B’nai Mitzvah Checklist — what to do and when to do it


Two Years

  • Choose date and time for event (consult with synagogue and reception hall).
  • Set budget.
  • Book private tutor (optional).
  • Book party planner (optional).
  • Book photographer/videographer.
  • Book entertainment (DJ/band) for reception.
  • Estimate number of guests for event; begin guest list.

One Year

  • Child begins learning and studying Torah portion.
  • Choose theme for event (optional).
  • Book caterer.
  • Book florist for centerpieces and floral arrangements.
  • Start shopping for invitations.

Six Months

  • Reserve tables, chairs and other rental equipment for event (unless already handled by caterer).
  • Book block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests (be sure t
  • send out detailed hotel reservations, maps and other important information).

  • Begin clothes shopping for event.
  • Order or design sign-in board and guest book.
  • Book baker (for cake, optional).

Three Months

  • Order/make party favors for guests.
  • Order kippot (optional).
  • Finalize guest list.
  • Make final selections for clothing and accessories.
  • Select and pick up invitations.
  • Arrange transportation for you, your family and guests (as needed) for day of event.

Eight Weeks

  • Mail invitations.
  • Arrange parking for event (if needed).
  • Arrange for special entertainment (e.g., dancers/vendors) (optional).
  • Create desired song list for reception.
  • Finalize seating arrangements by using table chart.
  • Create placecards.

Four Weeks

  • Choose people to honor during event (either by calling them up to bimah for aliyot, to light candle at the candlelighting ceremony or any variation thereof).
  • Write speeches. Also, prepare songs, poems or dances for event.
  • Make hairstylist and manicure/pedicure appointments.
  • Final fittings for clothing.
  • Order food for Kiddush/oneg Shabbat held at synagogue.

Two Weeks

  • Give final head count to caterer/confirm setup instructions and menu items.
  • Call guests wh
  • have not R.S.V.P.’d to event to confirm final head count.

  • Take formal pictures on bimah before event.
  • Arrange to transport out-of-state guests from airport to the hotel.

One Week

  • Confirm delivery locations, times and final arrangements with caterer, baker, location manager/host, florist, photographer, videographer, DJ/band, religious instructor and anyone else associated with event.
  • Attend any previously scheduled beauty appointments (hair, nails, etc.).

Day Before Event

  • Drop off favors, guest book and pen t
  • event site.

  • Confirm with those expected t
  • give speeches.

  • Get some sleep.

Day of Event

  • Smile and enjoy.

After Event

  • Make sure thank-you notes are written and sent.