Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stag & Doe, Jack & Jill, Buck & Doe etc.

For those of you not familiar with the above terms, here's a quickie explanation. Basically, the bridal party arranges an event similar to a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, charges an admission fee to get into said event, maybe even include a 50-50 draw, and all proceeds from said event goes directly to the bride and groom for their wedding. Oh wait, it gets better, sometimes the bridal party is expected to contribute to the costs of holding the 'fundraiser' as a gift to the couple. Apparently this is a wedding 'tradition' that is popular in southern Ontario (the province I'm from, although it doesn't seem to be popular in Toronto at all. (I've never been to a Stag & Doe or been invited to one).

Can we say tacky? (Sorry to those of you who support Stag & Doe's - I feel strongly about this one). I just don't understand why couples would expect others to 'fund' their wedding. If you can't afford to have a wedding, maybe you haven't budgeted properly or maybe it's not the right time to get married. Certainly weddings are much more than having one you can't even afford? Now I'm usually in full support of the mantra, "it's your wedding, do what makes you happy" but I put my foot down such 'fundraisers.'

My friend L has an interesting Stag & Doe story. One of L's past bridesmaid duties to arrange the Stag & Doe. She had never heard of a Stag & Doe before this particular wedding so she was a bit taken aback when she was told the purpose behind the event. Nevertheless, being the good friend she is, L planned the Stag & Doe with her fellow bridal party members. At the Stag & Doe, a 50-50 draw took place and the winner drawn was ecstatic. Apparently, he was a 'starving student' and was in dire need of the money. However, before he had a chance to claim his prize, the MC thanked him for 'donating' his prize money to the couple!!! Can you believe it? Oh, yeah, and the kicker? L later found out that the money from the Stag & Doe actually went to buy new tires for the bride's car.

So what do you think about Stag & Doe's/Jack & Jill's/Buck & Doe's? Discuss.


Krista said...

Oh, that story is awful.

We're having a jack and jill - reluctantly. I didn't want it at all, but the best man *really* wanted to organize a party. I don't know why. So I requested no stupid games / fund-raisers. And no obvious "making money" stunts. There will be a pool tournament, with half the money "going to us", as well as a 50/50 draw. I'm not thrilled about it, but for a jack and jill, it'll be okay.

P.S. I intend to have our "favour" be a $5 donation in honour of each guest to the Cancer Society. For just over 100 guests, that'll be around $600 for cancer. I haven't told the best man or my fiance, but I fully intend to use the entire "jack and jill money" to add to our cancer donation.

P.S.2 I have been to several jack and jills. They are so common in Ontario, and apparently other parts of Canada. They range in themes and tackiness. I've been to a dance where you pay for your drinks (like going to a club with an ipod for a d.j. and all your friends there). The mark-up of the drinks above cost (which is usually a small mark-up, so you're only paying $4 / drink) is what the couple keep. I've been to awful and obvious money-makers. I've been to basically a big barbecue where you pay an "entry fee" (usually $10) for admission to the bbq - usually with all you can eat ribs, drinks, salads, and lots of fun.

So it's a spectrum.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

That's really generous of you Krista! I can understand why your best man wants to throw you one...hard to buck tradition. You're right, there seems to be a spectrum. And like everything else, it's what you make of it. If you're having fun with your friends, then what's harm.

Sheila said...

First, I'm a hopeless romantic BUT a realist. So excuse any perceived bitterness.

Weddings should be about having your loved ones witness a truly beautiful union with the love-of-your life/soul mate. Why on earth would you cheapen it (and in such bad taste) by charging admission?! Certainly, that's not the note I would want to be starting "our" marriage. But what do I know?

New Wife said...

that's awful. That couple in your story SUCKS

J & J's are rarely found in Toronto. They're mostly big in smaller town's where you can draw the people in.

I myself hate J & J's for the fact I've only been to one that was actually successful. I've seen too many where people don't show up.

Krista said...

Well, I agree P.M. - it's a spectrum. And I really do think the Best Man wants to throw a party. There's no admission, of course. Just a party.

very married said...

wow - i hadn't ever heard of this before looking around bridal blogs. "dollar dances" were/are popular in my extended family. as a kid i remember thinking they were fun - now, maybe a bit tacky.

Brandy said...

Isn't it odd that this is a Canadian thing? It's not just Southern Ontario, it's everywhere it seems except large cities!(I have seen a couple of bars shut for them in T.O though so they do happen here.) One of my girls suggested we throw one and I flat out refused.
My sister was MOH for the a girl who was such a Bridezilla it was awful. My sister organized the whole Jack and Jill, only in the month before the J&J did two other bridal party members help out. Did I mention my sister was 7 months pregnant, 8 by the time the J&J rolled around AND bowed out of MOH because the wedding was the day before her due date and in August. And yes the Bride knew my sisters due date before deciding her wedding date.
Anyhow...they made 3grand from the J&J and the bride was pissed they didn't make more and what did the $ go to? A car. I was floored when I found that out!
I actually refuse to go to them, yes that sounds incredibly horrid of me, but a lot of the times the invites for them are from people I barely know and I know I'm not going to be invited to the wedding and why would I pay for some strangers wedding?
I think Krista's idea is incredibly classy and hope that more people take her cue of donating the money to a charity.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

OMG Brandy. That is one truly horrid story! Your poor sister. And yes, Krista is truly one classy bride.

Anonymous said...

I, like so many of you, am not a fan of this tradition. My brother and soon to be sister in law weren't really either until their friends all started getting married and throwing these things... here comes the worst the token gay brother i have been asked by my bro and SIL to throw them a jand j ...however, I refuse to host a circus like some of the ridiculous j ana j's i have had the unpleasant circumstance of attending... i am thinking garden party-eqsue with silent auctions and door entry with reasonably priced cocktails (not the average beer swiging blow out these tacky things seem to be. Does anyone have any ideas on some "games" (and i use that term losely) that are more classy than a toonie toss or the like that i can incorporate to raise some funds for my loved ones?

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I have been invited to a friend's brother's stag and doe (havn't seen him since grade school and never met the bride)

Its $30 ticket plus drinks, PLUS tacky games!

I actually feel more insulted that I WAS invited!

PS I am not invited to the wedding.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

@anonymous: You are definitely an amazing brother! A garden party idea sounds awesome. Your 'games' comment made me laugh. I really love your idea of the silent auctions - less intrusive for those attending. As for 'games'...I would go for the 50/50 draw (even though it's not a game) as people seem more willingly to buy tickets if they know they might have a chance to win half the pot. You could also consider setting up a 'black jack' table - participants can pay a fee to play. Unfortunately, since I not a fan of the j and j, I'm drawing a complete blank as to classier games. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

What makes me extra mad is that many of these stag and doe couples have already had an engagement party, bridal shower and will still have a seperate "stag night" for the guys and a batchelorette night for the girls.

I know it sounds crazy but I have been to all of the above plus the wedding for some couples. Talk about money grabs. It makes me so mad just thinking about it!!

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

I totally agree w/r to the money grab comment. Many of my coupled friends ask me when I'm going to buy my first home, as they have already. It takes a lot of restraint to not say to them, "how can I when I'm spending thousand of dollars on these weddings and wedding related events!" My advice, don't be shy about picking and choosing your events. At the end of the day, it's your pocketbook and only you can take control of that.

Also, if I was invited to a stag and doe and wasn't invited to the wedding, I wouldn't go. I mean, why bother? I'm not here to finance weddings!

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with a lot of you.
I'm getting married and my maid of honour is throwing me and my fiance a Stag and Doe, because I'm still a University student and he is graduating this May, we're getting married in August. His parents both run charities. We need the support.

It hurts me to read all of these comments against stag and does. Weddings are expensive, period, and just because we aren't wealthy doesn't mean we should settle for getting married at the Justice of the Peace's office. So we've gone ahead in good faith and planned the wedding and somehow I know it will get paid for.


Anonymous said...

I'm from Southern Ontario so I may be a bit biased, but I abosultely love going to stag and does.

It's pretty much similar to going out to the bar for the night except that the money is going to someone I know.

I'm definitely having one when I get married. It's a night out with friends and family, everyone usually has a good time.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for attending a Stag & Doe for a close friend. It's good fun. But honestly, if we aren't close enough for you to invite me to your wedding, don't bother inviting me to the Stag & Doe in what is a blantanly obvious money grab. It's insulting.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

I agree Anonymous. Stag & Doe's aren't for me but I recognize for some people it's tradition and having a great time with friends. However, inviting people to the Stag & Doe and not inviting to them to wedding just seems rude.

Anonymous said...

What's the difference if you go to a stag or doe or to go out to the bar. You go to a bar to pay for overly expensive drinks and dance. Pretty much what a stag and doe is but drink prices are a lot more reasonable. You need to pay cover to get into a bar for a night so what is the difference. If people want to have a stag and doe then they should. People shouldnt call them tacky because its a night out for people. For people who are like I'm not going because I'm not invited to the wedding I think that is tacky. Planning a wedding I would love to invite more people then I am but I can't so I'm having a stag and doe so I can have a night of dancing and drinking with everyone I know. When you go you don't have to participate in the games if you don't want, no one is putting a gum to your head and making you participate. I dunno I have been to several and have done it support brides and grooms because weddings are so expensive regardless at what age or what stage in life you are. I did not have a bridal shower or anything and the money raised regardless of what it is will be going to the wedding. For people who don't put it to the wedding but host these I think that is what is tacky not for people that are hosting them needing to make a little money for their big day.

KK said...

oh come on now.............if you were intelligent and classy would you really rent a hall and have cheap food and play games so people could pay for your wedding ect. ???(or make your friends do it for you ???) seriosly they are
to say the least, tacky fundraisers for people who can not afford the wedding that they are putting on !!!...some of the young ladies where i work have diamond rings that cost thousands and thousands of dollars .....yet they need a fundraiser ???(they just love flashing their diamonds around and have no problem telling you how much their fiance paid for it) and the saddest part is...after their charity ball they ALL talk about how much they made or didn't make !!! and all the old hens just cluck away !!! I AM NOT RICH AS FAR AS MONEY GOES....BUT I HAVE CLASS!!! MY DAUGHTERS WILL NOT HAVE A STAG AND DOE /JACK AND JILL CHARITY EVENT ECT IN THEIR HONOUR ....EVER !!! SADLY THOUGH MOST PEOPLE JUST THINK THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO DO THIS............

Anonymous said...

OK i am all for allowing people their own oppinion however I am having my own stag and doe in Aug. My Fiance and I have 4 children and not alot of money. We are paying for the wedding ourselves and can not afford to invite everyone we now. So the stag and doe is our way of including everyone in our celebrations. We are paying for the stag and doe ourselves I would never ask any one else to fund it for me. We are also not having the showers and eng. parties or nights out.


tl said...

i have read through all the comments, and... feel that yes some stag and doe's are a bit much. before you even get a drink you have spent $30+ on tickets, raffles and other games. However, I am getting married next August and fully intend on having one! We live in Eastern Ontario and having one is the norm. We plan to have a band, and only a couple of games, and our goal for the nite is to have fun with friends, dance and raise a little money for our 300+ ppl wedding. that being said not everyone that will be attending the stag is invited to the wedding! often in our small town we go to a stag even if we dont know the ppl, as a way of support. weddings are getting more and more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Wow...there are alot of negative feelings toward Jack and Jills...I think it is a great way to raise money to pay for your wedding when you have a small income. I didn't have one for my wedding (because my husband and I saved for a long time) but I am hosting one for my friends' wedding (I am her MOH) and they both recently just graduated from University and have debts up the ying to help them out...they will have a stag and will be in the form of a dance..there will be a fee and Tacky (as some of you called them) games. It is a "money-making" stunt...and a great one when you want to have a wedding but can't afford it. There is nothing wrong with that!

kate_25 said...

Just wanted to post my opinion on this subject....

Where I am from (just outside of Toronto) Jack and Jills are the complete norm. My fiance and I recently had our J&J after much encouragement from friends and acquaintances that we should have one. People love them. We aren't poor and we have some family support to help us out with some of the wedding costs but even a mid-size wedding like ours (125 people) is really expensive. We will still end up paying at least $15,000 out of our own pockets.

Even if you can afford it, if you can raise some money and give everyone a fun night out, why not? It means when we start our married lives together after the wedding, we will still have some money in the bank instead of starting from square one.

As far as our Jack and Jill went, it was awesome. We charged $10 for tickets, all drinks were $3 (way cheaper than a night out at a bar), we had a professional DJ and a few key games, lots of food, tons of raffle prizes, door prizes and everyone had a great time. The 50/50 winner alone took home over $600 and there was no way we would let them donate that to us!

We had over 250 people show up and since the party, we have heard nothing but compliments about what a great night it was and how much fun everyone had. I didn't hear a single complaint from anyone at the party or along the way that was negative.

And yes, my mom still plans to throw me a shower and we had a backyard engagement party (where we supplied all the alcohol and we made sure no one bought gifts), and my girlfriends and I will spend an inexpensive weekend away for my bachlorette party.

I just don't see what the problem is. People need to lighten up and have fun!

Anonymous said...

I didn't plan to have a stag and doe originally, I thought it was tacky too- but now my plans have changed drastically, I was laid off this past week from my job (along with the whole company, it went bankrupt) and am still owed my last paycheque (they fired us on payday!!) BUT I planned to have the wedding paid for myself (not expensive, about 40$ per person for food, maybe 6 grand for everything) but now I have to use my savings to supplement my Employment Insurance until I find another job (who knows how long that will be)... now I am faced with the problem of how to finance our wedding, we canceled the limo, cut the guest list, not doing the honeymoon, Im using my engagement ring as my wedding band, no centerpeices or flowers.. etc.
We are both young and he's still in school... would having a stag and doe in our situation be okay? Every penny would go to the wedding...

Anonymous said...

My response to a recent invitation to one of these things was a resounding "no". I'm not invited to the wedding so I'm certainly not inclinced to help finance it!!! And if I was I'd be asking if my attending a stag and doe precluded me from having to buy a wedding present. I was also just invited to the bridal shower where I was asked to bring a present, if I go it'll be something from the dollar store. And odds are there'll be some excursion to the local barscene where I'll be expected to pony up for drinks and entry to one or more bars, in the past I've been asked to help pay for limo service as well. All in all a wedding for someone who's spoken to me via Facebook twice in a year could cost more than a days wages and that's if I don't buy new clothes. Seems to me that old traditons that were around originally for a different purpose have been bastardized as a way for the couple to make money and get presents. I totally agree with the statement that if you can't afford the wedding you should consider not getting married ... or elope. Who's going to bail them out once they're married and can't afford their choices???

Anonymous said...

If you don't invite me to the wedding don't invite me to pay for it.

I love the commenter that said "why should they have to settle for a small wedding" I am sure I'll be seeing you on "Til Debt Do Us Part" quite soon. It's called living within your means my dear.

Paul said...

I'm sorry, for the most part it seems that the people against this "Jack & Jill" are rather snobby and ignorant.

My best friend is getting Married this fall. we're having a Jack & Jill. This will be after the bridal party goes on a small get-away and the boys go to their own little vacation.

The purpose of it IS in fact to raise money for the wedding. They are not having a huge wedding, but where's the harm in having a party to celebrate? The "entry fee" is simply to cover the cost of the hall/prizes etc. The games are made to raise some money for the bride and groom and to add some more entertainment.

I'm sorry but what's the difference in going to a casino to gamble with friends and going to a private party and have your money go to a good cause rather than somebody else's bank roll?

According to "" the average cost of a wedding is $20k - $30k....that's equivalent to a good down payment on a house. The average couple struggles to save that let alone to save it twice.

Maybe you guys were born with shit loads of cash, but I don't see the harm in having a good time and helping out friend's/family at the same time.

Stop counting your pennies and being a cheap ass.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry, but when does it end?

Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Jack and Jill, Bachelor/Bachelorette Party...

It's all a money grub!!

If you don't have the money to invite 100 guests, then DON'T. Downsize your guest list or get married and just have you and your family and have a backyard party where you supply the food and booze at a reduced cost. There are lots of ways to have a great reception without breaking the bank.

The thing that gets me about these parties is that I'm expected to go when more than half the time, I wasn't invited to the wedding and I haven't talked to you in over a year. And you want me to fund your wedding? My sister-in-law had a destination wedding that was approximately 3500/couple. My hubby and I couldn't afford to go but then they invited us to their Jack and Jill. To pay for their destination wedding (which wasn't just a wedding but a week-long vacation too). Give me a break!!!!

You choose your wedding - if you have to have a big wedding not to piss other people off, then do the appropriate thing and save up for it. Don't ask others to give you money to pay for it. That's like saying 'I can't afford to go to university, so I'm going to throw a party where you'll all chip in until I can afford tuition'. That would be considered inappropriate - so why aren't Jack and Jills?

I commend the people who are using the money wisely and notifying their guests where the money is going (i.e. Krista's idea of a cancer donation). But to use it to pay for your tires, or for a downpayment on a home (the most popular one I've seen)? How much money do I have to spend to show you that I care about your marriage?

I understand that for some people it's a tradition, but in my family and for me, it will NEVER happen. The entire thing is in incredibly poor taste.

What Sheila wrote is right - having a wedding is about celebrating your union and being with family and friends. You shouldn't cheapen the entire thing by asking people to empty their pockets for your cause.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog and am disappointed by most of the comments. Stag and does are a perfect incetive to have many people come together that would not otherwise normally do so and to have a good time!

It astounds me that most of the comments think that stag and does are tacky and only for making money. On the contrary, the last stag and doe I went to had a $5.00 ticket entry and $3.00 drinks. There were OPTIONAL tickets to win prizes like a 40 inch plasma tv and a gps and approximately 60 other small prizes. In addition, there was a live band playing and games such as Crown and Anchor for entertainment.

I just do not understand how people can complain about: spending a few dollars to: a) enjoy entertainment, b) spend time with friends and family, and c) eat, drink and be merry.

Every stag and doe I have went to has INCLUDED food. Worst case scenario: you spend $5.00-$10.00 to EAT A MEAL and spend time with friends. No one forces you to buy optional tickets or play games, if you cant afford it dont get them. Unless you absolutely cannot afford to go, I can see no reason why someone would not want to go to a stag doe - unless you are anti-social. Who cares that afterwards some profit goes to the bride and groom - it is better than giving your money away to bars and restaurants!

Stag and does are simply put: a FUN and inexpensive way to spend time with friends, old and new. I don't understand why anyone feels the need to complain about that.

AlwaysFresh! said...

I think all you people that are strongly against stag and doe events need to get over yourself. Honestly like do you not like to have a good time??? and wouldnt you rather be supporting someone you know than just handing money over to a nightclub or carnival or somethin?? Stag and does are a great idea and tons of fun. Loosen up a little!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found your article! Someone else who thinks that stag and does are TACKY! I have an old high school friend who hasn't kept in touch with me over 6-7 years and is now getting married and invited me to her tacky-themed stag and doe - with $20 tickets. I think it's just ... wrong. I never to out clubbing and I don't party on a regular basis, so it's not like asking me to redirect my partying fund to help out an old classmate. I'm being asked to spend money that I usually wouldn't spend to do something I usually don't enjoy to benefit someone I don't usually hear from. I just refuse to go on the principle of the thing.

This would all be fine but several of my friends are bridesmaids/MOH so I've been bombarded with several mass emails (in addition to the bride inviting me to this stage and doe) asking me to buy these exorbitant tickets for this stag and doe. So, now I feel horrible that I'm refusing to help out my actual friends who are stuck with all these tickets that they can't possibly sell. And I want to explain to my friends that I don't like the concept of stag and doe and that's why I'm not buying their tickets but I don't know how to approach the topic. :-(

Anonymous said...

I also stumbled across this blog, actually by looking for stag and doe ideas! I agree that some people make it an extra money grab or "fundraiser" (never heard of this term used to describe one before) but I've never actually seen this negative view from my large family and friends. I never had and engagement party, and I don't know anyone who actually does this (it seems to be for those who just want to flaunt their ring, new fiance, etc. and get gifts). And tradition for those I know is that you choose to have a either a shower or a stag and doe NOT both.
Everyone I know has been begging for us to have a stag and doe. You get a band, everyone gets to bring all their friends, even people who don't know the bride and groom come just for the entertainment and cheap night of drinks. By the end of the night everyone knows everyone anyway. People can choose to come for dinner and buy a dinner ticket, or not and just come for drinks later. This is way more fun than some stuffy shower where people watch you open gifts and play boring games. At a stag and doe, they are drinking while playing stupid games and laughing which makes for way better memories.
The money that people bring to spend is the same amount that they plan to spend on a gift for a shower. The benefit of this, is that we plan to use mostly hand-me down household items rather than get them new at a shower. This way we are able to afford the large wedding and not go into debt. For our situation, it is really best for us and the people attending.
Just a side note for the girl with the charity...although this sounds great, the stag and doe itself will cost you to put on, and you must at least cover your expenses.
Also, there will be a lot of work going into this, and people will want to know where the money is going for all their hard work. I do think its fantastic to give to charity, and plan to do so rather than give out favors (people hate them anyway), don't do it just to make yourself look good, and make your fiance feel that he wasted they time/money on throwing this party.

Anonymous said...

I think they're so tacky.

I understand that they're more common in certain parts of the country then others, and I guess if its the norm in your town then its not as bad.

I know a couple in Toronto who is planning an very expensive wedding and are planning on putting on a stag and doe for themselves and it doesn't sit right with me at all.

I'm not sure that I can go wihtou vomiting in my mouth a little bit.

If I ever had one done for me, I would use the money to donate to charity as part of the favors as was suggested earlier.

Anonymous said...

I personally think jack and Jill events can really be a blast. My fiance and I have chosen to have one instead of the traditional wedding shower. We are NOT hosting this party to suck money out of our loved ones! And for those of you who are so quickly to judge, let me ask you this... If you were to attend a "traditional wedding shower" and spend $50 plus dollars on a gift the bride and groom mostly likely do not need! Why are you so against paying $30 for you and a date to enjoy a good time together and actually helping your loved ones "bride and groom" start a life together, because most of us aren't luck enough to have mommy and daddy pay our wedding tab.

Anonymous said...

A lot of these comments are funny to me because SO MANY regional/cultural traditions surrounding weddings can be seen as tacky but its the only one I've ever seen attacked. I’ve heard of certain cultures expecting cash gifts to the couple to cover double the cost of your plate at the wedding, money dances where family and friends actually pin money on the bride and groom, not to mention that pretty much any event leading up to a wedding, whether it be engagement party, shower, stag, or the actual wedding itself is about celebrating the happy couple AND offering them support in their new life together in the form of best wishes, gifts or cash. To me it makes no difference if a couple spends money raised at a jack and jill on their wedding, honeymoon, new house, or even *gasp* new tires for their car. If that’s what the couple needs most so be it. Once you give something to a person its totally up to them what they do with it. If you give a cash wedding gift do you have expectations on what that should be spent on? If you don’t support that couple or don’t think they need any financial help from you don’t go. If you think its rude to be invited to a jack and jill but not a wedding don’t go. But don’t declare all jack & jills tacky just because the hosts are asking you to help the couple out… if that makes an event tacky then every possible event that can be thrown for a couple when they are getting married is equally tacky. If you think their tacky because there’s usually cheap food, cheap drinks, cheap decorations and silly games then I would tend to agree with you… that’s all part of their charm.

Anonymous said...

I am helping organize a Stag n Doe party for my brother and his fiancee this weekend! We are doing it more for a good time than to raise $! We are having raffles and such but only charging a donation to get in and we are making it BYOB!Like I said we're just throwing it for a good time, all the bridal party and family is volunteering to help out!

Anonymous said...

The point to a Stag and doe is to raise money which is a good thing, it helps pay for something - probably shouldn't be the wedding but it helps pay for a honeymoon that most people would go on regardless. No one forces people to go to the stag and doe and if you do, no one forces anyone to spend money but that is the point of them. People go to showers and buy gifts, instead of buying a gift have a fun night out and play games with the money you would have spent on a shower gift.
Couples shouldn't have a stag and doe and a shower or stag, they should either have a shower for the bride and a stag for the groom or a jack and jill. it is the same as a shower just more people cause guys don't usually go to showers. I don't see anything wrong with stag and doe's - you would spend the money on a gift and spend money to go out so spend it on your friends

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you - finally somebody who sees things clearly :) I love your post, anonymous!
I actually came to this site because I was looking for some unique ideas for a theme for my girlfriend's Jack & Jill (which I am looking forward to planning).
I'll admit, when I was asked to plan the first J&J I was involved in, I was a little thrown off because I had never been to one. However, we had tons of fun planning the big party, picking a theme, and organizing games (that are WAY better than cheesy bridal shower games that are meant to be "ice-breakers", but make everyone feel awkward). The fantastic thing about J&Js are they usually take the place of a stereotypical bridal shower, where you are awkwardly present as the bride opens all of the gifts in front of everyone. What is the difference etween $30-$50 spent at a bridal shower and the same spent at a J&J you ask? A bundle of fun, that's what! You get drinks, games, dancing and food for that money at a J&J!!!
Also, as someone mentioned previously, you are not forced to go, or to spend your money once you are there. Consider it a fun night out where, instead of the club earning your money, your money is going to support your friend. I have been to 1 where I didn't feel comfortable playing the games, so (get this)....I didn't! I purchased drinks, danced, and had a fantastic time.
Anyone who has had a wedding and attempted to make it affordable knows that you can only cut so many corners. When it gets down to it (unless your parents are paying for your wedding), most people can not afford one. I would hate to think that one of my friends threw away her dream of getting married in a church/beach/backyard (believe me, it's also quite expensive) and just took their vows at city hall because they were worried about "offending" people by hosting a jack & jill. Personally, I am happy to contribute if it makes their lives just a little bit easier.

Anonymous said...

I too am amazed at the negativity towards "fundraisers" to help raise extra cash for weddings!!

My fiance and I are getting married in nine months and our bridal party has talked about throwing us a buck n doe. We have four kids and he can't seem to find a job to help pay for our wonderful day. Our parents are useless and aren't helping one bit, so it's come down to our tax returns to pay for the entire wedding ourself. It's not about impressing our friends, it's about making our day as magical and memorable as we can make it. But with that, money is needed.

I personally never have been to one, I hear theyre quite popular in Canada, which is where one of my bridemaids got the idea from. the community where we live is known for coming together for fundraisers, and if theres a band and booze involved, EVERYONE will be there.

I don't get why so many of you are against it. Money is money no matter where it comes from. If your friends and family want to help you fund your wedding then why not?? It's not like your putting your hands out or going door to door saying "Please help me" right? I'm sure if I ever got invited to one I'd be glad just for the invitation for one! As long as I get to see the happy couple have their day then that's all that matters.


J. Rose said...

I don't think having a Jack & Jill is tacky if you are NOT have any other kind of shower/stag what is the difference paying for a J & J than spending money on a shower present and buying a stag ticket? I don't get why people think it is tacky. People get to go to the J & J have some good food listen to a band or dj and just have some fun.

Danielle said...

I am somewhat on the fence about all the bridal parties involved in weddings. I enjoy going to them even if I don't know the bride and groom. I actually went to one last night. Last august my sister in law got married, she had an engagement party, a bridal shower, a stag and doe, a bachlorette party, a BBQ the night before and a breakfast the day after. I was a bridesmaid for the first time and wow was it ever a busy few months! If you are going to do all of these events, great have a good time, enjoy the people you care about and that's that but do not expect a huge wedding gift in the end because all of these events cost the invited lots of money. My boyfriend is so against the wedding industry (me being a wedding planner, we tend to butt heads) but I'm starting to agree with him on some things.

If you want a good gift or a good amount of money given to you the day you get married, slow down a little with the "traditional" bridal events. I do a ton of bridal etiquette research and if you go back far enough, weddings used to cost less than $50.00 because they weren't meant to suck the money out of your pocketbooks, they were meant to share the love and commitment you and your partner have with everyone who care about you. Now weddings in Canada cost upwards to $80 thousand dollars! It is your money, your life and your wedding but if most over the top wedding budgets end in divorce yet the 80 year old couple who spent $50 are still together, you do the math.

I love weddings, I love everything about them including the "tacky" stag and does. I am planning my own and I can tell you that I want a lot of things and at some point I have to draw the line. I refuse to spend money that could go towards my future and childrens future on an 8-12 hour day that you won't even remember what colors you had and what the centerpieces looked like in 60 years from now. That's just MY opinion.

If you are invited to a stag and not the wedding... Don't go if it offends you. If you are invited to the wedding but can't afford to go to all the other events, don't go to them. There are no rules that state: if invited, you must spend hundreds of dollars on me and my wedding, honeymoon, house or car! You are invited because maybe they want you there.

As far as the money spent at a stag and doe is concerned, you aren't obligated to spend anything if you don't want to. People usually do because they want to. If you don't like the games, don't play them. If you aren't a fan of the cheaper than the bar drinks, don't drink them. If you are offended that the couple are allowing you a chance to win a prize that you only paid $5 for... Don't put money in their hand then. If you are the type of person who doesn't usually go out, and doesn't spend money on anything... This isn't the event for you. If you are however, it's a great night out that won't cost you as much as a club, or carnival or whatever. If it does, who cares? If you can't afford to go to the movies, don't go to the stag then. It's offensive that people are so quick to judge others, for all you know, the couple throwing the stag and doe might be loaded, might have their wedding completely paid for in cash, but just want to have a good time with people they know or don't know. If they want to have a toonie toss, who cares! THIS is why the wedding industry is out of control and being a wedding planner, I can say for certain- the term bridezilla comes from stressed out brides who are trying to please the whole damn world with a day that shouldn't be about anything but LOVE!

Also, telling people they shouldn't get married because they can't afford a wedding is disgusting. Youshould be ashamed of's a good thing you aren't invited to weddings, I'd be afraid of you eating your (free for you) $125 meal and drinking All the FREE alcohol you wanted, saying I had a horribly tacky vintage carnival themed wedding!

Anonymous said...

I think the Jack & Jill idea is horrible, It seems there are way too many jealous women out there who want to infringe on their groom's last hoorah as a single man. Let him go act a fool with strippers, booze & his buddies. In order to manipulate the the man into having a joint bachelor party they have to use money as a bargaining tool. Sad, if your relationship can't last past a stag party, return your dress.

Anonymous said...

I personally think stag & does are perfectly alright. Nobody is forced into attending one. I am getting married this August and I am still in University so money is tight for my fiance and I. We went to the same high school and have a tight group of friends from home who are all really excited about going to a party for us even though we are not able to invite everyone of our friends to the wedding due to cost. We keep getting people tell us how excited they are to go to a bar like setting and see all their old high school friends. I mean, they would be doing the same thing somewhere else that Saturday night so I think a lot of them are happy it is going to people they know and care about. We are putting all of our own money into the initial costs so no one has to fund the event for us.

For people like my fiance and I, I think it is a great idea. We may not have a ton of money but that shouldn't mean we aren't allowed to have a wedding surrounded by our closest friends and family. We are spending the money we make wisely; I am making every decoration, my dress was well under 1,000, our venues were next to nothing, my mom and I are making all of the food and I will be making all the deserts and our rings were also extremely cheap. We are not flashing our money around because there really is nothing to flash.

Since we are both still in school (we are getting married so we can be in the same city and don't have to do long distance anymore) this really is the only way we fund a wedding that isn't in a court house. I don't think we should be scolded for that. If people want to support you, they will come out and buy drinks and whatnot, if they are against it, then they don't need to come.

Just because some people can afford nice weddings without the help of others, doesn't mean everyone can and in those cases I think hosting a Stag and Doe for those who want to support the couple is more than fine.

Anonymous said...

I am in full support of th stag and doe, if you do not support them than do not attend. In my small town we enjoy the stag and doe, they are a lot of fun, give us something to do pretty much every weekend in the summer. There is music to dance to, cheap drinks ( cheaper than a bar here anyways ) and crazy games, some I myself wouldn't play but many people love them. Maybe in larger cities you have your noses so far in the air you can't let loose and have a good time. People do not have to purchase tickets or attend or spend money on any games, it is all by choice and to have a good time. The bride and groom can spend the money any way they want to. Now seeing that the blog author must aprrove all comment it makes sense that everyone agrees with you.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is old, but...

We live in a small town, and honestly it's more about the community coming together to support the couple. Even people that don't know the couple often attend because it's a good time and something to do. If people don't want to attend, they don't.

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