It is always an honor to have the opportunity to connect with a client and develop a friendship that continues for years. I first met Stephanie and Steve Ettman when we coordinated their oldest daughter, Cassie’s, Bat Mitzvah in Virginia Beach. So when I got the call a few years later that it was time for Lexi’s Bat Mitzvah, I was thrilled to travel to NJ to take care of it. It was great to have the chance to work with them again, but it was wonderful to see them all again!
All the planning in the world couldn’t have prepared us for what was about to happen on the New Jersey island that weekend in October. But the professionalism and flexibility of everyone involved made one of the most fun and exciting Bat Mitzvah’s in history. When having an outside event, you always check the weather hundreds of times throughout the week prior to the event. In the beginning, it looked great, but then the news came in. The island would be hit not only by a Noreaster, but a second storm would clash with the system the weekend of the event. Good thing we had a tent right? Ocean Tents and Party Rentals had provided us with a fabulous tent that would withstand the winds and provide us with the protection we would need throughout the evening. They would also be sure to warm our space up with the heating units that we added on when temperatures were destined to drop below 40 degrees. No problems!! Until the fire marshall showed up.
They were convinced that the bay side waters would rise during the storms and informed us that our tent would become part of the bay mid way through the event. The waters were expected to rise and enter 1/2 of our tent. The day of the event, about 4 hours from start time, no possible way to move the tent to a safe location. In minutes, the entire floor plan changed. If it weren’t for the cooperation, extreme professionalism, and calm demeanor of everyone involved, it wouldn’t have worked. But it did! Signature Creations Catering and their staff got to work quickly to setup the new location of everything, making everything work. They provided a fantastic “Streets of New York” themed experience. Hot dog push carts, sushi carts, Little Italy, Lower East Side Kosher Station, China Town, Fulton Fish Market, and more. The tent that we had available was transformed into New York City. Street lights, authentic decor, real push carts and more. It was amazing!
Entertainment was provided by Stewart Balshem and I’ve never seen kids have so much fun. The dance floor had trimmed down in size with the new location of everything and there were obstacles for Stewart to overcome, but he did. Toys, giveaways, dancing, singing, the kids only left the dance floor to get drinks and for dessert. He kept everyone moving and grooving and there was no thought of the storms outside.
Kids of all ages had a great time squeezing into the photo booth by East Coast Photo Booth. I think we had 15 kids in there at one point. It was great for them to have the photo memories as well as Lexi having copies of all those photos.
The party was originally setup downstairs with a “getaway” lounge area upstairs for the adults, through all of it’s reorganizing, the adults ended up upstairs, with easy access to move downstairs and join the excitement if they chose to. But that didn’t hinder our videographer or photographer from capturing the entire event. Dave Williams from D Videography and Laura Smulktis of Legacy Photography did a fabulous job being in two locations at once. A very special thank you to Laura of Legacy Photography for providing the great shots of Lexi’s Bat Mitzvah. Take a look at all the fun!
A very special thanks to everyone involved! Without each of you, this event wouldn’t have been as fantastic as it was!
Congratulations Lexi, I hope you have the fondest memories.
Stephanie your fabulous and I miss you! I can’t wait for the girls weddings!!!!!
Andrea/Cloud Nine Events