A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Budget Planning Guide

When planning your son’s Bar Mitzvah party or your daughter’s Bat Mitzvah party, there are strategies to keep yours on a budget.  It is easy for you to get swept up in the Bar Mitzvah party planning and go overboard.  Whether you are trying to keep up with the Goldbergs, or you just want to give your child an over the top affair to celebrate this milestone, it is important not to overdo it to the point where you are paying for the affair a year or more later.

Budget Bar Mitzvah IdeasCredit: www.pixabay.com

When you make your party plan, here are is a list of items you will have to use:

Bar Mitzvah invitations, postage and thank you cards

Party Venue



Band or DJ



New clothes and shoes for everyone

Hair and Nail appointments

Other items that may or may not be needed:Bar Mitzvah Sign in BoardCredit: www.amazon.com

Additional entertainment, such as photo booth, caricaturist, dancers


Giveaways for the dance floor

Here are 13 strategies for keeping the Bar Mitzvah party budget under control.

1. The Guest List

One of the most important ways to get your party budget under control is to create a sensible guest list.  While you do not want to offend anyone by not inviting them, you have to be realistic about what you can actually afford to spend on the party.  How many people you invite dictates how many…

Invitations and thank you cards you order and mail

How many tables you need (more people = more centerpieces)

How many Bar Mitzvah party favors you will order (if you choose to order any)

How many kippot to order

How many service booklets are printed

How many giveaways you need

Creating the perfect guest list is hard, but necessary to move forward with yourplanning once you have the date.

The guest list will also dictate which venue you choose.  Some places have an adult minimum that must be met in order to be booked.  If you do not have that amount of adults, you cannot book that place.

2. Save on the Bar Mitzvah Invitations

Unlike the past, when you had to go to a stationary store or someone’s home who had an invitation business to select your Bar/Bar Mitzvah invitations, the internet is now available.  Dozens of websites carry a vast assortment of designs from which to choose.  You can have a photo invitation, a foldable invitation, a layered invitation…the choices are endless.

Websites also help you with the Bar Mitzvah invitation wording.  It can be significantly cheaper to buy your Bar Mitzvah invitations online.Modern Chestnut Koala Pouch Bar/Bat Mitzvah InvitationCredit: www.amazon.com
3. How to Save Money on Bar Mitzvah Photographers

Hiring a photographer is not an option-you want pictoral memories of your special day.  But do you need a fancy album that will sit in a closet or a untouched on a coffee table gathering dust?  Many photographers are willing to sell you the CD of his pictures and let you create your own album.  With online options such as Snapfish and Mixbook, you can make up your own pictures for a fraction of the cost that a photographer would charge.

Word to the wise…do not let Uncle Morris or artsy cousin Heather take the pictures, even if they are good photographers.  Leave it to the professionals who have backup plans and maintain your family relationship.

Bar Mitzvah CenterpeicesCredit: www.amazon.com
4.  Why Buy Expensive Centerpieces?

Bar Mitzvah centerpieces make a table look gorgeous.  The cost depends on the kind you choose.  Of course, grand centerpieces are what everyone wants, but can you afford it?  Think for a minute…what happens to the centerpieces once the party is over?  They get thrown away or donated.

You can make your own centerpieces to save money, but only choose this option if you have the time and the talent.  Otherwise, it is a good spend to hire this job out.  Businesses who can help you create the perfect one without going over budget.  Simple balloon arrangements in the colors you selected add flair and permit you to see the other guests across the table!

5.  The Giveaways Don't Have to Be Expensive

No longer is a great band or DJ enough to keep the party hopping.  Guests expectBar Mitzvah giveaways, too.  Dancers hand out blinking eyeglasses, inflatable guitars,  funky hats, and other novelties.  While you have to budget for these items, you do not have to break the bank in order to give them out.
Gold And Silver Inflatable Rock Guitar Pkg/12There are plenty of cheap Bar Mitzvah giveaways to be had.  Hawaiian leis, glow necklaces and bracelets, and mini flash lights are cheap items that everyone can have.  The more expensive giveaways-the inflatables, hats and the ones with blinking lights-are not given to everyone.  You can buy a dozen or two of each and whoever gets one, gets one. To be honest, there are many time at the end of the night, the giveaways are left behind, only to be thrown away by the party venue staff.  Why waste your money on these items if you don’t have to?

Glo Sticks Come in Bulk-Kids Love Them!

8" LumiStick Brand Glowsticks Glow Stick Bracelets Mixed Colors (Tube of 100)
Amazon Price: $15.99 $8.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 4, 2015)
When the lights go down, there is nothing more fun than lighting up the dance floor with glo bracelets and glo necklaces. These come in packs of 100, and the price is so great that even the adults can be given their own to wear.

6. Party Favors Are Nice...But They Do Not Have to Cost a Fortune, Either

While our parents did not have to concern themselves with Bar Mitzvah party favors, they are now considered a standard part of Bar Mitzvah planning.  How many you need to order is based on the guest list.  Whether you decide to buy heavy hoodies or less expensive nylon drawstring bags, know that this is a part of the Bar Mitzvah party budget.  

You can make your own music CD based on your party’s theme.  This is a relatively inexpensive Bar Mitzvah party favor, and one that the child can create herself.

Plantable Seed Paper Party Favor

15 Plantable Stars of David Seed Shapes in a Bag
Amazon Price: $7.50 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 4, 2015)
If you wish to give out party favors that have significance and meaning, these Jewish star papers fit the bill. These can be given to adults as a way of saying thank you for coming and helping us celebrate.

7. Clothing Should Make You Look Good...and Your Wallet, Too

It is important to look and feel good at your child’s simcha.  How much you decide to spend on your clothing is highly personal.  Do you need an eight hundred dollar dress that you will wear once, or will a less expensive alternative do?  You son’s new suit and husband’s new suit can be worn over and over again, but will your  daughter’s Bat Mitzvah dress?  

Six More Ways to Save on Your Bar Mitzvah Budget

8.  Skip the video montage...most people get bored after the first two minutes, anyway.

9.  Do not make a bathroom basket of things to use.  The young guests take the stuff and the adults never get to use what you put in there.

10.  Use old school foldable table cards and skip the fancy schmacy holders that no one wants or needs.

11. Make a scrapbook instead of a sign in board.  What are you going to do with a giant poster of your child?

12. Have a brunch and not a lunch or dinner.  That will save you big bucks!

13. Buy thank you cards that do not match the invitations.  No one says they have to!

A Realistic Party Planning Guide

How to Plan a Bar/Bat Mitzvah A Realistic Guide for Planning Your Child's Special Day
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jun 4, 2015)
I wrote this book based on my own experiences. I wish I had a guide like this the first time around! It tells the reader many ways to save both time and money.

A Bar Mitzvah party has many different strategies where you can stay on your budget.  When the party is over and the monogrammed bathroom towels are long gone, what parts of the party matter most?  It’s the ones that you will keep forever.