Gianna’s Bat Mitzvah


Our very first paid event was at a Bat Mitzvah 11 years ago next month.  I can’t tell you how AMAZING it feels to have guests react with the same thrill as they did 11 years ago when they flip through the pages of their own flipbook for the first time.  It seriously gives me butterflies in the pit of my stomach, I’m so happy that they are happy!  From that moment in 2006, PicFlips Flipbooks was the darling of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah World in DFW.  As typical in the mitzvah sphere, entertainment goes in cycles.  Many of our previous guests of honor have graduated from college and some are married now.  Requests are rolling in for flipbooks at DFW Bar and Bat Mitzvahs once again because this next flow of guests have never seen PicFlips at a party.

So when I received the gallery of photos from Gianna’s Bat Mitzvah….I was BLOWN AWAY! There is something so magical and electric about mitzvahs, and Maggie Hargrave of MaggShots Photography captured everything so beautifully!  Maggie and I grew up together at church. She worked for us at PicFlips Flipbooks while going to college, and then pursued her dream of owning a photography business full-time. Maggie is constantly attending conferences, traveling, networking and perfecting her photography skills….and it shows! Gah, her photos are amazing!! It helps when the family she is photographing is gorgeous, which was certainly the case with the Razack family.  A beautiful celebration for an incredible milestone.  Mazel Tov, Gianna!

The pictures here were taken at the party at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.  Feel free to check out more pictures from the whole celebration here…  Thanks for sharing these beautiful shots with us, Maggie!




Awesome, Fun and Just Plain Excellent Bar Mitzvah Themes


The biggest difference in themes between Bar and Bat Mitzvahs that I have seen is that guys’ parties are a little more action-driven.  Check out some of my favorite examples:

Sports theme – We’ve seen sports themes range from basketball and soccer to ping pong and tennis.  I like this range of themes because you can do a lot with the decor and it doesn’t have to be overly extravagant to make an impact.  There is certainly room to make an impact if the desire and budget are there.  We’ve worked at events where the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or the Mavericks Cheerleaders have shown up for a period of time to help the bar mitzvah boy celebrate.  Yeah, that’s always a hit.

Surfer theme – “Catch the Wave at Jonathan’s Bar Mitzvah”….”Surf’s Up, Dude!”….Even in land-locked Dallas, the surfing theme has been a hit because it’s such a fun, active theme.  Surfboards, sharks and sand add interesting elements to the decor.  Tiki hut bars can serve Mai Tais and Pina Coladas to the parents and serve fruity smoothies to the kids.  Djs can add in hula-hoop contests on the dance floor to wear off some of the younger guests’ energy.

Skateboard theme – Edgy, progressive, cool.  This can be a very colorful theme – think bright colors, brick walls and skateboards.  Maybe a lifesize cutout of the bar mitzvah boy with his skateboard.

Music themes – This category also covers a wide range of choices.  A Rock ‘n’ Roll theme is particularly awesome at a House of Blues venue, but can still fit in nicely at any location.  At one of the parties, the bar mitzvah boy was in a band, so his band played a few songs with him doing the lead vocals and guitar (the party was aptly themed, Alex’s Rockin’ World).  The iPod theme has been a big hit lately (iPaul instead of iPod – very clever!).  I just love the iPod ads with the black silhouette of the person listening and a bright color for the background – you could do a lot with that idea.  Or just use the iconic outlines of the iPod in different colors.  (From a marketing standpoint, it’s really impressive that monumental parties in a kid’s life are being themed after a consumer product – Apple should be proud.  I’m sure that back in the day, parties were themed after Atari and Nintendo.  How cool would it have been to have a party themed after Frogger?!…sorry, I digress…and show my age.)  If the bar mitzvah boy is a drummer, you can do a lot of cool things with drum sticks for the decor.  Get a graphic artist to design an image with the teen’s name in front of two crossed drum sticks and carry that design through the whole party – from the invites to the napkins to the flipbook covers.

Movie themes – I just love play-on-words, so I was pretty excited to hear that we would be doing a “Bond Mitzvah” party.  The bar mitzvah boy was introduced to the theme music, of course, and it really revved up the crowd.   You can either recreate the iconic James Bond photos with the gun or the car and use it throughout the night.  (Bonus: Mom and Grandma love to see the bar mitzvah boy look so handsome in a suit!)  There are so many movies to choose from – we’ve even seen a party modeled after Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – complete with a telephone booth!

So, hopefully, we’ve got your mind flowing with themes to fit the bar mitzvah boy’s tastes.  After you decide on the theme and location, call PicFlips or one of our licensees around the country to entertain your guests and give them a custom keepsake to take home.  A big accomplishment deserves a rockin’ party!

Fun, Interesting and Just Plain Cool Bat Mitzvah Themes


We’ve had the privilege of attending many Bat Mitzvah parties with PicFlips flipbooks and have experienced some wonderful themes to the celebrations.  In my opinion, the best themes are a direct reflection of the bat mitzvah girl herself, but here is a good starting point to get your creative juices flowing:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme – Very classy!  Substitute the bat mitzvah girl’s name in place of Tiffany’s (example – Breakfast at Carly’s); use tiffany blue and white color scheme; decorate with diamonds and luxurious textures (Bonus: Work with the photographer to recreate the iconic black-and-white Audrey Hepburn photos with the bat mitzvah girl in Audrey’s place)

Color Schemes – #1 Monochromatic – Shades of the same color family added throughout the party – Simple yet lovely!  One of my favorite examples of this is pink – light pink linens, pops of bright pink flower centerpieces, cotton candy and pink lighting around the room adds drama.  The great thing about this theme is that no matter what shade of pink is chosen for additions to the party, they all blend in.

Color Schemes – #2 Harmonious – No particular method for choosing this color scheme – you don’t have to pull out the color wheel – just go with gorgeous colors that make you happy.  My best area for inspiration?  Wedding websites that talk about fun color combinations.   One of my favorites lately is Michelle Mospen’s My Personal Artist.  I love her inspiration boards and the section at the bottom of the page where she helps you get ideas for your own color combinations.

Beach theme – Definitely a fun, carefree theme!  Use hula girls, seahorses, starfish and sand for decorations; transform the bar into a tiki hut with grass skirting; get guests involved with a casual, beachy dress code – guys can wear hawaiian shirts, ladies can wear sundresses – you provide the leis.  Don’t forget the little umbrellas on all the drinks!

“Sweet” themes – This covers a wide range of ideas – I’ve seen candy themes, sundae themes, M&M themes, Willy Wonka themes, chocolate themes – you name it.  I always enjoy working these events because I have a sweet tooth!  The one issue I have with this theme is that the kids are usually climbing the walls from the sugar rush (don’t say I didn’t warn you!).

Stay tuned for more ideas, and remember that flipbook covers are customized to match any decor!

Fabulous Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tip…


Shawn and Mandi worked at Carly’s Bat Mitzvah this weekend at The Apartment – a classy, swanky, hip venue that’s associated with Todd Events.  It is such an amazing venue that it doesn’t even need much decor added.  If you haven’t checked out the venue or todd.event design.creative services, you’re missing something amazing for your next soiree.  Check out their Ideas tab for inspiration.

One of the elements of the party that stood out to Shawn came when it was time for the montage – the video that showed Carly’s life and accomplishments via photos.  As the kids sat down to watch the montage, they were handed milk and a huge cookie.  Simple but brilliant.  Everyone was quiet, fully focused, and it made the mini-movie that much more enjoyable.  Any time you can create an experience and incorporate multiple senses, the event stays with you longer.

This is also one of the reasons flip books are such a hit at parties.  Guests dress up in feather boas or hats, act out a short skit, watch the video replay on the screen…and less than 90 seconds later, thumb through a flipbook with their video inside.  Instead of simply standing in front of a screen and smiling for a photo, the flip books create an experience.  An experience that many people still have not tried yet, which makes the party stand out even more.

So, next time you are throwing a dinner party with friends or planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration for 200, think about how you can create an experience rather than simply an event.  Appealing to the senses in subtle ways is a great way to make your party different from the next.