bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah planning guide
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Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Wedding Planning and Resource Guide

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Finding the Right Bat Mitzvah Dress
Finding the perfect dress is one of the most exciting parts of a Bat Mitzvah. All eyes will be on the young lady when she takes the next step in her faith. There are many important tips and ideas that can help the shopper to make this purchase go smoothly. First, it is very important to start shopping for the dress six months in advance. Shopping this far in advance will allow you to select something by special order. Also, if your dress needs to be altered, tailoring time needs to be considered. When shopping for dresses, price ranges should be kept in mind. Dresses for this special occasion can be very expensive and the whole event in general can be quite costly. It is important for parents and the daughter to compromise on a reasonable and affordable price limit. The girl should also have a lot of input when it comes to choosing her dress. After all, she is the one who is wearing it and she wants to look beautiful on this extraordinary day. The dress may be the girl’s favorite color or somehow coordinate with the theme and decorations. It is important to remember that this is a special ceremony. Dresses need to be appropriate and branches of Judaism have different specifications for dress codes. Dresses worn in synagogues need to be appropriate for the religious surroundings and the standards of the Congregation. Reform synagogues tend to be more flexible regarding dress codes. For instance, dresses can be knee length and shoulders can be shown. However, for those who are Orthodox, dresses should be full body length and shoulder should not be shown. Shopping for dresses is very exhilarating. There are so many choices to make and options to consider. Make sure your dress reflects both your tastes and the sanctity (or celebratory spirit) of the occasion!
Shopping for the Girl's Bat Mitzvah Dress
By Karen Mazer of Synchronicity Boutique, Pikesville, MD

Young ladies often require three outfits- one for Friday night services, one for their actual Bat Mitzvah, and a third for their party. This is their day to shine. Outfits for the Bat Mitzvah Girl should be special to them - something that they adore and feel beautiful in; however, this doesn't mean that you have to "pay a fortune." Many unique outfits are available "off the rack" at local boutiques. Don't be shy about telling a store if you have a budget. Stores that specialize in Bat Mitzvah fashions can help guide your selections in all of the above areas.

Do not purchase or alter her outfits more than 3 months prior to the event, since sizes can change rapidly for girls this age. If you do buy sooner, make certain to buy a full size larger than needed and wait until closer to your event date to have outfits altered.

Comfort, as well as appropriateness and Synagogue policies are essential in your choice of clothing. Most Synagogues require that shoulders be covered, and that skirts are an appropriate length- this length varies based on the Synagogue, so do check. Avoid scarves and pashmina-style wraps to cover her shoulders if she will be wearing a Tallit - bolero style jackets or light sweaters are much more comfortable. Help your guests by using traditional or very descriptive terms to guide them in how to dress for your reception. Contemporary and novel descriptions like "country club casual" or "party clothes" often frustrate and confuse guests. Also, help your guests by using traditional or very descriptive terms to guide them in how to dress for your reception. Contemporary and novel descriptions like "country club casual" or "party clothes" often frustrate and confuse guests.

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