How to Host the Perfect Bar Mitzvah

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Hi everyone!  To start off the week, I wanted to share with you a bar mitzvah I recently shot at Attic Studios.  Ben turned the ripe old age of 13, and his family threw him a great party to celebrate.  Far from the edge of boring, this bar mitzvah had all the key ingredients of a fantastic event: good food, lots of dance music, and plenty of space for guests to mingle.

Family portraits on the roof of Attic Studios for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams
Let’s start with the food: passed hors d’oeuvres started the evening, followed by a paella dinner for the adults and a build-your-own taco station for the kids (and any adults who wandered by).  The paella was served to the adults family style, who were seated at banquet tables at the back of the space, while the kids were allowed to do their own thing throughout the rest of the venue.

Photo of guests eating for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams
Dessert was the grande finale of the evening with a make-your-own ice cream sundae station, as well as a candy and dessert bar.  Needless to say, once the dessert bar opened, the kids descended on it like locusts, and complete mayhem ensued.

Photo of the dessert bar for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of a guest eating a lollipop for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams
With lots of sugar as fuel, the dance floor was never empty.  In addition to getting crazy on the dance floor, the planned evening activities included a balloon artist, face painters (who transformed the kids into zombies, à la ‘The Walking Dead’), and a photo booth with lots of fun frame options.  The ‘guest book,’ so to speak, was a giant ‘sign-in’ poster of NYC.

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests fighting with balloons for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests signing a guest book for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams
And can we ever forget cake at a birthday celebration?  There must be cake.

Photo of the guest of honor with his birthday cake for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams
A few key lessons from this event: the family photos were taken at the beginning of the evening on the roof of Attic Studios.  The view of the city was fantastic, but best of all, the photos were done and out of the way before the party began.  So all ‘obligatory’ portraits were finished, and guests and the guest of honor alike could enjoy the party without having to be pulled away for photos.

Family portraits on the roof of Attic Studios for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Family portraits on the roof of Attic Studios for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Second, there were separate considerations made for the adults in attendance.  The kids were left to do their own thing and enjoy the party on their own terms.  For the adults there was a more sophisticated menu, open bar, and lots of lounge space for them to visit away from the kids.  So everyone is happy.  And that’s the secret to a perfect event.  Enjoy the pics!

Photo of family members hugging each other for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Attic Studios for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the parents giving a toast for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests listening to parents giving a toast for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests being painted for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests being painted for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests being painted for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests mingling for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of guests dancing for a story on how to host the perfect mitzvah by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams

Venue: Attic Studios

Caterer: Tip of the Tongue

Floral design: Terracotta Home

DJ: Rob Sicat, aka DJ Rob


If you would like to view more recent photos by NYC bar mitzvah photographer, Kelly Williams, please visit her website here.

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