With a majority of bar and bat mitzvah celebrations designed around a sport, hobby, video game, favorite movie or childhood activity, this sophisticated party concept was quite refreshing. The only requirement we had to meet was making pretty much everything light up or turn purple.
[Photos courtesy of Michael Branscom]
From the moment guests arrived at the usually traditional and impeccably tailored Meadowlands Country Club, they were awash in tones of purple, plum and magenta. The existing club furniture, tables, lamps and accessories were either re-staged or removed entirely to make way for our party decor. White drapery, purple pillows, white chairs, light up rectangular tables and contemporary floral displays were placed throughout the lobby and bar areas. Fragrant candles teased the nose, existing lighting was dimmed low and groovy techno tunes were piped through across the club’s sound system. Nothing of the “usual” sort would be needed at this swanky bat mitzvah!
The adults and kids enjoyed their own respective “cocktail” areas, either sampling American favorite foods and sodas in the kids area, or tequila and sushi in the adults section. When it was time to open the doors to the ballroom, we heard gasps of surprise and “ooooohs” of delight as guests made their way into the room. The entire ballroom was draped in floor-to-ceiling white drape to create a clean, bright and crisp palette that could then be dramatically lit in progressive tones of purple, blue and magenta. Against the intense purple backdrop we placed light up tables with square glass tabletops, clear lucite chairs and glass vases filled with lush purple flowers.
Knowing a gigantic dance floor would be needed for this energetic crowd, we not only gave it a large 32 x 32 area but we provided lighting effects that would change and expand with the music. The adult dinner tables were placed around the dance floor and a large white bar with barstools was easily accessible inside the room to keep all the guests ringside. With all the lighting elements in the room already — from the light up tables to the lighting around the perimeter of the room, projected on the ceiling and on the dance floor, the light updance platforms and wash of light on the stage — we chose to keep the lighting on the flowers soft enough to enhance the color of the blooms but not overwhelm them. All the vases, candles, china and stemware were provided in clear glass vessels to allow as much light to filter up from the table bases as possible. On a similar note, charger plates were skipped at each place setting in favor of simply-folded purple satin napkins holding a stylish menu.
Floral tablescapes were created for the sixteen adult dinner tables using a carefully planned scheme of elements that included: tall glass lamps filled with water and floating magenta dendrobium orchids; white linen drum shades; glass dome vases with abstract flowers swirled under the water and reaching out; one large low glass bowl filled with purple-stained cymbidium orchids, lilac, ranunculus, mini calla lilies, parrot tulips and cattelya orchids; tall glass cylinders of various heights, each filled with monochromatic purple flowers; and glass and mirror-striped vases filled with purple hydrangea or picasso mini callas lilies.
The Papery of Philadelphia created the place cards and purple circle menus for each adult place setting. Below, the 100 kids were seated in a separate room that fully opened onto the back of the ballroom. Separated from the adults only by contemporary white circle drapes suspended from the ceiling, the kids enjoyed their two-course dinner seated at white light up high top community tables before heading back to the dance floor.
Thanks to the always jammin’ Dreamtime Orchestra and their Emcee, DJ and Dancers, the dance floor was packed at all times! PACKED! Multiple video screens were placed in the ballroom to provide all 250 guests a clear view of the video montage and candlelighting, as well as the rolling “wallpaper” of photographs, monogram, party logo, and live camera feed of the party as it unfolded. Not wanting to keep their guests off the dance floor watching a 30 minute traditional candlelighting, Dave Williams of CinemaCake created a candlelighting montage that not only moved like a rock video but it saved time on the event schedule.
Inspired by the geometric interlocking purple and lavender paper used in the bat mitvah invitations, The Cake Art Studio designed a stacked cake that was playfully hip. But the cake wasn’t the only sweet treat planned, as guests departed they were handed boxes of homemade donuts to enjoy the following morning. (although, we heard many were munched in the car on the way home instead.)
Sometimes, it really is fun working with a “non-theme” (wink, wink) bat mitzvah design concept. Who says you can’t style the party after a vibe, mood or environment? As kids travel the world with their parents they develop stylish interests and sophistication tastes, why not let them experience their celebration in a manner best suited to their personality? We say, BRING IT.