We decided that it made the most sense to do a kids party and have a kiddish after the Women's Tefilla for our family and friends. At first I was a little uneasy about having two parties because it seemed a little excessive. When I thought about it though, I realized that it was actually the wisest thing to do. R's friends from school live in many different communities and if they came to the leining on Shabbat then we would have had to deal with feeding and putting up all the girls. That would have been a major undertaking both time and money wise.
One of the things that I don't love about Bat Mitzvah parties (and even Shabbat leining) is the emphasis on "The Dress". Bat Mitzvah girls tend to become hyper focused on what they are wearing and so do their guests. It occurred to me that if the girls wore pajamas to the party we could avoid that problem. When I first brought it up R thought that I had lost my mind!
When she brought it up with her friends they all thought it was a fun idea and got really excited about it so we decided that we would have a slumber party theme and the girls would all wear pajamas. I sent a note out with the invitation telling the moms NOT to buy new pajama's for the party. The girls were all so adorable when they showed up in a collection of flannel PJ's, fluffy pants, sweatpants, robes and tee shirts. It was definitely the right move. There was a vibe at the party that would not have existed had the girls all had party dresses on.
Since this was a kid's party the party was all about the kids. We hired a great DJ (he was so much fun!) and gave out fake mustaches (which made for some hilarious pictures) and glow stick necklaces. We also we had airbrush tattoos and a green screen photographer. Since there were only about 60 girls at the party (All the girls in her grade, plus camp and neighborhood friends) the girls got the chance to take a ridiculous amount of pictures and get a ridiculous amount of tattoos! It was a little bit like being let loose in a candy shop.
At each Bat Mitzvah the Bat Mitzvah girl's friends really take the time to make her feel special. There are always personalized songs written, memory bottles made and because this was not on Shabbat the girls also made videos for R that we were able to show at the party. It was so sweet. These girls understand that a Bat Mitzvah really is a significant point in a Torah observant girl's life.
The girls all had a great time and we were so pleased with how the party turned out. T is now excitedly planning for her own pajama party in 2014!
The sign in "pillow" which is now proudly displayed on R's bed
The mandatory chair lift
Hula hoop contest which T won!
The DJ played this hilarious game where the team that put the most blown balloons in the giant tee shirt worn by one of their team members won.
The "Stuffed" Girls
D didn't stop dancing all night
The little ones all had a great time
The only decorations that we had were balloons and center pieces. For the center pieces we filled up small glass vases with pink Hershey's kisses and stuck in hot pink toothbrushes that said "Ravi's Bat Mitzvah Party" in silver on them (those were our giveaways!)
Mandatory Coke and Pepsi game!
Below are some of the green screen shots:
Ah Paris. This one could be my favorite one.
The Cheetah Girls