Planning bar & bat mitzvah celebrations

Our helpful step by step guide to holding a successful party.

When we become parents, one thing people always say but what we don’t always appreciate is how quickly our children grow up.

As Jewish parents, it is traditional to mark your child’s 13th birthday. Although it may only seem like yesterday that your son or daughter was born, the time has already arrived for their bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. This is a huge milestone in your lives and one to mark in style and celebrate with your family and friends.

But what should you consider to ensure the success of this important occasion in your child’s life?

Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide that we’ve put together to help simplify the organisation for you.

What are the first steps in organizing a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah?

Firstly, select a date for the ceremony. You will need to liaise with your synagogue but you can do this up to three years in advance of your child turning 13. The ceremony doesn’t have to be held on the exact day but many parents prefer this or choose a time as close to it as possible.

Secondly, research and book a venue for the celebration. Try and book as early as possible as good venues tend to be popular, especially if you are holding the party in the evening. Also, consider whether the venue already has experience of hosting bar or bat mitzvahs. If so, they can help advise you with:

  • decorations
  • entertainment
  • kosher menus

Before making a booking, visit the location and ask them for any testimonials from parties they have previously hosted.

Thirdly, choose how your party should be catered. If you are inviting a mix of ages, will you all be eating together or having separate menus for the adults and children? Ask your venue for examples of per-head costs for a sit-down meal or something more informal like a buffet. Consider your budget and whether you want to be treating your guests to unlimited soft drinks for the children or alcoholic beverages for the adults.

The first steps have been taken – so what’s next?

A popular trend with bar and bat mitzvahs is to select a theme for the party. This can anything and can be tremendous fun for the adults as well as the children. Whatever theme you choose, make sure your venue is amenable. You might also want to build in the popular candle-lighting ceremony for the bar or bat mitzvah to recognise important people in their lives that are no longer living.

The entertainment you choose for the party can be tied to the theme. Games can be included or other activities such as dance or arts and crafts. Look online for inspiration or to your child’s interests such as favourite books or movies and decorate your venue accordingly or ask your guests to come in costume.

In addition, consider how to involve family and friends who would like to attend and can’t travel or live abroad. Is there a surprise you’d like to organise for your child? Ask your venue for their help in making this happen.

Once all of this has been decided, you can then invite your guests. How you invite them depends on whether your celebration will be formal or informal. Whatever you choose, don’t forget the essential information to do with when and where and how to get there. Also, include an accommodation list for those who are coming from afar. Your chosen venue may already have a list they can assist you with.

The final details for the bar or bat mitzvah.

The finer details that ensure the success of the party include arranging transport for your guests between the synagogue and your venue. Also, think about:

  • Personalising party favours for the children.
  • Personalising small gifts and place settings for your guests.
  • Preserving special memories of the occasion with a professional photographer or videographer.
  • Asking a guest to make a speech at the party or bless the wine and challah.
  • Asking your guests to sign a commemorative book for your child to keep.

Selecting Dunham Forest Golf & CC for your bar or bat mitzvah celebration.

Dunham Forest Golf & CC are proud to be the venue of choice in Cheshire for memorable bar and bat mitzvahs. Our location is both stylish and flexible enough to accommodate celebrations and activities designed to keep both children and adults entertained.

Our kitchen is kosher and we can offer a wide range of exciting cuisine that includes beef, turkey and fish, including dishes that appeal to young children.

For further details, suggestions for themes and suppliers and help with planning, call Laura or Mike on 0161 928 2605 or email or