7thenty-Thuo Wonderful Years Of
Experience From The 'Traditional
To The Glitz.
• Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
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• Calligraphy & Mailings
• Hostess Gifts
• Hand Holding And Smiles
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people just as much through their
knowledge of available resources.
"I try to get people to stop think-
ing traditionally," says West Bloom-
field party planner Dee Dee
Hoffman. After 18 years in the
business, Ms. Hoffman says one
of the most important things she's
learned is where party goers focus
their attention. "You don't have
to do a centerpiece on each kids'
table (at a bar/bat mitzvah). Kids
won't notice details like that. But
plenty of work should go into the
entranceway or foyer — adults re-
Everyone in the party business
seems to be broadening his or her
service base to accommodate cus-
caterer at Adat Shalom Synagogue
along with his son (and the busi-
ness' fourth generation) Jeff; are
open to discussing seating and
wedding rehearsals, but "our main
function, of course, is the service
of the food."
Contrary to popular belief, Mr.
Rosenberg says, kosher cuisine has
grown quite sophisticated and less
expensive over the years. With the
advent of substitutes today, you
can have Chinese foods made
kosher, Italian foods, Caesar salad,
mousses, Jell-0 molds, even mock
shellfish. "It's a long way from
schmaltz, onions and garlic," he
Florists traditionally have been
PHOTO BY DANIEL LIPPM
TH E DET RO
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more involved in
tomers. Take Ms.
Lisa Jackon of West Bloomfield,
Gorelick, for ex-
look at a display.
decor of a party,
for her catering
business, she and her partner, Jeff it comes to choosing colors. At
Swider, will plan an entire event Breath of Spring, owner Bruce
Bolton will provide linens and
if a client so wishes.
They'll coordinate flowers and chair covers as well as handle a
entertainment, and provide a sit- client's rental needs. His staff in-
down dinner for 250, an outdoor cludes artists who create props
barbecue for 60 or a salad for the from foam core, will decorate the
10 guests at your Super Bowl par- rim of the dance floor and search
ty. "If this is how you want it, this for the perfect chuppah — on top
is how we'll do it," she says. "No of designing floral centerpieces,
arrangements for a wedding sanc-
one's tied into my style."
and bouquets for the bridal
Most caterers stick to food and
maybe provide help with deco- party.
"One of the most hidden party
rations. Al Rosenberg, the kosher
* Fix a semi-flexible budget and
decide upon the general aspects of
the event before contacting party
professionals. This makes their job
a whole lot easier.
* Definitely do some research on
your own; know ballpark costs for
things like caterers, flowers and
photographers before approaching
any of these businesses.
* Don't assume whatyou've heard
about prices or styles is true. Check
out your options firsthand.
* There's a difference between so-
liciting facts and advice. Party pro-
fessionals don't mind steering
potential clients in the right direc-
tion, but they do mind giving away
their creative ideas to someone
who's not really interested in their
* Always get referrals from
people who have dealt with
the businesses previously. Be
aware that checking out the
bands and decor at other peo-
ple's weddings can be intru-
sive if you're not dressed
properly or come at the wrong
* Food served to large groups
should remain relatively un-
exotic , since tastes vary so
much. If you're looking for
something different, try a cou-
ple of interesting appetizers.
* Consider that food stations,
as opposed to a sit-down din-
ner, are more conducive to
mingling and meeting new
* If the party becomes too costly,
try cutting the guest list instead of
cutting corners on the food and
* Don't be afraid to try something
wacky at a party for adults. Party
planners generally agree that the
over-30 set enjoys getting to act
like kids for a few hours.
* Do plan in advance. Many pop-
ular florists, photographers, cater-
ers and bands already have
bookings into the year 2000.
* Don't call two separate booking
agencies to inquire about the same
entertainment. If a band, for in-
stance, thinks two hosts are vying
for the same date, it gives the band
leverage to jack up its price.