Are Bar Mitzvah, or Bat Mitzvah, Costs Getting out of Hand?

Professional party planners have stated that people are spending anywhere from $10,000-$100,000 (and more) on a bar mitzvah (or bat mitzvah). I’ve even heard tales where some bar mitzvahs organizers have flown in top name entertainers. That alone could cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I’ve also heard firsthand, via a florist colleague, that some planners have spent over $50,000 on florals alone.

What Is a Bar Mitzvah, or Bat Mitzvah?

The term “bar” means son and “bat” means daughter in Aramaic. And “mitzvah” means commandment, which refers to the Commandments of the Torah for which a bar or bat must answer in and around the age of 13 (considered the age of commandment).

Planning a Bar Mitzvah

Many parents hosting a bat or bar mitzvah want to make the event a lasting memory for their sons or daughters. And you certainly can’t fault them with that. However many are also feeling the pressure of just how much bar mitzvahs can cost.

Planning a bar mitzvah event can range from a Saturday evening party to a full-blown weekend event. Some of the components in a bar mitzvah budget include:

Friday Night Preservice Dinner – typically arranged for relatives and out-of-towners. Can include restaurant/venues, food and beverage, florist.

The Service – synagogue fee/donation, Rabbi’s fee, yarmulkes and flowers for the synagogue.

The Saturday Afternoon Kiddush – transportation, location venue fee, food and beverage

Saturday Night Party – transportation, venue fee, food and beverage, entertainment

Sunday Brunch – venue rental fee, food and beverage

Additional Items – party planner, bar mitzvah invitations, photographer/videographer, stationary, rental items (tables, chairs, linens etc.), clothing and grooming

Tips on Keeping Bar Mitzvah (Bat Mitzvah) Costs in Check

There are ways to have an outstanding bar mitzvah without having to remortgage the house. There’s nothing wrong with keeping the occasion to the Saturday night party and perhaps have a small brunch for the out-of-town guests. That alone could cut your budget in half. As well, it’s important to outline the budget from the onset. And by that I don’t mean picking a number and hoping that you’re going to stick within it. The budget should be reviewed item by item line and then make sure that potential suppliers understand the budget range. If your house is large enough to accommodate the numbers you’re expecting, consider hiring a caterer instead of going off site to a venue.

And of course use a checklist. You can check out our very own free party planning checklist here. Download it and customize it for your event. And then stick to it. Also, if you’re wondering what size of room you need for your event, you can use our free room capacity calculator to assist.

A bar mitzvah (or bat mitzvah) is an important milestone. It’s only natural that parents want to plan an event that will create lasting memories. I recommend using reputable party planners as they know the suppliers and can make suggestions on where you can cut expenses without it affecting the overall event.

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