Budgeting for your Bar MitzvahIf at just the thought of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah party expenses you break into a nervous sweat – you’re not alone!  According to partyspot.com, the average person spends around $9500 on a Bar or Bat Mitzvah party, which is not to be scoffed at.  At  YourJewishSpeech.com we want to help our readers cut the unnecessary costs, so you can invest money in the most important aspects of your party.

So here is what we’ve come up with:

  • Trim Your Guest List – we know that it’s tempting to invite anyone that you ever talked to, but less guests means less money.
  • It’s all about timing – Saturday night is the most expensive night to celebrate. Many service providers and vendors charge extra, so to keep costs down, go for a week night or day party.
  • Bar/Bat  Mitzvah D.I.Y. – certain aspects of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah can be DIY’ed – for example décor, center pieces and party favors.  If you are somewhat creative, or have a friend or family member that can help you, you may want to research your options!
  • Inclusive location – the more party details you have to deal with yourself, the more expensive it will probably be.  Try and choose a location that can provide as many of your needs as possible, so you don’t have to rent or buy from another provider.  For example many halls have in-house caterers who will be less expensive than an external one.  You don’t want to rent chairs, crockery, silverware – try and get a location that has them.  Often your location has connections with providers who will give you special rates.
  • Two for the price of one – if you ordered a floral arrangement or decor for the synagogue on Saturday morning, plan use it at the party location also.
  • Prioritize – make a list of everything that you ever wanted in your dream Bar Mitzvah celebration.  Then make a star next to the items that you just can’t live without.  You may find that you can’t live without the dry ice smoke machine, but the pop corn and cotton candy vendors now seem “optional” (or visa versa).

Remember – there will be items that are very important to you, don’t cut corners when it come to those things.  For example, your 15 year old nephew may only charge $100 for taking charge of bar mitzvah photographs..


  • ..but it is worth being on the safe side and investing in a great photographer.

I'm a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Parent Facebook groupThe wonderful and helpful readers from our Facebook page I’m a Bar Mitzvah Parent – Give Me a Break have come up with some more good ideas, this is what they said:

Julian: “Create your own invitation or get it created by someone but then send it to your friends and family abroad by email only.”

Haddassah: “Print invitations on your printer at home, my sister is a graphic designer so she made us something really pretty. We printed it out on nice thick-ish paper for our local guests and emailed copies (pdf) to friends overseas. Use a DIY playlist for the music, make your own powerpoint presentation (no one cares if it’s not professional looking.)”

Alana: “Here’s a tip about surviving the expense of all the other bar/bat mitzvot of the year group: My girls’ class parents got together and decided that, instead of each kid buying a present for every other kid’s bat mitzvah (which can turn out very costly when you have 37 in the class!), we each contributed a certain amount at the beginning of the year. Each kid could then choose one out of 5 presents that would be given to them on behalf of the classmates. I think our choices were machzorim, voucher from Magnolia, voucher for bed linen, sleeping bag and camping stuff and something else I forget. All parents have to agree though not to buy extra presents for their kid’s friend’s celebrations.”

Daniel: “You can cut costs by doing DIY centerpieces! You can use colored stones in wine glasses from IKEA, or go get some ideas at a craft or dollar store, or buy seasonal plants that people can take home, you can probably google it for more ideas…”

Ellen: “Consider a Destination Bar/Bat Mitzvah for your family & friends.
Your celebration can be so much more casual with less hassle and expense than an event at home…vacation is included!”

Julia: “A huge way to cut your costs is to revisit your guest list.  Less guests is less money.”

So there’s some fantastic Bar Mitzvah party budgeting tips from YJS and our FB friends, do you have any more to share?

If you found these ideas helpful, please feel free to “share” or “like” it!