I was so honored to be part of Lena’s Thanksgiving bat mitzvah weekend. It was a beautiful three part affair including a minyan service on Thanksgiving, family and close friends for Shabbat dinner and an adorable party on Saturday night at the Bethesda Hyatt. The celebration started with the service where Lena read from the Torah. Usually that’s not allowed to be photographed at a conservative temple but since it was a Thursday I was allowed in. It was just family there and yes, it was early on Thanksgiving morning but it made for some wonderful moments. It was a gorgeous sunny day and after the service we went outside to have do some portraits. It was such a blast to have a willing subject. Mitzvahs are tricky in that 13 can be a tough age for kids to be comfortable a) being the center of attention and b) being natural in front of the camera. Lena was a natural. She knew how to pose and how she wanted to look in the photos. And she loved the portrait process! We did sessions in each of the four dresses she wore over the long weekend–each one sweeter than the next. Friday night dinner was held at home–again just close friends a family. The highlight for me was the lighting of the Shabbat candles with Lena and her mom Aliza, a dear friend of mine. And finally, the party Saturday night. I love doing mitzvahs at the Bethesda Hyatt and not just because you can park right next to the ballroom (such a bonus for schlepping equipment in). It feels like you’ve got the whole place to yourself and Aliza and Lena did a fabulous job turning the ballroom in to a bright pink and orange chic yet girly space. The party was great fun and a particular shout out to NYX Events for their great DJs…and not just because I’m using them for my son’s bar mitzvah in November. OK, maybe I’ve got a bias but they really do a great job including both the kids and the parents in the fun!
Service: Ohr Kodesh Congregation 301.589.3880
Party: Bethesda Hyatt 301.657.1234
Flowers: Edge Flowers 301.330.5232
DJ: NYX Events 301.984.0500