Bat/Bar Mitzvah Planning Timetable


Checklist* and Timetable



12-18 Months
  • Discuss the framework/style for a celebration that suits your family.
10-15 Months
  • Research providers for the key services you will need, such as entertainers, caterers, photographer and/or videographer and venues.
8-14 Months
  • Secure providers of the key services you will need such as: entertainers, caterers, photographer and/or videographer and venues.

Almost all will require non-refundable deposits.

6-10 Months
  • Discuss themes for your reception, color schemes and a community service project that will be meaningful.
  • Discuss if you will present your child with specific religious accessories.
  • Arrange for out-of-town guest accommodations.
4-8 Months
  • Develop a guest list with current addresses.
  • Design and order invitations and thank you notes.
  • Consider centerpieces for tables, other decorations, party favors, napkins, sign-in books/boards, and candle-lighting ceremony.
  • Discuss menus with caterers.
  • Consider transportation needs for out-of-town guests and unescorted minors to afternoon receptions.
  • Secure florist and secondary entertainment.
3-6 Months
  • Finalize decisions regarding: centerpieces, party favors, napkins, sign-in books/boards, candle lighting, menus, decorations, religious accessories, and transportation needs.
  • Announcements in synagogue bulletin, Jewish World.
6 wks-2 Months
  • Mail invitations.
  • Coordinate reception providers, such as entertainers, caterers, etc., to ensure that all timetables match.
  • Develop a timetable for your reception that includes formalities, entertainment, and food service.
  • Arrange for a “hotel” welcome for out-of-town guests that could include itinerary, directions, brochure of things to do, and treats.
3-4 weeks
  • Reconfirm all service providers.
  • Call guests who have not responded.
  • Develop seating plan.
4-10 days
  • Confirm final guest count with caterer.
  • Adjust seating arrangements as necessary.
  • Pack an “emergency kit.” Consider including thread & needle, refresher for make-up, hairbrush, stockings, etc.

*This checklist is meant to serve as a guide for the different elements you should consider (to include or exclude) as you plan your celebration.

Suggested reading: Putting God on the Guest List Rabbi - Jeffrey Salkin