A Jack and Jill party, also known as a stag and doe, is an new kind of pre-wedding event emerging on the scene. Most people outside of certain areas of the world have never even heard of them, but due to being a gender-neutral party option, they’re gaining more traction.
Simply put, J&Js are parties with no gender divides, intended to help engaged couples raise funds to go towards the cost of the wedding or put towards their new life together. It’s the perfect way to stretch the budget without leaving the newlyweds in debt.
Throwing a successful Jack and Jill party can be challenging though. People are giving you money to be there, so it better be good! Of course, it costs money to make money, but you don’t want to end up with less than what you started with either. So whether you’re the engaged couple planning your own, a family member, or someone in the wedding party, get ready to start planning!
Some people absolutely love attending Jack and Jill parties. They love the games, the food, the drinks, and the prizes! But for some people, getting invited to a Jack and Jill party leaves them with feelings of dread. Attending costs money, so if you want your guests to feel excited about it, you need to get creative.
To make your event memorable and special, try to think outside of the box. Consider the various themes you can go with and how you can incorporate fun and engaging games that your guests will enjoy. Consider things like a weekend getaway to a nearby campsite, a city-wide scavenger hunt, or even a casino style theme.
Keep it Simple
Being invited to a loved ones wedding is very exciting, but when couples start planning multiple pre-wedding parties leading up to the big day, it can become overwhelming. If you’re dead set on hosting a Jack and Jill party, consider doing only one other pre-wedding event. In fact, a lot of people suggest choosing either a Jack and Jill party or an engagement party, but not both. You don’t want your guests to burn out on your wedding long before it happens.
Give the Details
If you want more people to come, don’t keep the details a surprise. People want a clear idea of what to expect when deciding whether or not to attend a Jack and Jill. As we said before many people aren’t even familiar with what these parties are, so it’s important that you outline the details for them. They’ll also want to gauge how much money to bring, which means you should include the prices of drinks, activities, raffles, and of course, door tickets.
You should also mention that gifts are not expected at a Jack and Jill party. You want your guests to understand the purpose of the party and not make the mistake of thinking you’re just being greedy.
It’s a good idea to sell party tickets before the event starts. This way you will be able to have a better understanding of how many people to plan for so you can start really solidify your budget. It will also allow you to have something to cover your upfront costs as you purchase things like food and drink.
In order to sell the most tickets, recruit the members of the wedding party to help out. Ideally, the price of the ticket should be somewhere between $10 and $20. Keep in mind that invitations don’t have to be formal for a Jack and Jill party. They can be handed out in person on the fly, put on social media, or sent as an e-vite.
The point of a Jack and Jill party is to raise money, so creating a budget is very important. Consider the number of guests you plan on inviting and the estimate of what your ticket sales should be. By this time, you should also have a general sense of what you want to include in your party, so start pricing. How much will food and drink run? Are you doing a raffle, and how much will the prizes be? You’ll definitely want to tally up your totals before you go on a spending spree. You want to know that you’ll get enough return to not just cover the cost of the party, but actually raise money. Don’t skimp out if your budget is tight either! You’ll start to tread the line of asking for money for nothing. Research well, take the time to find deals, and even DIY wherever you can.
Make it Fun
Entertainment is a really important part when planning a Jack and Jill party. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and pay for a band or a DJ; you can always create your own playlist, take requests in advance, and instantly stream music from a service like Apple Music or Spotify. Renting a karaoke machine is also a great idea, one that a lot of people really like, that won’t cost nearly as much as a band.
The real fun, though, is the games! To make the most out of each game you have planned, keep it organized. It’s a lot harder to raise money when everyone is all over the place. Consider using a microphone and having someone play the MC for the night so they can announce the games, prizes, and winners when appropriate.
Popular choices for games include 50/50 draws, toonie or loonie toss, guessing games, and lock and key (which is where you keep a prize in a box with a lock on it and let guests buy random keys with the hopes they have the one that opens the box).
Select Great Prizes
Having really great prizes is the best way to encourage your guests to play the games and buy raffle tickets. If you’re working on a tight budget, consider trying to get prizes donated from friends and family who own local businesses. Many events work off of donations, and your Jack and Jill party doesn’t have to be any different. You can also see if members of the wedding party can donate gift cards or something else. You really don’t want your prizes to cost more than your returns on the evening, but guests have to want to play for them too.
When hosting a party, you should always serve food, especially if there’s alcohol involved. It’s polite and there’s no better way to guarantee that your guests will plan to stay for several hours. The type of food you choose to serve will depend on your theme and budget, but doesn’t need to be super fancy. Finger foods are a great way to go! Think cupcakes, fruit and veggie platters, and simple hors d’oeuvres.