Hooray for Toriwood! The Rockleigh Country Club Rolls Out The Red Carpet for Tori’s Bat Mitzvah

When your mom is the co-owner of Flirty Finds, and your dad works for Alfred Dunner in Manhattan, one thing is for sure at your Bat Mitzvah… you’re going to look fabulous when you step on the red carpet and make your grand entrance!   If you happen to be a tall, gorgeous and elegant young lady to boot, the paparazzi will love you.  And, if you & your best friends like to dance like there’s no tomorrow when the music starts pumping, having one of the best nights of your life is inevitable.

Tori was a trifecta Bat Mitzvah guest of honor….fashionable, beautiful and able to boogie down with the best of them.    I remember celebrating with the Hoff family a few years ago for her brother’s Bar Mitzvah at the Preakness Hills Country Club and saying to myself, “this family rocks and really knows how to party!”    Tori, Roger, and their mom and dad-  Jamie and Mark, danced and sang along to current and classic hits with all their guests from the opening set to the finale.  I’ve been doing this long enough to notice when the younger sibling is already looking forward to their special night in the spotlight… It was obvious that Tori was just getting warmed up.

Next thing I know, it’s 33 months later and I’m escorting Tori into the Rockleigh Country Club to make her red carpet premier at “The Tori Awards.”  Thanks to designer, Ellen Meckles, from Party Girl in Tenafly, NJ, Tori looked like a glamorous movie star.  Ellen was instrumental in finding the perfect dress for her to wear at Temple and then for the gala later that night.  Thanks to event planner,  Martha Baum, the Rockleigh Country Club looked cooler than the Kodak theater on Oscar night.   Martha, who is always a pleasure to work with, did a fabulous job with the florals, centerpieces and over-all décor.    *(As you’ll see in the recap video, Tori got perfectly super-imposed onto/into some of her favorite movie posters.  They looked incredible!)  **I highly recommend “borrowing“ this idea if you have a Hollywood-themed event coming up.   Or, save yourself a lot of time and invest in the expertise of a professional event designer, like Martha.

The Hoff’s teamed up again with my friend, Ivan Piedra, for paparazzi coverage of the fiesta highlights and for some unique interactive stations during the kid’s cocktail reception.  A crowd favorite was called Hair Flair.  A crew of professional hair stylists set up a beautification booth where all the young ladies (and a few fearless boys) were treated to L.E.D hair extensions and other chic tweaks to enhance their A-lister fashion status.

While we were keeping Tori and her friends entertained, busy and out of trouble  during cocktails, a hip and delicious cocktail reception for the adults was taking place on the other side of the property outside the grand ballroom.   In addition to the delectable cuisine, the mood was set like an ultra-hip Hollywood premier party thanks to Mrs. Hoff.  Jamie hired an acoustic duo to jam in the background while her guests mingled, noshed and sipped a few signature drinks.  Everyone seemed to dig the vocal recreations of artists like Jewel & Dave Matthews.    Whether it’s a jazz trio, electric violinist, piano player or solo saxophonist, we always recommended live musicians if you want to enhance your eventJamie knew her crowd would dig the duo, and she was absolutely right.

When It was time for the candlelighting, Tori personalized the entire segment by writing her toasts in the form of nominee announcements & thank you speeches.  She even had custom-made “Tori Award” statuettes created so each recipient went home with a little bling and memorabilia.  Nice touch!

When the guests rested their dancing feet for the entrée, Mark’s toast and the celebrity-filled video tribute montage, Tori and her dad had a heart-warming father-daughter dance to yet another hit by Taylor Swift called Never Grow Up.  It was awesome to see Mark and Tori singing along and enjoying every moment of their spotlight dance together.

The rest of night, like the first few hours of the celebration, flew by.   I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing, as it usually means everyone, including yours truly, is having a blast.  When the guest of honor and the host family only get off the dance floor to eat or visit the powder room, it’s easy to see how the “time flies” expression came to be.

Thank goodness for companies like Videoccasions, who tastefully and unobtrusively capture the entire evening in HD so you can be in the moment all night long and then relive it forever on your living room plasma or iPad.   Kaan and the Videoccasion’s team sent over the video highlight reel below.  And, if you appreciate the art of capturing specific moments in time, you can call a professional photographer like Jamie K, who was kind enough to share her fantastic work for this article along with Ivan.

Special thanks to Mel and the staff from the Rockleigh for their hospitality and professionalism.  I’m looking forward to our next collaboration this fall.

Mazel Tov to Tori and the Hoff family!  On behalf of the MMP team, we wish you all of the health, happiness and success that life has to offer.


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2 Responses to “Hooray for Toriwood! The Rockleigh Country Club Rolls Out The Red Carpet for Tori’s Bat Mitzvah”
  1. Jamie Hoff says:

    Marcello – the blog is amazing. What a great tribute to Tori and our entire family. Thanks again for making Tori’s night the best of her life and one that we will never forget!!!
    Jamie, Mark, Tori and Roger

  2. Marcello says:

    My pleasure Jamie.

    Please tell everyone I said hi!

    Have a great summer!


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