A Record Hop is sort of like a “kids only” party to celebrate a First Holy Communion or a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. If it is for a girl it can be very much like a Sweet Sixteen (particularly in the case of a Bat Mitzvah, being somewhat older than Communion age). In either case, the kid party can be as big or as little as the imagined concept (and budget) allow. In this particular instance, it was a Bat Mitzvah Record Hop, with really creative ideas, that allowed a larger production to be created, while staying within a budget. Before you read further – if you haven’t already – you might want to check out the first two parts of the Jordyn’s Record Hop trilogy.
Jordyn’s parents made some very clever and strategic decisions when it came to planning their daughter’s party. First and foremost they concentrated on the theme, while keeping budget conscious. They chose a large, yet reasonably priced facility (The Richboro Senior Center), and through the help of their event planner, were able to achieve a very cool and hip atmosphere that really gave it an authentic “clubby” feel. After that, the only things really left were the DJ entertainment and the food.
As the guests arrived, the “bouncers” checked IDs (of which, thirteen year olds seldom have, which added to the silly fun) before being admitted into Jordyn’s exclusive “Club”. Once inside, they were treated lighting, DJ and music, a trendy club/lounge atmosphere and some great kids food and drink.
As you can tell by the photos, what was a fairly utilitarian space was completely transformed, from concept to completion. Lighting, DJ, atmosphere and a little creative juice (in addition to some great input from Jordyn) were all that were required to pull the whole thing together.
Event planner – Renee from Events by Monroe: Jason and Wendy has the foresight to choose a planner for the event. To bring together the theme, the ideas and concepts needed action, and Renee had resources for things I would have never imagined. Neon Lycra covered high-top style tables, cool hanging globes, dimly lit centerpiece lighting on the tables and a red carpet with velvet ropes are just a few of the thematic touches that I would have very little idea as to where to begin finding, much less finding while staying within a budget. Renee and her assistant stayed the whole night to oversee that everything was maintained, while serving cleverly named mixed drinks (non-alcoholic of course), that were not limited to the typical Shirley Temple (a personal favorite of mine). The time and money saved by using a planner typically far outweighs the cost of the planner themselves.
Food/Caterer – The Gourmet Vendor: For many years Brad Orenstein’s “Gourmet Vendor” has been a favorite of mine. Although they call themselves a “Hot Dog Cart” company, they are not only that (and the best around), but they really offer a whole lot more. Pizza, cheese steaks, cotton candy and ice cream are just a few of the food options on their menu. Great for corporate picnics, backyard parties, and, of course, kids parties (most kids would choose pizza and hot dogs over “fancy food” any day of the week. Additionally, Gourmet Vendor staffs their food carts, serving the food (hot or cold) as opposed to the mess of self-serve. And unlike the so called “fancy food”, Gourmet Vendor’s prices are affordable, and even adding on menu options still stays within a very reasonable budget with excellent service.
DJ and Lights – Cutting Edge Entertainment: That’s us! Yes, this was a more expensive setup on our end (lots and lots of lights), and would have otherwise been a larger portion of the total budget for a production of this size, but as The Beatles say, “You get by with a little help from your friends” (let’s just say Jordyn’s father is a good friend 🙂 ). Seeing the smile on Jordyn’s face all night long was our reward. She is a gracious and beautiful young woman, and was a delight to work with. Quite honestly, if her parents were to come to us in three years to help plan her Sweet 16, we would be hard pressed to top this one.
Photos courtesy of Photographer Erin Duffy