A good friend, Jill Dachis, was planning her daughter Ruby’s Bat Mitzvah in NYC. She had chosen a great venue on the Lower East Side called Angel Orensanz Foundation. It is the oldest synagogue building in Manhattan. When Jill called me, Ruby had informed her that she wanted a Wes Anderson Bat Mitzvah, which 1, was awesome, and 2, would require a lot of detailed design and production to bring to life.

We named each table after a Wes Anderson movie, then made the design for the table true to its movie. This meant that each centerpiece was unique, including the menus, place cards and table signs that our designer, Emily Young, created.

Jill is super creative herself so she was excited to work with us to create the vision.  Living in NYC, she had access to flea markets and other resources that we just don’t have in Austin.  So the process went that we would brainstorm on the look then Jill would go out to the flea markets with a shopping list to find the props we needed.  She would send us photos of her daily haul.  When we went up for our site visits and event meetings, we visited rental companies for the loose ends and pulled together the final looks.

In the mezzanine, we had a ping pong table with spectator seats. The kids (and adults) could hang out in tents with vintage record players and headphones.  One of the favorite things of the night was a desk where the guests could write a letter to Ruby, seal it with a wax stamp and put it in a letter box for her to read later.

Downstairs, we had a photo booth with the iconic red zebra wallpaper from Royal Tenenbaums as a background. We had The Haiku Guys and Gals there writing haikus for guests on an old typewriter.  I don’t know how they did it but the guest would give them a few bits of info and they would craft a personal haiku. DJ Ben Aqua traveled from Austin in true Life Aquatic attire.

The invitation suite for this event was inspired by Grand Budapest Hotel and was absolutely gorgeous. The save the date was reminiscent of a letter from Madame D. The formal invitation was modeled after Mendl’s pink pastry box in the film. Amazingly, we got a response from Mr. Anderson himself.


Lauren Bench