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Bar & Bat Mitzvah Invitation Etiquette

Our professional Consultants are trained to assist you with etiquette, item selection, wording, ink color, font and envelope lining selection. We work closely with our customers on their orders for both personal and corporate / organization events. Through the years, our consultants have been collecting and gathering information on invitation and party etiquette. This etiquette guide contains the questions our consultants are most frequently asked by our customers.

Prior to ordering

When should we order our bar/bat mitzvah invitations?

We recommend ordering the invitations 4-5 months before your event. You can save a lot of stress by ordering them well in advance.

How many bar/bat mitzvah invitations should we order?

One invitation is needed per household. Once you have your final number of invitations needed, make sure to order 10-25 more invitations than you need. This is just in case you remember someone you forgot to include on your list or decide to add guests later. It is more costly (not to mention time consuming) to place a second order for just 25 invitations, so it is recommended to order extra invitations to begin with. The same suggestion holds true for envelopes. It is always a good idea to order extra to accommodate mistakes that occur while addressing them.

What should we consider when choosing bar/bat mitzvah invitations?

  • Your invitations make the first impression with your guests, and they should reflect the tone of your event. They will show whether the event will be formal or informal.
  • If you are having a themed celebration, it's nice to choose an item that will coordinate with this theme.
  • We recommend ordering a sample before ordering your invitations. This allows you to get a "hands on" feel of the cardstock. We will credit you up to the amount of two samples when you place your invitation order with us.

While ordering

What information should our bar/bat mitzvah invitations include?

Make sure to specify what the event is (Bar or Bat Mitzvah) and the name of your child. You will also want to be clear as to what event(s) the guests are being invited to. You will need to state the date, time, and location. Most times, the host/parents' names will be included as well. Additionally, some choose to list the grandparents' names underneath the parents' names.

It is important to keep in mind that if you are having multiple events, such as Kiddush luncheon, parties for the kids and/or adults, dinners, or brunches, you will want to include the date, time, and location for each event. If the additional event will take place after the service in the same location, it is sufficient to add one line such as, "Kiddush luncheon to follow," on the invitation itself.

We recommend that the main invitation be reserved for the ceremony and Kiddush (optional) information. Reception cards may be ordered for additional brunches, parties, or dinners.

Can I see sample wording for bar and bat mitzvahs?

For help with wording, please visit our sample wording section.

Can I include my son or daughter's name in Hebrew? Is there a charge for this?

You can have your son/daughter's name printed in Hebrew on their invitations. The charge to add Hebrew wording to your invitation is $20, which includes an electronic proof for you to review prior to printing. We are unable to translate Hebrew, so it is important that you confirm the Hebrew is correct before printing.

How should I specify my son or daughter's Hebrew name on my order?

In the 'Additional Special Instructions' Box at the bottom of Step 1 of the online order form, specify the following:

  • Name(s) to be printed in Hebrew:
  • Please use the chart found in the help center to specify the Hebrew letters.
  • Be specific about where you want the Hebrew name(s) to be printed, such as: Centered at the bottom of the invitation, in the lower right corner, or in the upper left corner.

Can I include other Hebrew wording?

The charge for Hebrew wording (in addition to the name as described above) is a flat fee of $50 for invitations and a flat fee of $20 for each additional item (such as a reception card). Hebrew wording will need to be submitted in the same way as the Hebrew names:

What is a corner copy?

A corner copy is any text that is printed in the lower left or lower right corner of an invitation. Corner copies are completely optional, and they are typically printed in a slightly smaller font than the rest of the invitation wording. Most often, a corner copy will be used for reception/RSVP information, or to designate attire expectations.

How can I word the invitation when only select guests are being invited to the service or party?

The easiest way to handle this situation is to use the invitation to invite all the guests to one event and order a reception card to invite select guests to the other event. A reception card can be used for any information you do not wish to include on the invitation, not solely reception information. Some people choose to order two sets of invitations.

For example, if space is limited at the celebration, you can use the invitation to invite everyone to the service and include the reception card for those being invited to the celebration.

When sending two sets of invitations (i.e. invited to ceremony and Kiddush but not the party), two sets of response cards are needed.

Who should send the invitations if both parents are divorced or even remarried?

The parent and/or stepparent hosting the bar/bat mitzvah should send out the invitations and have their return address printed on the envelopes, even if the child does not live with them. The respond card envelopes should also be addressed to the host. On the invitation, all parents (and stepparents) names may be listed, or you can list the hosts' names only.

When should we set the RSVP date?

We generally recommend using an RSVP date that is at least three weeks prior to your child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This will allow you time to contact anyone who has not yet sent their response.

Is it customary to request particular gifts for our child?

Boys and girls having this celebration do not need to register with a store for gifts. Customary gifts to receive are: books with religious value, savings bonds for college, or gift certificates. However, no reference to gift preference should be made on the invitations. Some parents include an additional card requesting, in lieu of gifts, donations to a particular charity that has impacted their family.

Can you print direction/map cards?

We can print directions to your event on any of our "reception cards." These cards are customizable, which means any wording may be printed on them. Each invitation offers reception cards. Or you may purchase plain bright white, ivory or ecru/cream direction cards. Click here to Shop Now for Map or Direction Cards.

Maps may be printed on these cards as well. Maps must be sent in as artwork and will be printed in your choice of ink color. For information on how to submit a map for your order, please click the following link for map card submission requirements.

When you receive your order

When should the bar/bat mitzvah invitations be mailed?

We recommend sending your invitations six to eight weeks prior to your event. However, if you have international guests or many of out of town guests you should try to send these invitations out ten to twelve weeks before the event. This gives your guests time to plan their travel schedule.

What postage will be required for mailing our bar/bat mitzvah invitations?

Your invitations should be weighed for postage before mailing. When items are added to the envelopes, the weight can increase. Also, special shaped invitations, such as square and oversized, require additional postage.

For more information regarding postage rates and fees, please visit www.usps.com or contact your local post office.

Can invitations to classmates be handed out in school?

No, all invitations should be mailed.

How should I address our bar/bat mitzvah invitations?

Invitations may be addressed in several ways. Typically they are handwritten, printed or done in calligraphy. Etiquette suggests avoiding the use of labels.

Outer envelopes should be addressed to guests using the proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) Don't abbreviate names or addresses. The outer envelope has the guests' names and address.

When determining whether to use Ms., Mrs., or Miss, always respect the woman's preference. If it is not known, it is appropriate to use the title "Ms."

Men and women living together who are not married should be addressed with the names on separate lines.

Young boys up to age seven are given the title as Master. Mr. is used at the age of 18. No title is used between the ages of 7 - 18.

Young girls are given the title Miss. Then when married it changes to Mrs. or Ms. if the woman keeps her birth name.

If applicable, the inner envelopes should only have the guests' names. It is not gummed so it doesn't seal. You may be formal by writing Mr. and Mrs. Joel Stein or Uncle Joel and Aunt Ruth.

Make sure to check all the addresses before mailing.

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