Before the recent financial crisis there seemed to be no limit on what parents were spending on their sons or daughter's Bar or Bat Mitzvah. It seemed to be a "can you top this" situation where one party was more extravagant then the next. The decorations were over the top, bigger and more elaborate venues were being used, bands with 10, 11, 12 members, food from the top chefs, and party favors that were unforgettable all without a budget in mind.
We went to a Bat Mitzvah held in an airplane hanger. This venue obviously started out as an empty space, they had to lay flooring throughout the hanger, bring in tables and chairs, ovens for the chefs, lighting for the whole area, build walls around the area being used, a sound system, set up parking areas and god knows what else to make this a usable place to hold a party. They had an elaborate video made, that included a trip on a private plane and numerous other settings. They had a huge band and then to close the night they actually had the original or what is left of the original "Village People" perform. They had all kinds of things for the kids to win, electronic items, clothing, etc., etc. They gave out several party favors when the whole affair was over. Was the party unbelievable, absolutely! Was it over the top, absolutely! Did everyone have a great time, absolutely!
Was it necessary to do all this, how can anyone count anyone else's money or tell them how to spend it, but I can guarantee since the latest financial hit there are a lot less of these kinds of parties going on across the country then there used to be.
With parents cutting back on how big and how elaborate of a party to give, they are also cutting back on what they spend on their party favors. Even though supplying party favors is our business and of course we make more when people are able to spend more, we understand and appreciate what is going on in the country. We also understand it is not how much you spend on your party favor but what you give and how you imprint it (to be covered in another article).
Your budget is your budget, spend what you are comfortable spending. Take beach towels as an example, this is a great gift, but depending on how you decorate the towel it can get a little pricy. In this case think about imprinting with a one color imprint versus embroidering them. Another example is a drawstring bag, you can get one for $7.00 or $8.00 or one for less then half that cost. Does the more expensive one maybe have an extra pocket or sharper looking design to it, probably, but in these financial times you have to think is it worth the extra money? In some cases it will be, in most the less expensive item will work just fine. Your child has their heart set on a sweatshirt, think a crew neck one versus a hoodie with pockets, less expensive but very desirable as a party favor.
But don't make the mistake of choosing your end of the night giveaway solely on cost. We have so many parents contact us and the first thing they say is "this is my third bar mitzvah, I just want something cheap, so I can be done with this". You can get something less expensive but still have some usefulness to your child's friends. Why even buy something cheap just for the sake of giving something out at the end of the night that will be thrown out the next morning. A good online party favor company should have a large selection of bags and other items that are less expensive, but with the proper decoration would still be appreciated by your child's friends. Of course if you really are on a tight budget, think about doing a white t-shirt with a one color imprint, inexpensive and who can't use another t-shirt, whether it is to sleep in or play sports in.
Just remember these are 13 year old kids, do they want to receive a party favor at the end of the night, most definitely. Do they really care how much it costs, absolutely not. They just want something they can use.