Bar Bat Mitzvah Invitations: What to Know Before Ordering


Make These Key Bar Mitzvah Invitation Decisions First
Your child's becoming bat or bar mitzvah! But before you start leafing through all those gorgeous bar mitzvah invitation books, make sure you've made these key decisions:

  • What's the tone of the reception? Formal, spiritual, preppy, artsy? You'll want the invites to reflect the feeling.

  • What's the architecture of the event? You need to know if you're having one large party for the entire guest list or several different

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    events for different combinations of guests. Why? If you're opting for the latter, you'll need to make sure you're picking invitations that come with smaller note cards. Not all do. Also, if you're sending some guests a multitude of enclosure cards, look for invites that are designed to wrap or hold many cards so guests don't lose them.
  • Are you planning to weave a color scheme throughout the event? Consider invites that match.

  • Do you want your guests to know about your mitzvah project before they arrive and perhaps contribute to it in some way? If so, you'll need to: [a] decide what that project is, [b] decide how you want your guests to participate, and [c] decide whether you want to make the request on the invitation itself or on a separate card. See an example.

  • Considering incorporating your theme into your invitations? The consensus among the teens, MitzvahMoms and style mavens we've consulted to is avoid invitations where the text, imagery and color schemes are all about the theme. For one thing, the main purpose of the invitation is to inform guests about an important religious ceremony; theme-centric invitations (think of a football-shaped card and text that promises guests can cheer as the B Mitzvah boy scores a Torah touchdown) send the message that the party is more important than the service. Also, some kids feel that broadcasting the theme so far in advance drains the fun and surprise out of the party. It also somewhat locks you into that theme, a decision you may regret if your child changes her mind. One solution is to use just a general bar bat mitzvah invitation stamp that subtly incorporates your theme.

    Invitation Sample Books
    Browse our gallery of gorgeous bar bat mitzvah invitations! We tell you what's new, what's trendy and help you sort out the differences between the dozens of stationers out there. See our mitzvah invitation collection.

    Wording
    You can be as creative as you like with your mitzvah project, speech and yarmulke design. But the one place you probably want to rein in your inner Shakespeare is on your invitation. As the bard himself said, brevity is the soul of wit. So you can slip in a bit of color and emotion but it's generally best to just stick to the facts.
    See bar bat mitzvah invitation wording samples.
    See wording samples when parents are divorced or separated.

    Reception Cards
    If everyone on your guest list is invited to the same celebratory meal, you can feel comfortable about including that information on main invitation. On the other hand, if you're having, say, a kiddush luncheon for some guests, a black-tie party for others and a kids-only party for still others, your best bet is to print separate cards for each party and enclose the relevant cards to each guest along with his or her main invitation. Double- if not triple-check you're enclosing the right cards to the right people or you may create some snafus, like a brigade of grannies arriving at your tweens-only hip hop party.

    Reply Cards
    These are the cards with stamped envelopes that you enclose with your invitation where guests let you know if they're attending or not. We've always found the traditional reply cards, which list nothing more than a space for guests' names and two checkboxes for "Yes" or "No" replies, strangely devoid of emotion. A new trend we're happy to see is one that includes space for the guests to write a message to the B Mitzvah child. An especially adorable trend is a reply card that's an acrostic poem spelling out the B Mitzvah child's name. Here's one example:

    S ara's Bat Mitzvah
    A reply is requested by December 15
    R eally looking forward to attending ________
    A wfully sorry, can't attend _________
    Name _______________

    See more examples.

    CUSTOMIZED BAR BAT MITZVAH INVITATION STAMPS
    They're the best thing since sliced challah: U.S.-post-office-approved customized bar bat mitzvah U.S. postage stamps! Check out eMitz's gallery of beautiful stamps, which we've created in association with Zazzle.com. Our inaugural series celebrates magnificent Torah covers by a quartet of women artists: Suzy Friedman, Ina Golub, Jeanette Kuvin Oren and Anita Rabinoff-Goldman. Our second series is for those who want to use a stamp that references their party theme. and our third is a line of stamps featuring your child's name or initial!



    A nice feature is that you get to order the exact postage rate you need, which is determined by the total weight of your invitation, envelopes and enclosure cards. This way, you use only one stamp, keeping the appearance of your envelope clutter free. You also get to select the size of the stamp design you choose for the best fit on your envelope. Choices range from small (1.8" x 1.3") to medium (2.1" x 1.3") to large (2.5" x 1.5").

    Shop by clicking on a stamp above or by going to the eMitz Stamp Shop at Zazzle.

    STAMP MITZ TIPZ:

  • How many to buy? You need two stamps per mailed invitation: one for the outer envelope and one for the reply card. You'll also need a third stamp for the thank you cards.

  • How many customized stamps? Each custom postage sheet comes with 20 stamps. This means you should buy 10 sheets if you're mailing 100 invitations. Add another 5 sheets if you want matching stamps for the thank you cards.

  • Select the postal rate by weighing your invitation after you've assembled ALL your enclosures: the invitation, the reply card, the reception card(s), any mitzvah project cards, the multiple envelopes and the printed directions to your event's various venues.

    DON'T FORGET:

  • If your party follows immediately after the service and is being held at a separate location, it's your responsibility to transport your child's friends to the second location. The invitation or an enclosure card along with the main invite is the right place to inform the friends' parents of such transportation plans. It's also especially appreciated when you specify a pick-up time for the end of the event. (If you're not sure, know that most parties typically include a one-hour cocktail party followed by a four-hour reception. The trick is to find out exactly what time the synagogue service will end and how long it will take to travel to the second location.) For instance, you can say something like: "Transportation will be provided for Jessica's friends to the reception. Please arrange for a 5:30 p.m. pick-up."

  • If you're planning to address your envelopes with your computer and printer, we've learned the hard way that it's a big time- and mess-saver to have the stationer print your return address on the back of the envelope for you.

  • Consider using eco-friendly invitations that use recycled and tree-free paper. They're particularly great if you're using an environment or nature theme and a great way to put the mitzvah of tikkun olam (repairing the world) into action.





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