New York City's Elite Pay 6-Figures For Over-The-Top Bar Mitzvahs
After the ceremony, it's time to party.
Some of the most lavish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs of New York City's elite run 6-figure budgets with celebrity performers. Behind the scenes, event planning company Gourmet Advisory pulls out all the stops for these NYC bashes. Its president, Harriette Rose Katz, once dubbed the "Bar Mitzvah Queen of New York," has been throwing the parties for 36 years.Katz talked to Business Insider about everything that goes into planning these lavish events.
She says one of the main changes over the years is that today it's "all about the kids." In the past, the celebrations were more formal with separate rooms for children and adults. But today, every parties together in one "multi-generational," inclusive shindig.
Another trend is the whole family acting in mini movies that are projected in a short video to the crowd. Katz says it's popular for parents to write scripts that mimic TV shows like Modern Family or Family Guy that include the children and grandparents. The family then works with Gourmet Advisory's producers to film the sketch and project it on the big screen at the party.
Entertainment-wise, there are plenty of magicians, casino tables, video games, and jewelry making -- and even celebrity performances. "We've had celebrity performers," Katz said. "Not my favorite thing to do for a Bar Mitzvah, but the kids love these crazy entertainers and singers."And some crazy entrances: "I had one boy who wanted to arrive on the Intrepid by helicopter. And I said no, I wouldn't do. It was too nerve wrecking, too scary for me. He had a Hawaiian theme at Pier 60, and he came in on a mechanical tiger."
And if you want to party like a NYC Jewish teen, plan ahead. Katz said that most of her clients come to her when they get their Bar Mitzvah dates - three years in advance.