Features Industry Profiles

September 30, 2019 •
An Event to Remember

When the mother is in stationery, the daughter’s milestone will be most memorable!

Confession time: I began planning my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah before I even met my husband. Starting in 1998, every time I’d walk National Stationery Show (NSS), I quietly envisioned the event as I perused albums, imagining which suite would be the one to announce my imaginary child’s imaginary Bat Mitzvah.

Eventually I began planning the actual Bat Mitzvah of my real daughter, Veronica. And while the invitation was important, this was just one element among many! “Focus on the ceremony, not the party,” parents were urged at our temple’s B’nai Mitzvah Planning workshop, and by the time the party ended, I completely agreed.

Veronica strikes a pose with her guests, many wearing their sweatshirt favors. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Glorioso Photography
Veronica strikes a pose with her guests, many wearing their sweatshirt favors. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Glorioso Photography

Veronica’s Bat Mitzvah culminated not just years of religious school, but six months of private tutoring — and lots of practice! In order to assume adult Jewish duties, the Bat Mitzvah leads the service by reciting and chanting Hebrew from the Torah (where it’s written without vowels!) and Haftorah, aided by a rabbi and cantor. And because Veronica’s Bat Mitzvah was on her 13th birthday, she could (and did) accurately say on June 29, 2019, “Today, I’m an American teenager and a Jewish adult.”

B’nai Mitzvah themes like basketball or dance are common, but I liked the idea of “branding” the event much like our bridal counterparts. So my first major design task was getting Leslie Chalfont at giddy paperie to create a watercolor logo.

We integrated Veronica’s favorite things — pastels, figure skating, roller coasters and our much-adored dog Scout. Our temple requires every Bat Mitzvah to do a Mitzvah project, volunteering or fundraising for an organization that speaks to them. This ties the larger concept Tikkun Olam, or fixing the world — and simultaneously allows us to share our happiness with others. Veronica selected Canine Lifeline, which rescues and provides medical care to dogs, so Scout’s presence echoed her efforts.

We used the logo everywhere. Our guests first saw it letterpressed in black and white by Piggyback Press, but it was artfully placed throughout the invitation suite in full color. While the technical aspects of the invitation were beguiling — classic Crane styling and papers, edge painting, rose gold foil, lined envelopes, and lots and lots of letterpress in mulberry ink — it was the artful design of Elizabeth Grace’s Laura Manteuffel that made it such a showstopper!

My husband Rick grabbed a quick family hug at the party.

Once those were mailed, I focused on all the many, many other moving parts. There were custom yalmulkes (skullcaps) to order, a program and a speech to Veronica to write, family members to recruit and prep for the ceremony — as well as endless party details. I’m so glad I took my time interviewing party planners, caterers, DJs and photographers to get the right, reliable fit. Especially since the Saturday festivities were just a part of it all; our celebration actually began with a Shabbat dinner Friday night, thrown by my Mom and in-laws, and ended with an informal, Open House-style Sunday brunch at our house.

We wish her good luck before the service.

In the end, it was an amazing weekend my family will never, ever forget. Veronica led the service beautifully, and our 100+ guests are still raving about various elements! I also gained valuable insights into throwing an event, so I’ll close by reminding every event professional reading this: You are an incredibly important partner in the party process. So the next time a stressed-out mom saunters in, take as much off her plate as you can, and she’ll forever appreciate you! You may even want to remind her — as Laura did as I was panicking over some detail now long forgotten — that this should be a happy time. Let the professionals do their jobs, and try to enjoy the process!


Designed with care by Laura Manteuffel of Elizabeth Grace and meticulously printed by Crane, the invitation was letterpressed in mulberry ink, foiled in rose gold and edge painted in navy. A ribbon with Veronica’s logo held everything together, and finishing touches included lined envelopes, vintage stamps and rose gold calligraphy.
Like her Mom, Veronica prefers the ease of correspondence cards over the formality of folded notes. Her thank-yous were designed by Laura Manteuffel of Elizabeth Grace and printed by Crane.

Party Planners

I am still in awe of the industry talent who helped set the scene at our simcha (joyous occasion) — and I will be forever grateful. Thank you!

Leslie Chalfont, giddy paperie: Logo

Tal Shpantzer, Talfoto: Bat Mitvah Portraits

Emily LaHue: Save the Date and invitation calligraphy

Bonnie Marcus, Bonnie Marcus Collection: Custom signboard

Tal Shpantzer of Talfoto shot several portraits of Veronica with My Mind’s Eye paper fans as backdrops. These were mounted on foam core and displayed throughout alongside more My Mind’s Eye fans and flowers crafted from Paper Source and Echo Park Paper kits. Photograph courtesy of Elizabeth Glorioso Photography

Laura Manteuffel, Elizabeth Grace: Invitation design, assembly, stamping and mailing, photography, unlimited hand-holding

Crane: Letterpressed, edge-painted, rose gold foiled invitation suite with lined envelope

Underwood Letterpress: vintage stamps for invitations

My Mind’s Eye: Fans for photo shoot and party décor; light-up straws

Carlson Craft: Custom Napkins and coasters

Carlson Craft napkins
Coasters and napkins were printed by Carlson Craft.

Carlson Craft Coasters


COSCO: custom stamp for chocolate fountain take-out boxes

PaperSource: DIY Paper flowers

Echo Park Paper: DIY Paper flowers

Piggyback Press: Letterpressed Save the Dates

Rifle Paper Co: Napkins, place cards (Sunday Brunch)

Mud Pie: Platters, glass beverage dispenser, silverware dispenser (Sunday Brunch)

Hester & Cook: Table runner (Sunday Brunch)

Sandy’s Party Bags: custom goodie bags for out-of-towners

Valley Cruise Press: “Greetings from Cleveland” custom enamel pins for goodie bags

Photo Gallery

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