While our weddings deservedly take up a great deal of air time, there is quite a lot more to our repertoire than nuptials alone. Our corporate events, for one, are anything but business as usual, and our social celebrations and galas tend to raise both eyebrows and the bar.
But what is perhaps the most uncharted arena of our operation is the sometimes whimsical, often fanciful, always original world of Mitzvahs. Although signifying the entrance of a Jewish child into adulthood, these celebrations are anything but juvenile. In his 25+ years in events, Senior Event Designer Burt Rubenstein has designed around 250 Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, and notes that although the celebrations are for young adults, parents absolutely count on an affair that will delight and entertain their adult guests as well.
We caught up with Burt, Bill Heffernan and Rishi Patel to learn a bit more about the wonderful world of Mitzvah design.
The incredibly prop-focused, highly-custom, extremely imaginative cousin to weddings, Mitzvahs provide ample opportunities for our graphic, art, and design teams to shine. With a desired theme as a springboard, these celebrations feature more art-related projects than any of the other types of events we produce. “The artwork needs to be highly original in every respect,” says Creative Director Bill Heffernan. “So it’s both fully customized to the teen and applicable to myriad different design elements.”
Coaxing and cultivating a teen’s chosen theme can often be a challenge. “You have to consistently stay on edge with what’s the latest and greatest in the eyes of a thirteen year old,” says Rishi Patel, Vice President of Sales & Design.
As teens often follow the herd, the challenge often lies in keeping it fresh. “There is a heightened want for individuality,” notes Burt, which can be a challenge when many themes are reiterative: basketball, love, modeling. Thus, every team working on mitzvah design has to keep inventiveness at the forefront. “The next should never resemble the last,” adds Rishi.
Always a popular theme, see how basketball changes through the years, from the 1980’s through the present:
Once arriving at a theme, though, what follows is a truly pleasurable challenge for all teams involved. “Playing with the theme is the most fun,” notes Burt, “as there are so many more opportunities (for the client) to express themselves.”
Where weddings often strive for timelessness, regardless of the style, Mitzvahs embrace the trends and whims of pop culture. In that regard, they are far more uninhibited, offering the ability to adapt art and graphic in mediums and ways that are otherwise not explored:
LARGE-FORMAT GRAPHIC APPLIQUES FOR BACKDROPS AND DANCEFLOORS:
ARTISTIC ORNAMENTATION IN CENTERPIECE DESIGN:
TABLETOP & BAR GRAPHICS, ETCHING, CEILING DECOR AND PROP LIGHTING (CLICK THE ARROWS BELOW TO SCROLL THROUGH IMAGES):
Perhaps it is this unrestricted liberty in design that makes mitzvahs so much fun. But that’s not to say that discernment and attention to detail go out the window. Quite the contrary.
“Just because it’s a kid’s party, it should still feel very edited and elegant,” adds Rishi. “Any good party should.”
Special thanks to Burt, Bill and Rishi for their designs and contributions, to our amazingly talented Art & Graphics teams for bringing it all to life, to our fabulous clients for trusting us with their ideas, and to all of our vendor partners who make these events so spectacular.