It is a rite of passage when you belong to a large synagogue like I do. Sometime around three years before your child turns thirteen, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to choose what date you would like for your sons Bar Mitzvah or your daughters Bat Mitzvah.
With my older daughter, we were told the date and if there was a conflict, we had to give good reason why we could not hold it on that date. For example, my friend was given April 12th for her sons simcha, but she needed it changed. Her husband is a Certified Public Account with his own firm, and with taxes due on April 15th, he would be missing his son's very special day.
I was fine with the date chosen for my daughter, as it was spring and there was no chance of snow. Since I was given the date over three years out, there was no point in sending out Save the Date cards for her special day. That would come in due time.
With my twins, the system for giving parents the date had changed. We were given a six week window of time to choose which Saturday we wanted. I was so happy to see that their actual 13th birthday was a choice! I selected the date, wrote a letter why that was the only date I would accept, and it is now the day they will both step onto the bimah and chant from the Torah.
Why Send Out Save the Date Cards?
Of course, people whom you see on a regular basis are going to know all about your simcha from your conversations with them. Local family and friends do not need to be sent a reminder card as a visual reminder, but out of town guests do for several reasons.
If a guest requires time to travel, s/he will need to plan on clearing their business calendars to make sure that they are able to attend this Jewish lifecycle event. Making sure no important client meetings conflict with the date, as well as making sure projects are completed before traveling, will insure a more pleasant visit for your guest.
Sending out cards also helps your guests book the best airfare possible. Airline travel is expensive, and unless you have frequent flyer miles to use, the cost of flying can make or break the decision to go to the Bar Mitzvah at all. If a family of four has to buy as many airplane tickets, the best rates have to be made for the purchase. Giving your guests ample time to get a good airline deal helps them to get your special event.
In fact, if you do not notify guests who require air travel, you look like you are gift fishing. Do you really think people can just hop on a plane from across the country with only eight weeks prior notice to attend your child's Bar Mitzvah service? If you really wanted them there, then you would have made sure they received a save the date card months prior to the invitation going out. This happened to a friend of mine and she was so angry. While she could afford the plane fare from the West Coast to the East Coast, but she had no idea about the date as she had not spoken to the mother of the girl in months.
It is not only working people that have to clear their calendars. Families who have children in activities, especially those on competitive or travel teams, need to let coaches know that their child will be missing a game or a competition. If a child cannot miss a competition, then arrangements for their care needs to be made.
When to Send Out Bar Mitzvah Save the Date Cards
As part of the planning, you will need to send out the cards between eight months to one in year in advance. This may seem like a long time, but with today's busy and over committed lifestyle, it is necessary. Below is just one example of how to make one.
Make Your Own Cards and Magnets
If you are cost conscious, then you can make your own cards or magnets with simple kits and the following items. There is nothing wrong about keeping things simple, because after all, as the parent, you have enough on your plate planning the big day. This is a small,but improtant item that needs to be sent out to out of town friends and family.
Bar Mitzvah Save the Date Cards-What Are the Options?
There are many options for Bar Mitzvah save the date cards. First, there is the card itself. Do you want to tie it into your theme if you have already chosen one? It is not necessary, but some people like everything to match.
If you have not selected a theme, then you can tie it in with your child’s interests or hobbies, or even use his or her favorite color.
Do you want to create a photo card? If you do, then you will have to decide if you are going to use one photo or a montage of your child at different stage of life?
Do you want a traditional card with a religious symbol such as a Torah or a Star of David? Or do you want to use a more whimsical design?
Other options for letting people know about your child’s simcha are magnets. Some families like to use these because they will hang on the refrigerator as a reminder until the big day.
Instead of cards that require an envelope, some people send out save the date postcards. These are an inexpensive alternative that serves the same purpose, and also saves on postage.
There are even bookmarks available! For creative people, you can make your own cards and magnets. Kits are available for purchase and you do the rest.
Bar Mitzvah save the date cards are a part of planning your child’s special day. Make sure to end yours out in a timely manner to insure that guests are able to attend.