If you have an upcoming San Diego Bar Mitzvah in the family, it will no doubt be a momentous day. It is a time for celebration for not only the (new) man of the hour, but for the entire mishpacha (family). As seasoned Bar Mitzvah photographers, we understand the importance of preparation. It takes planning not only for the ceremony itself, which is special on many levels. But in order to be ready, the entire experience requires thought and consideration.
To help alleviate some of the questions around San Diego Bar Mitzvah preparation, we have put together the helpful guide below. We hope you find it beneficial!
Everyone knows that when friends and family get together for a celebration, they eat! This is true across many different cultures. But it especially rings true for the Bar Mitzvah reception. You may plan to serve a traditional Jewish menu, a kid-focused meal, or something completely eclectic. But chances are you are devoting time and attention to the menu. You may also have relatives weighing in on all sides. This can be a bit much to handle, no matter how well intentioned :)
Choosing A Bar Mitzvah Caterer
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to San Diego Bar Mitzvah catering. First, as you may know, there are a very limited number of purely Kosher caterers here in town. The ones that have lasted for years, and are still around, tend to have earned their longevity. Of course, check reviews and references for yourself. But you are far better off going with a long established catering company than a brand new one. Especially with an event as important as a Bar Mitzvah, you will want a caterer who has done this before.
Reserving A Catering Company
Given the small number of Kosher catering options, our suggestion is to start checking with catering companies shortly after you know your Bar Mitzvah date. This is because the companies could get booked up, or have conflicting events on the calendar. If you reach out to your first choice caterer early, you will have a better chance of getting your date locked in.
Advantages of Kosher Catering
Kosher catering will of course will be critical if you are observant. Even if you are not, you may have friends or relatives who keep strictly Kosher. This is a good question to include on the Bar Mitzvah invitation. By asking early, you will have a sense of the types of Kosher food that will be required, and the number of individuals to feed.
No matter whether your full event is fully Kosher, there are still caterers who will prepare shrink-wrapped Glatt or dairy meals for you observant guests. You can then pre-arrange with your venue to have these outside meals brought out at the same time as the regular meals. This way, all of your guests can feel comfortable and eat together, as a group.
As part of your San Diego Bar Mitzvah preparation, you may want to consider bringing on an event coordinator. This is especially beneficial if you work full time, or you are planning a large scale event. For example, let’s say you are expecting to have a Thursday night dinner, a Friday night dinner, a Kiddush lunch, an evening reception, and a kid party. That is a lot for one person to manage, even if you have relatives helping out!
Event coordinators are there for a reason. They help to cut through all the seemingly endless decisions. They can also create a buffer so you can focus on what is most important to you. Depending on what you hire them for, a solid coordinator or team will be your strongest asset. They can do everything from managing your vendors to planning the timeline. They can making arrangements with your venue and work out the seating chart. Essentially, your coordinator can take on anything having to do with the event production.
Depending on the location you select, your venue may have an in-house coordinator. The role of this individual is similar – they are here to help you plan out the details of the event, and then execute it on the day itself. If your venue includes a coordinator, be sure to ask about the specific areas this person will be covering. Will they design the entire event, or just take charge of the room setup? By learning this in advance, you will have a better understanding of whether to hire an outside coordinator. You will also know what your own responsibilities and commitments will be.
In the event that you choose to hire an outside coordinator, please feel welcome to contact us for recommendations. Over the years, we have built up long term relationships with many coordinators. There are specific coordination and event planning companies here in town where we work together as a tight-knit team. We share a very similar approach and pride in the work we accomplish, with consistently high quality results. So if you are not sure who to hire, let us know. We’ll give a few names to check out, and then you can make your own determination.
Of course, we are more than happy to work with your in-house coordinator, or any coordinator of choice. We just want to make sure you know that we are an asset to you in your San Diego Bar Mitzvah preparation. If there are connections we can introduce to make your family’s Bar Mitzvah a success, we will do so!
As a San Diego Bar Mitzvah photographer team, we are dedicated to making your images look amazing. Beyond this, though, we want you entire experience with our photography company to be easy and enjoyable. This starts from the moment you contact a photographer specialist about your event. From the very beginning, we will get into the specifics about the Bar Mitzvah. This includes the date, number of guests, photography budget, and overall goals and expectations. You may have a lot of questions, or you may not even know where to start. Either way, we are here to help!
From a photography perspective, here are a few things that will help you with the Bar Mitzvah preparation. First, think about the events that will take place during the Bar Mitzvah weekend. Will there be a Thursday evening rehearsal? Are the relatives staying in town for Sunday brunch? If possible, try to plot out the full events of the weekend on paper. Not down to the last detail, but the general schedule. Having a sense of this will be helpful in our initial conversation. It will let us make recommendations about when to have a photographer on hand.
Photo Shoot Details
As the Bar Mitzvah date gets closer, this will be the time to get into the finer details of the photography. For example, let’s say you are planning to have a Thursday night rehearsal and photo shoot at your Shul, Synagogue, or Temple. A few days prior, you will want to decide who should be at that photo shoot. Make sure that each person is aware of their involvement, and that they know where to be. Otherwise you might have people show up at your house, arrive late, or not go at all. It is useful to send out a text or reminder.
Typically, when there is a large family group together, we like to photograph in different configurations. When shooting, we may capture all the cousins together. Then we will move on to the grandparents with the Bar Mitzvah boy. Your Bar Mitzvah photographer will have certain groupings in mind prior to the shoot. We also move fast and think on our feet. This is so you have a lot of photography coverage throughout the photo shoot.
When hiring our studio, you will have one or more creative and visionary photographers working on your behalf. These will be very experienced and professional photographers. All of our team photographers have spent years covering events like yours. So it is ideal to put the overall photography concepts and execution in the hands of your photography team. This way, we can see our vision through and produce the best results for you. It also takes one more thing off your plate, knowing you hired a trusted and expert photography company.
Let’s say there are very specific photos or pairings you want to see. If possible, it is best to talk this through with your photographer before the shoot itself. That way, we can adjust the timeline if need be, or make preparations in advance. Similarly, if there are family dynamics we should know, let’s talk this through. In addition to the Bar Mitzvah boy, we want to know who all the key players are, who is paired with who, etc. It will make everyone feel more natural and comfortable when we call them by name, and we know their place in the family :)
There are many factors to consider when planning your family’s San Diego Bar Mitzvah. With the right team on your side, though, the entire occasion will be relaxed and enjoyable! If there are any questions you have regarding your Bar Mitzvah photography or videography, please reach out to us. We look forward to talking over the details of the Bar Mitzvah, and reserving the date on our photography calendar. Mazel Tov!