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Bar mitzvah dilemma

 
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cuties' mom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:08 am
My grandfather is in a wheelchair. He and ds are very close, so naturally I want him to be at the bar mitzvah. My 14-year-old had his bar mitzvah in Chaim Berlin. At the time, my grandfather was walking with a walker, and he said that the bathroom was difficult to maneuver with his walker. My nephew recently was bar mitzvahed in mercaz. My grandfather didn't go because the bathroom stalls aren't big enough for a wheelchair.
I found 2 possible places for the bar mitzvah I'm making in October. The cheaper one has 2 rooms with only a partial wall in between so people could see from one room to the other. This would be perfect if I was having separate seating, but the bar mitzvah boy has autism, and I don't really trust any of the men to stop ds from wandering out of his own bar mitzvah. If we only use 1 room, we're limited to 80 people. That means I can't invite any of my cousins or any staff from my kid's school.
The more expensive place could hold 100 people. If I use that room, I could invite teachers and therapists, but no cousins. The real issue is that if I have 100 people, there won't be much room for dancing, and the bar mitzvah boy loves to dance.
My mother suggested using both rooms from the cheaper place and letting people choose where to sit. Ds 14 suggested using one room for my side of the family and one for dh's, but I think that's insulting to the family not in the same room as the bar mitzvah boy.
Another option is having separate seating, but having the bar mitzvah boy sit with the women.
Which option would you do and why?
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amother




Lightgreen
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:10 am
Could you use one room for immediate family and one for extended, or one for family and one for friends?
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saw50st8




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:12 am
I don't have advice for a solution, but whatever you do decide, you can communicate to the families. I am sure that they would understand that you are setting up the bar mitzvah boy for a successful bar mitzvah.
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professor




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:13 am
I would go with seperate seating because it is the least strange or insulting. I would arrange the main table (where the bar mitzvah boy sits with dad and grandpa etc) right in between the men and women. So that the mother and grandma and sisters can also sit with the bar mitzvah bochur.
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amother




Cadetblue
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:16 am
professor wrote:
I would go with seperate seating because it is the least strange or insulting. I would arrange the main table (where the bar mitzvah boy sits with dad and grandpa etc) right in between the men and women. So that the mother and grandma and sisters can also sit with the bar mitzvah bochur.


If this doesn't work logistically, I would give the bar mitzvah boy a seat on each side if he wants to go back and forth
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abound




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:29 am
I would go with sep seating and hire someone to shadow the Bar Mitzva boy. His job will be to keep his eyes on the Bar Mitzva boy at all times.
This way he gets the Bar Mitzva he wants, you get to enjoy every minute and be a good hostess. And most importantly your son is safe.
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cuties' mom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:44 am
DS (14) suggested having the head table in the opening between the two rooms but that would look funny.
I thought about getting someone to shadow ds, but normally his female respite worker would do that if I can't. My 14-year-old would do it if I asked but I think it's not right since he's going to want to spend time with cousins from out of state. As far as hiring some random guy, I don't know who is fast enough and patient enough.
I thought about doing one room for immediate family and one room for cousins and school staff, but I think the staff who work with ds would prefer to be in the same room as him more than most of the immediate family.
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amother




Orange
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 8:06 am
cuties' mom wrote:
DS (14) suggested having the head table in the opening between the two rooms but that would look funny.
I thought about getting someone to shadow ds, but normally his female respite worker would do that if I can't. My 14-year-old would do it if I asked but I think it's not right since he's going to want to spend time with cousins from out of state. As far as hiring some random guy, I don't know who is fast enough and patient enough.
I thought about doing one room for immediate family and one room for cousins and school staff, but I think the staff who work with ds would prefer to be in the same room as him more than most of the immediate family.


I think the top table between the rooms makes the most sense, and people will be understanding of why.
Is there anyone else who works with your ds who could shadow him? Or any other family member? You could also split it between 2 or 3 of you so it isn't one person the whole time. Like you could do one part, your older ds could take a shift etc.
I just want to add mazal tov and I'm really admire how accepting you are of your sons needs and trying to be accommodating to everyone as well. I know from experience it isn't easy.
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cuties' mom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 8:16 am
amother [ Orange ] wrote:
I think the top table between the rooms makes the most sense, and people will be understanding of why.
Is there anyone else who works with your ds who could shadow him? Or any other family member? You could also split it between 2 or 3 of you so it isn't one person the whole time. Like you could do one part, your older ds could take a shift etc.
I just want to add mazal tov and I'm really admire how accepting you are of your sons needs and trying to be accommodating to everyone as well. I know from experience it isn't easy.

It's never one person the whole time because during dancing, ds is always right in the middle, having the time of his life. It's only during the meal that he may get bored and decide to leave. My older son is very good about taking a shift, and his respite worker already told me that if there is separate seating, she's going to the men for dancing because she doesn't want to miss ds enjoying his moment. I could ask the caterer what he thinks about having the head table between the 2 rooms. Ds would be proud that I'm using one of his ideas.
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Rutabaga




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 9:49 am
Do you have to make a formal sit down meal? Maybe given your unique circumstances you would be better off making something more like a vort style event where people come and go during a set time period.
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cuties' mom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 11:43 am
I have sisters coming in from Baltimore and Philadelphia. I have to feed them. I am thinking that once the first dance starts, it should go on continuously, and the main course could be buffet style. This way ds could dance all he wants. I also emailed his favorite singers to see if any of them are affordable since ds loves concerts, but I didn't have any luck on that end.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 11:47 am
cuties' mom wrote:
I have sisters coming in from Baltimore and Philadelphia. I have to feed them. I am thinking that once the first dance starts, it should go on continuously, and the main course could be buffet style. This way ds could dance all he wants. I also emailed his favorite singers to see if any of them are affordable since ds loves concerts, but I didn't have any luck on that end.


I like the buffet style idea for the main course and dessert.
You do want to feed your guests, but the most important thing is that this bar mitzvah is your son's special day, even if it looks a bit less traditional.
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amother




Opal
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 12:27 pm
Honestly, if your biggest concern is him leaving and you're good with whatever happens in the room, station people by the doors. Head table in the middle isn't weird.
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RaisinChallah




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 2:24 pm
1. Mazel tov
2. I made a bar mitzvah for my older son who is on the spectrum. He’s 21 now. Do whatever you need to do to make the bar mitzvah boy happy. Does he like a bigger crowd or a smaller crowd? Which people will he be happy to see at the event? All this also depends on how Spectrummy he is. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions
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naomi2




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 2:36 pm
I think you should look for another venue that matches all your needs. There are halls and shuls every two blocks. Maybe you can crowdsource here for a better hall because the options for the two halls you have are really not that great
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 4:04 pm
In general, more people will likely cause your bar mitzvah boy more stress.

Can you plan for what will make his day most comfortable and happy? Fewer people, plus dancing?
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amother




Antiquewhite
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 4:23 pm
Sorry I dont have more input but did want to say mazel tov and that I admire your determination to ensure everyone is accommodated. May you see much nachas from your son!!!
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