REAL STORIES: Jake’s Brown, Black & Gold Plaid Bar Mitzvah at The Phoenixville Foundry, Philadelphia

March 31, 2011 ,
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We planned and designed a family-style celebration for Jake’s bar mitzvah at the historic Phoenixville Foundry in suburban Philadelphia.

[Photos courtesy of Susan Beard Design]

Having celebrated their daughter’s bat mitzvah at the luxurious Rittenhouse Hotel in Center City Philadelphia, the family was looking to celebrate their son’s interest in Pennsylvania history with their globally-minded guest list.  The Phoenixville Foundry was the ideal location and allowed the guests to explore other historic sightseeing activities in the immediate area, most notably, Valley Forge National Park.  Situated at the crossing of the Schuykill River and French Creek, the Phoenixville Foundry is a renovated steel mill located in the bustling town of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Originally a crossroads for Native Americans and early American settlers, the village of Phoenixville was settled in 1732 and served as a powerful hub for American manufacturing in the early twentieth century. In fact, this little historic town was the home to multiple large steel and iron mills as well as silk manufacturers, ladies hosiery factories and Etruscan majolica pottery kilns.

For Jake’s bar mitzvah celebration, adults were invited to enjoy cocktails al fresco on the stone patio surrounded by steel sculptures. Our espresso dupioni linens on high and low cocktail tables kept the palette subtle to blend in naturally to the stone environment around the terrace.  Vintage copper urns from France filled with vibrant flowers in mango, rust, gold and green added a punch of color.

Just inside the Phoenixville Foundry lies an elegant modern polished stone foyer where we placed the escort card table.  A large antique copper kettle was filled to the brim with early Fall sunflowers, a favorite flower of the bar mitzvah honoree.  The Papery of Philadelphia provided ecru escort cards with a custom-designed leaf motif and a simple modern font style that we used on all the printed materials for the event.

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While the adults enjoyed cocktails outside on the stone terrace, Jake lead his friends up to the balcony overlooking the dinner area for kids “cocktails.”  Multiple casino tables were placed around the balcony, as well as henna tattoo artists, photo booths and photo favor activities.  Peachtree & Ward provided fun kid-friendly food stations and beverage bars including a made-to-order old-fashioned soda bar.

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Looking for a less formal, family-style dinner environment, we designed the mitzvah dinner tables using rectangular tables, chocolate brown and black plaid linens, low lush floral arrangements and shared plates of food.  Our modern brown and gold glazed pottery vessels and crisp glass vases were filled with mixed bouquets of  mango mini calla lilies, sunset pincushion protea, chocolate cymbidium orchids, yellow coxcomb, golden sunflowers, terracotta and pale peach roses, coral amaryllis, antique green hydrangea and various seasonal berries and pods.  Square and rectangular glass hurricanes held floating candles and different heights throughout the room for soft, intimate candlelight.

Family and friends came together around the dance floor for high energy introductions, a traditional hora, toasts and the motzi.  Our event planning staff worked with emcee Justin Horn of EBE to keep the party on time, screaming with fun! and smoothly executed.

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The kids’ eyes were glued to the plasma screens to watch Jake’s hilarious and touching montage video produced by Unique Video Concepts.

The Phoenixville Foundry’s dramatic high ceilings, glass windows and modern crystal chandeliers gave us room to play with colorful lighting effects the entire evening. Such an incredible location for mitzvah celebration!


  1. Reblogged this on Evantine Design Blog and commented:
    In putting together the final design details for this weekend’s super special mitzvah celebration at the Phoenixville Foundry, we thought about the sunshine-filled bar mitzvah we planned there for Jake in 2011. And when we say sunshine, we mean bright, happy sunflowers, mango calla lilies, coral amaryllis, and tangerine roses. Could we be dreaming about the warmth of summer? Are we ready for Spring? Oh yes, we are definitely ready to leave the cold, gray days of Winter behind. {Photo by Susan Beard Design}

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