In case you don't have a comprehensive checklist to make sure that everything is taken care of, here is one we've been compiling just in case it might help. Location Bentchers and invitations DJ and special song requests Photographs Magnets A SAFE at the venue with lots of envelopes and pens for checks Lots of pens and envelopes for people to write checks Dresses and shoes Jewelry Shtick Center pieces Table decorations Photos developed Buy photo frames Bar or bat mitzvah book and or poster, pens, decorative tape and stickers for friends Slide-show Projector and screen Hair Nails and makeup Serviettes Speeches/dvar Torah Sibling's song Video or Slideshow (Send the MP4 file via google drive to email@example.com at least a week prior to the event) Also bring it on a disc on key Friends songs/dances If there are special songs that the guests or family will want the DJ to play for dances they made up or songs they want to sing these should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org at least a weak prior to the event Guest list of family and friends Signs on the street saying where the party is. Cash to pay vendors - Extra disposable dishes - Cleaning arrangements w/hall or shul or venue or private cleaners - include meals for photographer/dj/video people Prepare to stay a few minutes at the end to give a little video testimonial about the vendors if you think they did a great job
special cake or personalized desserts matching ties and kippot extra party favors basket with extra needs in restroom *bobby pins, deodorant, hair spray, band-aids, etc...
If you think of things that it's missing please do let me know so I can add them to the list for the benefit of others.
Enjoy these Free Party Planning Tips from Holy Simcha
At Holy Simcha Entertainment Israel (HSE) We care about your simcha as if it our own, so we've taken some time to write up some simcha planning tips for you to benefit from. It's part of the care we put towards your party so that it will be the best it can be and you can go into feeling just as stress free and wonderful as a guest at your own event.
TIP: Here is one tip that could really help improve your Simcha. Today my husband DJed for a great event at a hall that had a built-in screen for showing the families slideshow. Sadly the manager of the hall and the baali simcha were not in clear communication about what format they hall's equipment could take. The result was that they were not able to screen the slideshow. Ton's of work down the drain. Be sure to have the media in an medium (HDMI/USB/DVD/Mac etc) and format (avi, mp4, powerpoint presentation etc) that is comparable with the equipment of the the operator or the projector/screen you will be using.
TIP : Commonly forgotten about and important at bar/bat mitzvah parties is a basket for guests to place gifts into.
TIP : If there will be children there, what will be available for them to do?
If the mother and father have small children, I suggest having a designated favorite babysitter who can take over with them while they are giving their speeches. I also suggest empowering that babysitter with a treat for the small children to give to them during the speeches. Unwrapping can be a great diversion for them. Something sweet and wrapped in layers of wrapping that does not make much noise while unwrapping. Small children often feel a great desire to be at the center of attention at these events and some time begin to fuss at the worst time.
It's also wise to plan ahead regarding when and how and by whom will they be taken home and put them to bed after a long day of getting less attention than they are used to. Remember you will be so busy prior to the party dressing everyone and rehearsing your speeches, during the party with greeting and enjoying your guest and after the party with paying the vendor and unwinding yourselves.
TIP : Consider the leftovers. If there is any leftover food, do you have a plan for it. Is there somewhere to store it? Who will transport it there and in what containers? Is there a place to donate it to? If so, who will transport it there and in what containers?
TIP : Prepare envelopes with payments for each vendor and mark the vendors name and amount on the outside of the envelope. Give these to a trusted friend who will take care of paying the vendors at the end of the night and collecting a proof of payment from each vendor. This person will be vendors "go to guy/gal". This little tip has proven to taken a lot of weight of peoples shoulders and enabled them to enjoy their parties much much more than they otherwise would have.
TIP : Designate one person who will be in charge of telling the DJ what the desired volume level is for your event. This will avoid much confusion brought on by multiple family members talking to the DJ about this.
TIP : Get an agreement in writing from your DJ /band leader about volume levels. Remember, this is your simcha and not your DJ /band leader's opportunity to show off how loud his sound system can get. This is your simcha and not the opportunity of the kids at the party to discover the extent their eardrums can take high volume before being damages. This is your simcha. And the volume should be appropriate to your taste.
TIP : If you have any honored speakers you'll want to prepare how and who will introduce them.