Finding the right venue for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah starts with knowing the right questions to ask. Each venue will have a unique layout, specific amenities, and preferred vendors. Before you can narrow down your top venue choices, it’s important to consider everything from the style of your celebration to the flow of your events.
PartySlate reached out to a top Bar and Bat Mitzvah event planner, photographer, and entertainment company to learn what questions they recommend asking potential venues. These talented vendors have worked at venues of all shapes and sizes — and know better than anyone how the event space can determine the success of a celebration.
Keep reading to discover the 5 most important questions to ask your Bar or Bat Mitzvah venue. As Kari Otero, Owner and Lead Photographer of Kari Otero Photography, says, “Finding a venue that checks all of the boxes can be challenging. It’s important to decide what will mean the most to you and your family.” But first, you need to know what to ask.
Meet the Contributors
Amy Katz, President and Founder of Amy Katz Events
We love how this luxe B’nai Mitzvah and event planning company puts the client at the heart of each event, going above and beyond to fulfill (and exceed) every vision. Amy Katz Events is renowned for their professionalism, knowledge, flexibility, and so much more.
Kareem K.W.O.E. Wells, Owner of Flow Entertainment
We love how Flow Entertainment is so much more than just your standard DJ. This interactive entertainment team’s infectious high energy and warmth will have grandma on the dance floor in two songs flat. Kareem and his team of “flowfessionals” go above and beyond to form lasting bonds with the families they work with, celebrating milestones that they will never forget.
Kari Otero, Owner and Lead Photographer of Kari Otero Photography
We love how Kari Otero Photography considers a potential shot from every angle, while highlighting her subjects’ unique personalities throughout the celebration. Her background in art direction and performance allows her to capture each moment naturally and authentically.
1. Is the Space Transformable?
First and foremost, you need to know if a potential venue can transform to fit your vision. Kareem K.W.O.E. Wells, Owner of Flow Entertainment, tells us, “It’s super important to make sure the venue is a fit for your style. Vibe is key, and it builds off the venue and what you can do within the space.”
Some venues are more transformable than others. For example, an industrial loft space with white walls can be treated like a blank canvas, whereas a historic ballroom comes with its own look and feel.
Amy Katz, President and Founder of Amy Katz Events, tells hosts, “Look at the chairs and curtains. Some venues have darker chairs and curtains that may not go with your vision. Some venues have windows; some don’t. These are all important things to consider when hosting a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.”
Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah planner will be the most familiar with your vision. In addition to using PartySlate’s curated venue directory, you can ask your planner for venue recommendations based on his or her prior experience.
2. What Services Does the Venue Provide?
Before you meet with a potential venue, create a list of high-priority amenities and services that you’d like the venue to provide. Katz of Amy Katz Events emphasizes the importance of thinking ahead. For example, if you know you want to use a video wall or screens to showcase a montage video, it’s important to ask the venue whether it has built-in screens. If not, you will be responsible for bringing in plasma screens or a video wall.
Wells of Flow Entertainment also reminds hosts to consider the guest experience. For example, “Where the restrooms are located? Is there parking or valet?”
Here are some other amenities to consider: accessibility, coat check, kosher kitchen, and WiFi access. We also recommend asking whether the venue requires in-house suppliers and caterers.
Wells also suggests considering the “flow of each element of the party.” This leads to our next important question.
3. Is There a Flexible Floor Plan?
There’s more to this question that meets the eye. Wells of Flow Entertainment reminds hosts to consider venue size in addition to how they plan to utilize the space. “Think about if each event space within the venue is big enough for the amount of guests, types of food service, entertainment, and level of décor envisioned.”
Katz of Amy Katz Events also asks hosts to consider the number of events being held at the venue. It’s important to know whether you plan on having an on-site Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. If so, can the room be turned over or do you need a venue large enough to include separate areas for the ceremony and reception?
Kari Otero, Owner and Lead Photographer of Kari Otero Photography, reminds us that “Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, in particular, juggle creating an awesome experience for both the young and young at heart. It’s important that guests move and mingle and still have an area clearly designated for them when they need to recharge.”
Katz elaborates on this idea by suggesting that the venue should be large enough to accommodate separate cocktail hours for children and adults. “Usually during a children’s cocktail hour, you will have games and activities along with entertainment,” Katz say. “The adult cocktail hour will possibly have live music.” From there, all guests will rejoin at the reception. Adults and children will also likely need separate dining areas before coming together on the dance floor.
4. Where Will the Dance Floor Go?
This leads us to our next question. Where will the dance floor go? Otero of Kari Otero Photography tells us, “Most of the formal portraits, celebrating, and milestone moments are centered around the dance floor.” As such, it’s important to select a venue that puts the dance floor front and center, while also ensuring that it is accessible to all.
Peruse PartySlate’s curated idea gallery to find inspiring dance floor setups to fit your theme and style. We love how dance floors can accommodate everything from your child’s B’nai Mitzvah colors to their personal logo. Of course, a dance floor is nothing without a band or DJ. Make sure to find a talented entertainment company near you with PartySlate’s curated vendor directory.
5. Are there Nearby Photo Opportunities?
While your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah will eventually come to an end, the memories will live on forever. As such, the photographs from this important milestone will become a cherished heirloom for you and your family.
Otero of Kari Otero Photography recommends that hosts consider their final photo album when selecting a Bar or Bat Mitzvah venue. While most photos will be taken on-site, there are also opportunities to leave the venue and take family portraits at a nearby location. Consider whether your venue is conveniently located to nearby attractions or beautiful backdrops. For example, “When in New York, having a location that highlights the city and its energy can be exciting for everyone and offer iconic photo opportunities,” Otero shares.
In addition to helping you find your dream Bar or Bat Mitzvah venue, PartySlate can connect you with top vendors, including a photographer, for your celebration. Make sure to narrow your search by location, services, and more.
People Also Ask …
Where does a Bat or Bar Mitzvah take place?
A Bar or Bat Mitzvah often features three separate events. The Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony is incorporated into the synagogue service, which is usually held at the parents’ shul or synagogue. The service is followed by a kiddush lunch often hosted by the parents. Everyone at the service is invited to the kiddush.
Observant families will wait until the end of Shabbat to host their child’s reception or party. These receptions will usually occur after sunset on Saturday evening or the following Sunday. Less observant families may choose to host their reception on a Friday evening or before sundown on Saturday. The reception often takes place at a hotel or event venue.
Like engaged couples across the world, many B’nai Mitzvah parents had to postpone their child’s milestone or rethink the logistics of gathering their friends and family. As a result, some parents chose to host a micro Bar or Bat Mitzvah where both service and celebration took place at their private home. While large-scale celebrations are back in full swing, some parents may choose to continue thinking outside the box when it comes to their venue choice.
Where can I find a venue for my child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
Head to PartySlate’s curated venue directory to find an available B’nai Mitzvah venue. Make sure to narrow your search by filtering for location, event space, and amenities. Click into the venue’s PartySlate profile to see real Bar and Bat Mitzvahs held at the space.
You can also use PartySlate’s curated directory to assemble your vendor team. We recommend starting with an event planner. Your event planner can rely on their extensive network and knowledge of the industry to connect you to other talented vendors.
Where can I find more inspiration and ideas for my child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah?
PartySlate is here to help you from conception to event production. Click on the following to find some of our favorite B’nai Mitzvah themes, activities, as well as venue and vendor selections.