elcome to the journal for April O’Hare Photography! Here you’ll find all of my latest photographic outings with the couples, families, seniors and small businesses that I get to work with and make beautiful photographs for. You may also see a personal post here and there discussing my life or my travels with my teeny family of one husband and three cats! Sometimes I even write advice articles with tips to help make your photo experience better which you can check out under the “Educational” category.  

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Bar Mitzvah Party at The Island in Aurora

September 15, 2019

Denver Bar Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel and The Island Event Center

I’ve got an incredibly unique jungle island beach themed bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center featured on the journal today.  But prior to the party that evening in Aurora, the bar mitzvah service took place at Temple Emanuel in Denver. As is tradition at Temple Emanuel, we photographed the portraits and pictures with the Torah prior to the service in the morning.  After the service was over, Nadav’s family hosted the kiddush (luncheon) right there at Temple Emanuel. I loved their jungle island themed decor with lemurs. Each stuffed lemur on the tables could be taken home for a donation to the World Wildlife Federation.  I also loved the gray custom embroidered yarmulkes with lemurs on them! Nadav spent the party saying hello to his guests who traveled quite far (some of them came all the way from Israel) to celebrate this momentous occasion with him.

Bar Mitzvah Party at The Island Event Center with Jungle Beach Theme

That evening, everyone gathered for Nadav’s evening bar mitzvah party at The Island which was the perfect venue for his jungle island themed party.  It’s a gigantic warehouse right on the edge of where Aurora meets Denver and it’s filled with sand and volleyball nets. It has tons of adirondack beach chairs, tiki torches, and murals painted to look like the setting of a tropical beach party island.  It’s the closest thing I’ve seen in our ocean-less, land-locked state to feeling like you are at the beach. This venue is pretty awesome for a bar mitzvah party too since it has plenty of games like ping pong, pool, foosball, corn-hole, ladder ball, and various other lawn games to keep the kids entertained.  They also have a full bar to keep the adults happy too. At Nadav’s party they set up the dinner tables in the sand next to a dance floor with a DJ running some party games for the crowd. The Island Event Center is enormous and there was plenty to keep everyone entertained for hours.  

Nadav’s family and their event planner, Donnah Phipps from Poised Events, worked with the jungle beach theme beautifully too.  There were stuffed lemurs, palm tree leaves, tall beach lifeguard chairs, and even the food served was sort of a Hawaiian Asian fusion.  They used sunglasses with cards attached with the names of each guest and their table assignment. The bar was serving up some tropical drinks for the over-21 crowd and there was plenty of snack food to go around prior to the start of dinner.  Even the sunset seemed to want to cooperate with the theme that evening and we were blessed with a pastel orange color making a lovely colored sky reminiscent of sorbet. The only thing missing was the ocean, but considering we’re in Colorado I’d say this was as good as it gets!

Nice colorful bar mitzvah portrait of a boy wearing a blue suit with a tropical floral tie with ivy backdrop at Temple Emanuel
Rabbi and bar mitzvah boy sit down to sign the contract at Temple Emanuel
B&W photo of a young boy signing the contract at his bar mitzvah in Denver CO
Rabbi at Temple Emanuel helps bar mitzvah boy with his tallit in Denver Colorado
Family portraits at a Temple Emanuel Bar Mitzvah in Denver Colorado
Mom wearing a detailed lace seafoam green dress poses with her son at his bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Denver
Boy with his dad and sisters pose for a family photo at his Temple Emanuel Bar Mitzvah in Denver
A nice casual family photo of a boy with his dad at Temple Emanuel in Denver CO
Mom helps her son with his tallit at his bar mitzvah service at Temple Emanuel in Denver Colorado
Dad and his son have a moment prior to the service at Temple Emanuel in Denver CO
Bar Mitzvah Boy Reading from the Torah at Temple Emanuel in Denver Colorado
Bar Mitzvah boy smiles as he reads from the torah at his bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Denver Colorado
Classic bar mitzvah portrait of a boy holding the Torah before his bar mitzvah service at Temple Emanuel in Denver
Rabbi, Cantor and Bar mitzvah boy pose for a formal portrait with the Torah at Temple Emanuel in Denver CO
Custom printed lemur yarmulke for a jungle island themed bar mitzvah in Denver CO
Madagascar Lemur Centerpiece Decor for a jungle island themed Kiddush luncheon at Temple Emanuel in Colorado
Photo collage of a jungle island themed bar mitzvah luncheon kiddush at Temple Emanuel in Denver CO
Mom hugs a friend at her son's bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Denver
Guests enjoying the desert table at the kiddush at Temple Emanuel bar mitzvah in Denver Colorado
Bar mitzvah boy poses for a candid photo with his guests at kiddush at Temple Emanuel
Young bar mitzvah boy poses for a candid photo with guests at the kiddush luncheon at Temple Emanuel
A boy poses for a photo with his friends in front of an ivy wall at his Denver CO bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel
Tiki torches and beach chairs at a beach bar mitzvah party at The Island in Aurora Colorado
Jungle island themed beach decor for a Bar Mitzvah Party at The Island Event Center in Aurora Colorado
Tropical island table centerpiece decor for a beach bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora
Tropical island bar mitzvah decor at The Island Event Center in Aurora, CO
Bar Mitzvah Guest Wearing Tropical Floral Dress enjoys cocktail hour at The Island Event Center in Aurora Colorado
Kids play raquetball at an island themed bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora
Ping Pong games at a Bar Mitzvah Party at The Island Event Center in Aurora CO
Foosball table game from a beach themed bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora
Young girl wearing maroon shirt and pink shorts plays ping pong at The Island Event Center in Aurora
Tropical island beach theme bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora
Photo collage of bar mitzvah guests playing volleyball and other games at The island event center
Nice guest group table shot portrait at sunset at a Bar mitzvah at The Island Event Center in Aurora CO
Mom speaks at her son's island themed bar mitzvah party in Aurora Colorado
Bar mitzvah boy wearing hawaiian shirt at his jungle themed bar mitzvah party lifted in air for horah chair dance at The Island in Aurora CO
Guests dancing at a beach themed bar mitzvah party at The island in Aurora Colorado
Photo collage of bar mitzvah guests playing Limbo at the Island Event Center in Aurora Colorado
Adult man killing it at the Limbo at The Island Event Center in Aurora CO
A dad wildly dances with his daughter at a bar mitzvah party at The Island in Aurora CO
Musical chairs game at a beach themed bar mitzvah party at The Island in Aurora CO
Posed portrait with friends at sunset at an island themed bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora
A couple poses for a sunset portrait at an island themed bar mitzvah party at The Island Event Center in Aurora CO
Bar Mitzvah Boy Wearing Sunglasses and Hawaiian Shirt at his Island Themed party at The Island in Aurora CO

Please visit THE ISLAND to find more information about hosting your own bar mitzvah party or event. Also, here’s to Donnah Phipps with POISED EVENTS for the event planning on this bar mitzvah!

To see more bar and bat mitzvahs at Temple Emanuel, please visit HERE and HERE

To find more photos from bar mitzvah parties, please check out the MITZVAH gallery on my site HERE

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