10 Ways to Plan a Successful Jack & Jill Pre-Wedding Party
1. First, form an empowered Party Planning & Execution Committee.
People who just show up at parties without ever holding one themselves don’t know that they are expensive, time-gulping events that can easily go wrong. A good party doesn’t plan itself.
Without a strong Central Committee, the proletariat will run amuck, making asses of themselves and ruining the whole revolution. That’s just basic Jack & Jill Party Marxism.
Committee members should be include those who can be guilted into extra responsibilities and people with skill and time who also can be counted on to help plan and conduct a party worth the admiration of the masses.
2. The bride and groom are important guests, but they are not in charge.
They don’t get to bark orders, act like bridezillas, or change set plans. Of course the bride and groom, and their seconds, will be consulted for their opinions and suggestions, many of which will be implemented. However, when conflicts arise, the best judgment of the committee shall prevail. This prevents overburdened control freaks planning every other aspect of the wedding from ruining the Jack & Jill fun.
3. Open the party to everyone you can afford to have attend.
Invite men, women, kids, grandparents, friends, work friends, friends of friends, people who can’t attend the wedding or aren’t invited, bridal party, groomsmen, church people, neighbors, and people passing by on the street. Within the limits of your resources, throw open the doors and have a blast that everyone can enjoy. This is one of the key advantages of a Jack & Jill over traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties.
4. Think carefully about finances, and then implement a workable plan.
Many Jack & Jill parties are unabashed fundraisers. Attend a “doe and stag” in Windsor, Ontario, for example, and you will be expected to pay admission, buy raffle tickets, and participate in other activities that funnel raw cash to the bride and groom. The newlyweds will use this money to hold the wedding itself, go on a honeymoon, or waste it in any manner they choose. To criticize such a party as “money-grubbing” is both rude and obvious. Some guy named Barry will probably smash your face for being so stupid out loud.
However, these parties also provide guests with beer and booze, which are frighteningly expensive in Ontario, plus lots of good food. So you’re getting plenty of good party bang for your Canadian buck, which is now worth more than a U.S. dollar.
How will your Jack & Jill party handle the money issues? If fundraising is a goal, then go long, within reason. The party should be self-sustaining if it is not sponsored by a deep-pockets benefactor. And requiring guests to contribute is permitted. But asking them to bring all their own booze and food, then picking their pockets at the party will be considered bad form. Both the planners and the bridal party will be branded as cheap hustlers, and wedding gifts may be reduced as a result.
5. Announce food and drink policies ahead of time.
Will everything be provided? Is everything BYO? A combination? Any strategy can work, as long as it is made clear ahead of time, and conforms to your guests’ expectations of the event. If you’re planning a pot-luck event, try to get reliable guests to commit to some primary dishes. Otherwise you’ll get lots of potato salad and no meat.