Recently, we planned our first virtual Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Given the current unprecedented circumstances, children unfortunately cannot celebrate their special occasions in the most traditional or conventional ways. New social limitations, however, invite a higher level of creativity that we must adopt. We were very skeptical about transitioning to planning a ceremony virtually, but in our heart we wanted to make this a memorable and special event, no different than any past Events-4Life celebrations. We wanted to take on the challenge.
Our goal was to ensure Yvonne received the experience that she deserved as a 12 year old in Judaism. We called Yvonne's father, he was thrilled to meet and listen tot he alternative options we had to offer. Next, we contacted all the vendors in order to brainstorm creative ideas and solutions. Purchasing supplies in person or online was nearly impossible. Another challenge was to find a solution for the many personalized Kippahs that were originally ordered for the in person celebration. We ultimately came up with the idea of creating Yvonne's Hebrew name out of it. The name in English was ideal to create out of wood, but we did not have enough time to order it, so we created her name out of foam board and silver shiny vinyl.
Our team partnered with Ana, a florist from Distinctive Design, who volunteered to create a beautiful blue and white flower arrangement for the main table. Events-4Life also collaborated with Michelle Shriki and Eugenia Art, make-up and hair artists, who went above and beyond and even started working at 5AM on the day of the Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
On the day of the ceremony I was able to watch Yvonne perform and see the smile on her face as over 100 people participated through Zoom and 10 different countries. During her Alia la Torah (the stage when a person reads from the Old Testament scrolls in a jewish ceremony), light rays stroke her face. This was a picture that was worth a thousand words. She was not at the synagogue, but God's presence was truly felt. Observing the ceremony and Yvonne's unique experience gave me affirmation that we had achieved a goal. Although this experience was new, challenging, and time consuming, it was very well worth it, as every child deserves to celebrate their milestones in a special way. We all worked as a team, taking into consideration social distancing, using masks, and making everyone feel comfortable and safe as suggested by CDC guidelines.
We are sharing our story with you in order to encourage you to continue planning your events. As an event planner, my role is to re-invent the industry and educate clients under these new circumstances. the celebrations will be smaller in scale, but they will still be emotional and special. Everything is possible, just in a different way.
To provide you with an idea of the details that were taking into consideration in the COVID-19 circumstance, the following summary lists some of the challenges we faced when we put the ceremony together.
After the ceremony, Yvonne returned to her home studies. I really wanted to spoil her and continue her celebration. During the day she got two deliveries, her favorite drink- bubble tea, and a beautiful cake stand with cupcakes, cake pops, macaroons and much more. Her huge smile and happiness were truly satisfying and joyful. Although this experience was new, challenging, and time consuming, it was very well worth it, as every child deserves to celebrate their milestones in a special way. We all worked as a team, taking into consideration all the restrictions; social distancing, using masks and making sure everything was as clean as possible.
I am sharing my story to you in order to encourage other families to continue planning their kids’ ceremonies. Don’t hesitate, god-willing we can still celebrate our loved ones with a big party in the near future, and we can still be creative and put something fun together that can still be safe. On a personal level as an event planner, my role is to re-invent the industry and educate clients under these new circumstances. Everything is possible but in a different way. It is complicated, and the celebrations will be smaller in scale, but they will still be emotional and special. We must go above and beyond, every child deserves it.