Your Complete Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Checklist

Stay on track with this timeline of tasks and free bar/bat mitzvah checklist to download.

Diane Hall


Are you ready to start planning a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah? We’re here to help you stay on track with this timeline of tasks to be completed after your child’s date is set. From choosing a theme to booking entertainment to decorating the venue and everything in between, we’ve got all the steps covered. Bookmark this page, download or pin our checklist and copy our free Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Worksheet for easy access and planning on the go.

Here is your complete bar/bat mitzvah planning checklist.

1 - 2 years before

 Set the date
It’s official, your child’s bar/bat mitzvah date is set!

 Start your guest list 
Time to party! Your family and friends can’t wait to celebrate.

 Figure out your budget
Determine what you’re willing to spend and keep track of your spending.

 Research and hire an event planner/designer
It may make sense to hire a pro to help things go smoothly and make your party unique.

 Choose a theme/concept and color scheme
Defining your concept can be really exciting—remember to keep in mind the type of venue you’re thinking of and the season.

 Research and book a venue
Set up appointments with venues on The Bash to tour the facilities. Make sure to compare what each venue includes in their packages.

 Research and hire a photographer
Style, personality, budget and bar/bat mitzvah experience are the most important factors in choosing a photographer.

Photo: Michael Jurick Photography

10 - 12 months before

 Research food menu ideas
Make sure your child’s favourite dish is on the menu.

 Hire a caterer
The way to the heart is through the stomach, right? Ask your caterer for kid-friendly dishes and adults faves, too!

 Research DJs, musicians and entertainment for your reception
DJs, cover bands, variety acts! Look around at the vendors in The Bash directory to get inspired.

 Start collecting guest list information
It’s time to reach out for those addresses, emails and phone numbers.

 Create and order your save the dates
Sometimes people opt to use the same supplier for their invitations—up to you.

Photo: Michael Jurick Photography

7 - 9 months before

 Find a tutor
Let the lessons begin.

 Hire a DJ and musicians
Get ready to hit the dance floor!

 Book entertainment
Make it an epic party to remember. Use The Bash for easy online bookings.

 Research invitation designers
Whether local or online, start looking around to get some ideas—schedule some appointments, too!

 Choose a mitzvah project
Add social action to this rite of passage with a meaningful project.

 Research decorations
Personalize your decorations to make your party feel unique. Brainstorm with an event designer and start pinning!

 Research party rentals like tents, place settings, chairs, photobooths
Make your vision a reality with all the party essentials.

 Research lighting and AV services
Montage, speeches, candle lighting, hora—make all the big moments special!

 Research videographers
Journalistic, cinematic, traditional? There are many videography styles to choose from!

 Send save the dates
Give your guests plenty of notice.

Photo: “Shining Star Mitzvah Invitations by Luckybug Designs at Minted.

4 - 6 months before

 Order invitations
Don’t forget envelopes! Sometimes people opt to use the same designer for their menu and place cards.

 Buy a tallit
Get a tallit bag too for safekeeping.

 Buy a tefillin
Find the best set for your son.

 Buy a gift
Mark the moment with a special keepsake.

 Plan candle lighting ceremony
Who will get to light a candle and in what order? Don’t forget the candles!

 Start researching attire
What will you wear to the ceremony and party?

 Buy decorations
Centerpieces, balloons, flowers, candles—place your orders.

 Book decor rentals
Photo booth, chairs, linens? Time to book!

 Book lighting and AV services
Put a spotlight on all the festivities.

 Book your hair and makeup professionals
Hair stylists and makeup artists professionals can truly bring out the most beautiful you.

 Schedule portrait photo shoot
Mark the occasion with a professional photo shoot of your child.

 Reserve hotel blocks for your out-of-town guests
Make sure to put hotel information in your invitations so guests can stay in the know.

 Finalize food menu
Sit-down meal, chef stations, dessert buffet and food trucks—there are lots of tasty options!

Photo: Michael Jurick Photography

2 - 3 months before

 Address and send your invitations
Set up a system to track RSVPs!

 Confirm meal selections and notify caterer of any food allergies
All your food vendors should be aware of any dietary needs.

 Book a bartending service, if not included in your venue or catering
If you choose to have alcohol, now is the time to hire a bartender and decide on the drink menu.

 Order cake/dessert
Tiered cake, cupcakes, or donuts—you name it, your guests will love it!

 Order party favors
Say thank you to your guests with a unique gift (and even check out DIY options if you’re crafty).

 Buy attire
Find something that makes you look and feel your best (and you can dance in!).

 Write speeches
No pressure here—remember, you’re just reciting these in front of all your family, friends and loved ones.

 Book transportation
Limousine, party bus, ferry? You name it, you can find it in our directory of transportation vendors.

 Plan music playlists
Make sure to send song ideas to your band and/or DJ.

 Purchase your guest book 
Guest books come in all shapes and sizes - find one that’s right for you and your theme.

 Create a seating plan
Allocate your reception space for mingling, dining and dancing.

 Take portrait photos
Smile. These photos will be treasured forever and should be on display at the mitzvah party.

 Create a montage
Time to show off your child’s accomplishments.

Photo: Michael Jurick Photography

1 month before

 Review the guest list and call guests that haven’t RSVP’d
Give them a ring and remind them your big day is coming up.

 Finalize guest list
Notify all your vendors of the guest count and prepare place cards.

 Share the seating plan with your reception venue
Final touches here—as soon as you’re finished, send it to your venue.

 Make sure the speeches are ready
Get ready to make a toast! (Don’t forget tissues).

Photo: Michael Jurick Photography

1 week before

 Finalize transportation
Remember to communicate time, place, vehicles and if there are any guests with special needs.

 Finalize itinerary
Make sure everyone knows what they’re responsible for and the timeline for the big day.

 Confirm details with all your vendors and put tip money aside
Be certain your vendor team is paid in full and don’t forget to have cash on hand to tip.

 Pull together any last-minute essentials
Safety pins, tissue, ibuprofen, a pen and bottled water are just a few suggestions.

1 day before

 Drop off decor to the venue(s)
Drop off place cards, menus, favours, the guest book, and any other items to your venue.

 Mazel Tov! You’re finished. 
Celebrate a job well done and get some rest—you’ve got a big day tomorrow.

Find bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah ideas, venues, suppliers and entertainment on The Bash »

Pro tip:

Access and make your own copy of The Bash's FREE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planning Worksheet to plan your budget and keep track of your progress.