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You can have that
fabulous party at
a fraction of the
price by doing
some of the
Special to the Jewish News
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etails matter when plan-
ning an event. But don't
forget to have a good
time. Planning a party
should be fun. Yes, fun. But it can be
exceptionally expensive, time consum-
ing, even scary.
There are very few life-cycle events
we almost always celebrate. Which is
great for me, because I love to enter-
tain. It's ingrained in my nature.
It helps, too, that I grew up in a
home where my parents always
received guests and which gave
my mother a chance to
express her abundant cre-
ativity in decor and food.
One thing my mother
never lacked was a keen
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my mind when-
ever I plan an event, including my
daughter's recent bat mitzvah party.
A bar or bat mitzvah party should
be the easiest affair you'll ever plan.
After all, unlike most events, most
people know years in advance the
exact date of this important rite of
The ceremony is, of course, central.
What comes next can be anything
from a lovely kiddush to a gala. It's all
about celebrating, not the fete itself.
I started planning my daughter
Raquel's bat mitzvah celebration rela-
tively late. About two years before the
event, we received a letter from our
shul. It was time to begin the process,
confirm the date and set up a
We knew we wanted to have a big
party in Raquel's honor, but we
weren't sure where. The Detroit Zoo's
Wildlife Interpretive Gallery (WIG),
known by many as the butterfly
house, seemed a delightful setting
for the party.
Though the venue was
chosen early, the real work
began about six months
before the occasion itself. There
were challenges from the
beginning. The party area
was small. The gallery,
where the party would be
held, accommodates 139 people for a
sit-down dinner. Since our circle of
family and friends is large, it was diffi-
cult to limit our lists.
Raquel wanted to have many of her
friends there. The guest list was enor-
mous. We had to discuss options.
This party would have to be more
informal than what we had in mind.
Though we would provide seating for