Bar Mitzvah Guest Etiquette
Whether attending Bar Mitzvahs is routine, or this is your
first, you'll want to make a good impression on your host. After
all, there's more to attending a Bar Mitzvah than getting dressed
up, shedding a few tears, and partying all night long -- you've
got responsibilities too! Here's everything you need to know to
be a great guest.
For Bar Mitzvahs, there's a portion of the event devoted to
special customs, such as dances or religious traditions. If you
intend to join the Bar Mitzvah, you should plan to participate
in all of these customs. It's definitely not kosher to put on
a bored look if you find yourself feeling, well, bored, or to
skip temple and then show up for the food later.
Do Your Homework
If there are any Bar Mitzvah customs you don't understand,
do a little detective work on your own. "Go online, call
up your local temple, or ask your friend to explain the ceremony
to you beforehand," suggests Shawn Rabideau, President of
Event Ergonomics, a New York-based party planning and design company.
"It is respectful and shows that you realize how important
this day is to your host."
Hold Back a Little
Your Bar Mitzvah host will be under a lot of pressure to attend
to every guest, so don't get offended if you only get five minutes
of face time. This is especially important at larger Bar Mitzvahs,
where your host will be responsible for saying gracious hellos
and good-byes to longtime friends and family.
Put Your Host First
Chances are, your Bar Mitzvah host will be nervous about how
the event turns out. She'll be worrying about the food, the weather,
or how to get everyone to dance! Don't add to the stress by voicing
your own concerns about the menu, a hairstyle or outfit that didn't
go well, or a foe who's in attendance. No matter what happens,
it's best to keep your complaints to yourself -- put on a brave
face and keep dancing.
Mind Your Manners
At the Bar Mitzvah, say hello to your host (don't wait until
she comes to you) and try to comment on a specific aspect of the
party that's especially interesting. "Wow, I can tell a lot
of work went into those decorations!" sounds a lot more personal
than "Uh, this is nice." And extend that politeness
to the venue's staff if the Bar Mitzvah is being held outside
the home. Always use "please" and "thank you."
You might think no one notices the little things. Trust us, they
Make a Perfect Exit
When you leave, say good-bye and thank your Bar Mitzvah host.
Didn't have a good time? Remember, it's the thought that counts
-- so keep your opinions to yourself. You don't have to gush about
how wonderful everything was, but something like, "Thank
you for having me -- it was great to be included" is a must.
Being polite is a small price to pay for what will probably be
a fun night out.
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