Engaged couples have taken to charging friends and family to attend an engagement party as a way to raise money before their wedding — but the practice has raised the eyebrows among some traditionalists.
These events are typically called Jack and Jill parties, or stag and doe parties, which means the party is attended by both the bride and groom.
The tradition might seem strange to some, but it is actually popular in areas of Ontario, Canada, as well as locations in Connecticut, The Atlantic reports.
Tacky? Engaged couples have taken to charging friends and family to attend an engagement party as a way to raise money before their wedding (stock photo)
Kyle Reid and Tessa Bailey from Binbrook, Canada, which is a town in Ontario, spoke to the publication about their own Jack and Jill party (in their town it’s called a stag and doe) and how they used the money raised to fund their wedding.
The party saw an attendance of about 400 people and included homemade and catered food, a DJ, games, and even a raffle — making for quite the event.
Admittance to the party was then charged at 10 Canadian dollars ($7.66) per head, helping the couple earn a profit to then be used towards their wedding.
‘[Where we’re from] people ask when you get engaged, “Okay, when’s the wedding?”‘ Kyle said. ‘Pretty much the second question is, “When is the stag and doe?”
These types of events are reportedly common in areas of Canada and has since trickled down to small towns in Connecticut.
But it is not just friends and family who will attend. The whole town, as these events mostly take place in small towns, will get involved and buy tickets. Local businesses will also join in.
‘I’ve heard of people making 15, 16, 20 thousand dollars,’ Kyle said.
A search on Reddit shows there is a community of people who have previously discussed Jack and Jill parties and if they go against wedding etiquette to ask guests to pay to attend.
Earlier this year, one Redditor inquired about the parties and wanted other people’s take on if it would be weird to throw one ahead of their own wedding.
The person wrote: ‘Lately, I’ve been seeing a trend of pay-to-participate Jack & Jill parties from people on Facebook. I’m from Connecticut and had never heard of it until recently, but now I’ve seen at least two instances of this in the recent past on my Facebook feed. I was wondering: is this more of a thing that I think it is? What do y’all think about it as practice?’
One commenter offered more information about the practice, explaining how it often happens in ‘more rural’ locations.
‘They seemed to happen more frequently in smaller areas with less entertainment choices. People were, and still are, happy to buy a ticket to an evening where there is drinking, dancing, raffles and food for both the entertainment value and to support the couple,’ the commenter explained.
‘Even strangers to the couple go because it’s a fun evening at low cost for them.’
It doesn’t appear that the commenter actually threw a Jack and Jill event themselves, but they told people to not knock the event so quickly given it is acceptable in certain communities.
‘While it may not be acceptable etiquette where we live, that doesn’t negate a long standing tradition in another area. Nobody is forced to have one or attend one,’ they explained.
A woman named Amy, whose name was changed for anonymity purposes, from Hartford, Connecticut, previously told the Mic about why she and her husband opted for a Jack and Jill party.
‘We’re glad we chose to have a Jack and Jill,’ Amy told the publication. ‘Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the money we received helped a great deal in paying for the wedding.’
Another woman named Claire, whose name was also changed, told the publication that a Jack and Jill party allowed for more people to attend who are unable to go to the wedding.
She said: ‘Everybody that you love and care about can be in the same place at the same time. Plus invitations extend beyond your wedding list, so the party can be pretty big.’
Her Jack and Jill event with her husband, Tim, involved a barbecue in an outdoor space with guests charged $25 per head. Attendees then received a food buffet and unlimited drinks for attending. The event also included music, games, and a raffle.
The events appear to have some success in areas of Canada and Connecticut, but people thinking it could be ‘tacky’ in other parts of the US could prevent the parties from spreading.