Mazel Tov!

Mozel tov, Brooke!
My lovely niece Brooke had her bat mitzvah this past weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia, and we were there to help celebrate! I missed my nephew Will's bar mitzvah because Annie was just three weeks old, so I was excited to experience this one, my first.

Initial impressions: bat mitzvahs are just like weddings, minus the groom. We received a fancy invitation six weeks ago. We had to RSVP with our dinner preferences (steak, chicken or fish). On the big day, the family was asked to be dressed and ready for professional pictures ahead of the event. The ballroom was rented and decorated according to the chosen theme (pink and princess). After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour (open bar for the adults, pink punch bar for the kids) and tray-passed hors d'oeuvres.

The seated dinner featured a kids buffet of hamburgers and hot dogs in addition to the adult plates. The DJ brought glow sticks and sunglasses for everyone. A father-daughter dance took place. Seeing as the show centered around a 13-year-old and her friends, the dance floor was hopping! There was even the official cutting of the (birthday) cake moment.

Seriously, it was fancier than my own wedding.

Pretty in pink!

The ceremony itself was quite moving. Brooke led what is essentially the religious service, complete with reading the Hebrew Torah. Special family members stood up with her at various times to offer blessings, she gave a little speech explaining what she had learned through the process of studying the scripture and how she could apply it to her own life. She thanked her grandfather for helping her practice the Hebrew reading and her parents gave sweet little tributes to her.

The girls were exhausted from our time at the waterpark, and Annie was itching like crazy from the chlorine, even after the benadryl we gave her. She slept on my lap for most of the service and I think even Violet dozed off. Which was good, because it meant they were ready to par-tay!

The reception was so fun. Everyone hit the dance floor, wolf ears and all! Even Matt, who I'm pretty sure didn't even dance at our wedding, had no problem taking the girls out for a spin. Overall, the entire event exceeded my expectations. Not that I wasn't expecting the bat mitzvah to be great, but I figured my girls would be difficult, I'd spend half the event in our hotel room trying to get one of them to fall asleep, etc. But I got to enjoy it just as much as anyone else, so win!

Sippin' some punch from the kids' bar.

Apparently these two little girls can inspire Matt to hit the floor!

That's right, people. Table 1!

Don't mind Greg. He's just hungry like a wolf.

Party's getting started!

We Loughmans know how to get down!

Their first slumber party!

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