My Bat Mitzvah Card Snafu

bat mitzvah card snafu

This is another person’s sad saga of a Bat Mitzvah card gone wrong.

My tween aged daughter and I have been busy planning all the details for her Bat Mitzvah for the past six months. I’ve sunk my heart and soul into the planning phase of this life-altering event. We’ve been choosing a venue, picking out a DJ, photographer and photo booth vendor, making lists of invitees, picking out dresses and of course, she’s been hard at work learning her Torah portion and how to lead the congregation in a service.

From the get go, I made it clear to her that this Bat Mitzvah is hers, not ours, as much as my husband would beg to differ. She has been pivotal in picking out every vendor, every item, every detail. She’s planning on advising the DJ on the music and writing poems for everyone lighting candles at the party.  Even the colors are her choice and I feel confident that the day will define her to a tee.

So you get the gist. It’s a very special day – one that costs a considerable amount of money, as well, so everything we have chosen was done with precision. After we checked our main concerns off our list, we zeroed in on our invitations. She quickly found a web site she liked, we got samples in the mail and we were off. I let her control much of the process, but when it came to the proofs, I promptly provided corrections to the design team. At that point, her interest waned.

This is probably where I should add that not only am I sometimes writer but I’m a full-time marketer. Much of my career has been spent drafting copy and proofing this type of collateral. I have never printed anything with an error in my life, and I wasn’t about to start now. My tween became my client and I took extra time with that invite.

Well……not so fast. After a few days of not receiving any RSVPs, I began to wonder what was happening. After all, we are having a bit of a big celebration – we do need people to come! And most of our friends and family live out of the country, so they needed to get their hands no this invite fast to even consider it. Well, it finally hit us last night. We had a typo in the RSVP email so no one was able to RSVP. Of course, no one has mentioned the typo or the bounced back email yet but it was a matter of time.

Yet I felt pure devastation. How could I ruin something so important? How could I miss something so glaringly obvious? Unfortunately, the vendor was not at fault. They made it very clear along the way that changes were my responsibility and that would not be liable for any errors after a certain point. It is only now that I wish I had ordered them at a local printer. Tres sigh.

What would everyone think of me? A typo in my own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah invitation! And it was impossible to miss. I was mortified.

Well, my daughter didn’t even blink. Didn’t even tell me off. She got right to work creating a new email account to capture the RSVPs. She told me not worry about it, that half of her friends can’t spell her names and leave out an “i”. She even went so far to show me a photo of a card her good mate sent her, leaving out the same “i” we left out on our invitation. She also told me we’ll be laughing this off one day. I wasn’t so sure about that…..

My husband, also a forever optimist (how did I turn out like this?), was at first mortified but immediately he came down to earth and told me it’s the actual event that counts. Our daughter is going to become a Bat Mitzvah and lead our friends and family in a Jewish ceremony of prayers. That’s what is important.

My son told me that people will think the correct email was taken, hence we had to leave out a letter in the email we ended up with. I kind of doubted that.

After a night of little to no sleep, I emailed the vendor just to see what they’d say. It was too late to rectify the situation. The invitations have traveled all over the world now with the missing “i” and the RSVPs are hopefully beginning to arrive. They were kind and apologetic but at first only offered words of support. When I asked how much a single copy of the invitation would cost me for safe keeping in my memory book, they offered it at no charge. I just can’t look at it the way it is.

What did I learn? Maybe not to do too many things at once. To review materials more carefully. To somehow not miss the good print.

But most of all..that I have an amazing family who are optimists and see past the nuttiness of the situation. They don’t blame others and they look past small, unintentional mistakes. A Bat Mitzvah is one of the most special days of a young girl’s life, and I can assure you this won’t change that.

Next time I will probably order my invitations at a brick & mortar store up the road, because I’d like to think a local would have sat down with me and reviewed the invitation in depth. But who knows?





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  1. Is it too late to see if you can setup an email address with the incorrect spelling – so you can try and rescue some of the RSVP’s

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