiture
Although not pictured on this post, there are mitzvah invitations that can have your child’s photo on them. If you really like one of these options, please, please, only choose this if you have a professional photograph of your child. I know your iPhone 7 shoots amaaaazing pictures, but there is more than the equipment that goes into a great portrait. When you hire a photographer for your mitzvah, they will often package it with a general portrait session anyway, so tell them you want to use a photo for the invitation and you can even show them the one you are considering.
#9 – Go for the Whole Schmear
There are a lot of ways you can keep costs down for a bar/bat mitzvah but one of the things you don’t want to skimp on is the stationery. Along with ordering 10% more invitations, I would also recommend ordering some of the enclosure cards, like the RSVP, mitzvah project details, and definitely the thank you cards. Yes, you can make your own but you will spend ages futzing around trying to make it match and spending way more time (and your time is valuable) than it would take just to order them and be done with it.
#10 – Get a Second Opinion
If you are uncertain, go ahead and ask a trusted friend, preferably one who has been through this before. If you do this, be sure to think about what exactly you want feedback on. Don’t go in with a general “what do you think?” question. Ask for targeted, specific advice on the areas you are unsure of. After you have heard the advice, do tip #3.
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If there is one area that modern technical advances has improved, it’s custom stationery. Now if only someone could make an easy online leyning course!
THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY BASIC INVITE
While this was a sponsored opportunity from Basic Invite, all content and opinions expressed here are my own and the sponsor had no editorial oversight.