Girlie elegance and sophistication were the theme of a recent bat mitzvah planned by Elm Events. Bat mitzvahs, the coming-of-age celebrations for 13-year-old Jewish girls, walk a tightrope—they must celebrate a teen girl in a way that pleases her friends and adult family alike. Hundreds often attend the parties, which follow a religious ceremony and often raise the bar for personalization and opulence.

“When I create a look and feel of an event, you have to have some consistency throughout,” says Bonnie Coleman Steinbock, president of Elm Events and the bat mitvah’s event planner. “The mom wanted a vintage feel, something a bit more sophisticated.”

The party, held at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield, hosted guests at four rectangular tables and six rounds. The farm tables, provided by Affairs to Remember, featured a runner of green and twinkle lights down the center, mercury-glass votives, blue and clear bottles of varying heights, and turquoise vintage bottles with snapdragons, poppies and fillers. 

The round tables, at which adults were seated, were draped with blush basilica linens from Chair Covers and Linens. The table centerpieces, provided by Twig and Berries, were among the event’s most eye-catching details—a glass cloche over a birch tree stump on a silver metal-and-mirror tray. Atop the stump were roses, snapdragons and Gerber daises. 

“The adult tables were breathtaking,” Steinbock says. “What Twig and Berries did was exquisite.”

Mandell Display Design draped the ceiling with white fabric and twinkle lights, and hung Japanese lanterns of various lengths in white, turquoise and hot pink. Table cards were nestled in birch bases.

“It was feminine—elegant, beautiful, fun,” Steinbock says of the event. “But it was still kid-like.”  

MACVB Annual Educational Conference finally reaches the shores of Mackinac Island.

As I rode in the carriage from the Shepler’s Ferry terminal to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, my mind wandered to a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” In said scene, King Arthur and his sidekick, Patsy, approach a castle while galloping and banging coconuts together. After a few moments passed and my mind wandered back to the tree-lined streets of the island, I realized it was the clippety-clop of the draft horses pulling our carriage that brought on my thoughts of Python.


First came COVID. Then came the tornado.

The northern Michigan community of Gaylord was just starting to rebound from the pandemic with its groups and events business as a new season was getting underway when a rare EF3 tornado with estimated wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour struck May 20.

Two people were killed and at least 44 were injured, according to official reports at the time. West Michigan meteorologist Bill Steffen said it was the strongest tornado to strike in the U.S. that month. 


A conference or convention venue might be described by meeting planners as offering ease and convenience for multiple reasons. It may be because its address is easily accessible from numerous compass points. Or perhaps it’s the destination—with a variety of opportunities for activities and entertainment close-by. And of course, it could be that the venue itself offers a peaceful, easy setting with all the comforts you could want. 

Well, at Treetops Resort, it’s all of the above.