This is a very special Chat and Tell for Mitzvah Chit Chat. Why? Because this is my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah! 

I am grateful for Chicago Mitzvah Chit Chat. While I started the group 2 1/2 years ago after our first, I used the group quite a lot while planning this one. And, while we did use several of the same vendors from our first in 2016, I did find that the Premier Featured Vendors and the discussions in the group were strong influencers in my round 2 decision-making. Other than this Chat and Tell, you will find that I am Vendor agnostic on the walls of I don’t feel that on a regular basis what I personally like or dislike or have to say should bleed through the discussions. However, this is my exception because with great enthusiasm, I do want to share Alexa’s Bat Mitzvah. And, I do want to celebrate the amazing vendors who made this day so special. 

The service was at BJBE and officiated by Cantor Frost and Rabbi Kedar. As the years have unfolded, I have felt a strong connection to our Rabbi and Cantor. I was really happy that they that led our service. We hired Andy Dennen to play guitar during the service. This was the second time around. We love the guitar influence during the service because it creates a warm experience for our guests of which many aren’t Jewish. 

Tess of Events by Tess was originally supposed to be our Day of Person. But, between balancing corporate America, Mitzvah Chit Chat, three dogs, two kids’, their logistics and everything else on any given day, I needed some extra help. She came in as a Day of + and helped me out tremendously, mostly with the venue. I can’t speak highly enough about Tess and the work and commitment that she puts behind her clients. She is wonderful. 

We used three photographers for three different parts of the Bat Mitzvah. Ana Tu, from North Shore Photo, shot the photos for the preshoot and sign in book, Jordan Hollander shot our Shabbat Dinner and Tell Draper shot our Temple pictures and party. All three are so talented in unique ways. By the time I had met Jordan through Mitzvah Chit Chat, I had already booked Tell, but I knew that I wanted to use his excellent photography skills in some capacity. And, he did not disappoint! He is really flexible, nice and easy to work with. Ana at North Shore did a fantastic job shooting our Alexa’s Place photos at Lola’s Diner in Park Ridge. The book was AMAZING. And, Tell. Tell Draper is so good at his art. From temple photos to party to decor-Tell Draper is amazing in every way. I am so happy we got to use him again because we loved what he did for our son’s. 

Decor. Decor. Decor. It’s like Location. Location. Location. Get the best decor you can afford within in your budget. Work with people you feel good working with. For my son’s we used Lance and Freelance. And, we loved what he did. He was great and we loved working with him. But, in the spirit of trying something different, we ended up using Joseph’s. When we met with Christy at Joseph’s I couldn’t believe the enthusiasm and passion she has for what she does. She pours herself into her work. And, she loves it. When we brought her the 50s diner theme she took it and ran with it. When we had our reveal I was in awe of the centerpieces, the visions and the way she brought it to life. She really was the creator of Alexa’s Place. I can’t stop talking about Christy from Joseph’s. When you see the pictures here-you will understand how UNREAL she is. A true artist and a gem.

Our DJ/MC was Rob from HYPE. The kids love Rob. He does a really great job as an MC. The dancers are great. People of all ages danced all night. It was a really, really, really fun party. Not that I am biased. 

We used Mitch Castro for our Photobooth. He’s so nice. He bent over backwards by purchasing 50s props off of Amazon and custom created 4 backgrounds for Alexa’s Place’s photo booth photos. He was easy to work with, not pushy and a top notch business person. I love that his family works for the business. He was already booked on our date, but his daughter worked the photo booth.

Aliza Sperling from GQ Promotions did our giveaways. She suggested soft sweatshirts as our giveaways and soft T-shirts as prizes. The adults were trying to take them….a good sign. The kids LOVE their stuff. I keep seeing kids around Lincolnshire sporting the Alexa’s Place stuff!

Celebration Studios, Meryl Weis, created our invites. She won us over when we came for our initial meeting, and she created exactly what Alexa wanted AND gave her a sample on the spot. From start to finish, she went above and beyond. It was such a great experience working with her. 

Alyssa, Pixel P Designs, is perfect example of somebody whose name I got from Chicago Mitzvah Chit Chat. Alyssa was originally found on Etsy by a group member. She lives on the east coast, but she is SO GREAT that tons of people here in Chicagoland are now using her services. She can be found at:

Nicole Cohen and Andrea Rappport from Flawless Beauty Chicago did great hair and make-up. Not only do they rock, but we had a great time getting ready for the temple photos and the actual Bat Mitzvah. They are awesome. 

We were allowed to pass out mini donuts after the event. Wishing Well Mini Donuts is amazing. Darcie is so nice. Not only is she a co-worker at CDW, she also runs a business that relates to mine. How fun is that?! She will bend over backwards for her clients. 

The actual day/night went so fast, that I am so glad that we will be getting a video from Xpress Video. And, so happy that Tell Draper took an insane amount of photos. He totally knows me!

Mazel Tov to your family for your upcoming event! While I am sad that I am done planning our second child’s, I will live through all of you who make Mitzvah Chit Chat what it is.  Please don’t forget to share your Chat and Tell with us afterwards so that other parents will benefit from your vendor choices along the way!

Thank you for being here!

With Gratitude,

Kim Kutnick
Creator and CEO

Date of the Event: May 18th, 2019

Service Location: BJBE

Event Planner: Tess, Events by Tess

Photographer: Tell Draper

Décor:  Christy @Joseph’s

DJ/MC: Rob/Hype

Hair and Makeup: Nicole Cohen; Andrea Rappaport-Flawless Beauty

Giveaways Vendor: Aliza Sperling-GQ Promotions

Invitations: Meryl Weis-Celebration Studios

Videographer: XPress Video

Photo Booth: Mitch Castro

Montage: Alyssa, Pixel P Designs

Attire: Mom’s dress- directly from Jonathan Simkhai; Alexa’s dresses-Frankie’s on the Park; Dad’s suit-Nordstrom’s; Brother’s suit-Nordstrom Rack

Other Extras: Wishing Well-Mini donuts as takeaways

Sunday Brunch Caterer: Catering by Michaels @ our house

That Special Event: Worked the Sunday Brunch

Friday night Shabbat Dinner: Bella Via, Highland Park


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