Rosie Leigh is an Events Manager at Merlin Events London. On event night, she heads up the dedicated team responsible to deliver the evening’s proceedings. Here’s her take on a recent event – a Madame Tussauds Bar Mitzvah.
One of the main challenges of organising a Bar Mitzvah is getting it absolutely perfect for the client. These events are all about coming of age and will probably be one of the biggest events in a Jewish person’s life, so getting it right is crucial.
The Bar Mitzvah planning process usually starts years in advance and this particular enquiry came to me back in July 2016. Our team sent the client a proposal for their event first of all, shortly followed by them booking in a show round of the venue. Our general manager met with the client at Madame Tussauds to show them how their son’s Bar Mitzvah would come to life, and from there on, the client gladly confirmed the event!
Next comes the exciting part where as an event manager, I can start planning the fun bits! I work with The Events Factory who are Bar Mitzvah specialists and fantastic entertainment providers. Our head of events, Sam, was the main contact for this particular client and had a few meetings with them to find out exactly what they wanted and what the Bar Mitzvah boy himself wanted for his big day! They decided upon some great additional entertainment including our exciting 4D Marvel show, a roaming magician, dancers to lead the Israeli dancing, a shot girl (for the adults, of course!), a juggler and a photo booth! So it’s safe to say this event was jam-packed with fun things for all of the guests. The guests were also to be entertained by their very own MC and DJ for the evening as well as some special speeches from family and friends (including a rapping auntie!).
To ensure all of the finer details of the event have been considered is a must, and therefore the pre-event management is the most challenging part of planning a Bar Mitzvah. If the planning is thorough, then the event will run smoothly on the night!
As well as choosing the right entertainment, another big part of the event is picking the right food. Traditionally, a lot of Bar Mitzvahs would require fully kosher catering from us as their guests would be strictly kosher, and some still do, however the client for this event was more flexible and relaxed about the catering. I worked with our preferred supplier, Food by Dish, who provided tailored catering to the tastes of the family and their guests. To prepare for the event, I organised a tasting for the client to ensure the food would be exactly what they’re looking for; and indeed it was! With Sushi starters as the bar mitzvah boy’s favourite cuisine through to a delightful fish main course to suit the adult’s tastes and a Knickerbocker Glory station for dessert, which as you can imagine, was a huge hit with the children!
What our client said:
“Food by Dish – we were so pleased with all the food and drinks, everything was so smooth and slick, your staff were all excellent, everything tasted great and really worked well! So many people commented on how nice the food was.”
On the Night
Managing a bar mitzvah on the night is one of the most fun things you can do as an event manager! Working with Sam throughout the planning process was really interesting and to see it all come to life on the night was incredible.
Bar Mitzvahs are very different to the kind of event I usually plan here at Merlin, and if you haven’t seen one before it truly is something special. The part that stood out for me the most was the traditional dancing. Seeing every single guest in the venue up on the dance floor joining in with the iconic chair lifting and dancing before the main course had even been served really brought a sense of fun and a feeling of community amongst the guests. I had a huge smile on my face for the whole evening; I could have watched them all night! I can’t wait to plan the next one!
What our client said:
“We were so pleased with how it went, we absolutely loved it, and so many of our friends have commented on how it was one of/the best parties they have ever been to!
Everything went extremely well and was really slick.
Rosie we really appreciated your organisation and help on event night and throughout the whole process and we felt so comfortable that everything was fully under control.”
If you’re interested in holding a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, send us an enquiry we’ll get a quote to you within 4 hours.