Sprucing Up the Modern Simcha

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If the words “kosher catering” conjure up visions of bland and unhealthy food, and memories of bar and bat mitzvahs past still haunt you, remember that planning your upcoming celebration doesn’t have to be a monotonous process full of seen-it-befores or tried-that-onces. With the help of creative kosher catering professionals — or by simply looking within yourself — your special day can be one of a kind.

By including yourself in the process of creating (not just planning) your event, it automatically creates a more personal feeling. One way to do this is by making invitations by hand, which allows control over color scheme, font and design; you can make the invitation an extension of your celebration’s theme or personal interests. Imbuing the invitation with your personal style makes the atmosphere both more memorable and more meaningful.


Rebecca Friedman of Asheville, N.C.-based Farmer’s Daughter Catering suggests crafting your own table centerpieces as a way to infuse personality into the event’s ambiance. She also mentions that many clients want to work with the party planner, rather than allowing the planner to have total control.

Others may break from the traditional style of first having a cocktail hour and then a formal dinner for weddings or from having separate meals for adults and kids.

“When working with a client, I always ask them what they’re envisioning with regard to the flow of the celebration,” says Ellen Vaknine, vice president of sales of marketing for New York City’s Espirit Events kosher caterer.

Even for the parents who do choose to have “kid food,” Vaknine suggests updating the presentation with funky touches. Soup can be served in eggshell bowls, and kebob skewers can be made from bamboo.

Friedman suggests looking into old family recipes that can be used as part of the catering menu. That will create a catering menu that many guests haven’t seen before, and relatives will enjoy the sentiment.

Whether it is through personalizing decorations or bypassing traditional kosher fare, party planning doesn’t have to be dreaded and stressful. With just a little bit of creativity, and by recognizing exactly what you want for your special day, you can make your dream simcha a reality.

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