Instead of having separate parties for the bride and groom-to-be, many couples decide to have a stag and doe party. A stag and doe party, also known as “Jack and Jill” or “buck and doe,” combines the traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties into one event to raise money for the couple. The key to having a successful party is planning. Here are a few ideas for a stag night that will not soon be forgotten.
The first step in having an unforgettable stag and doe party is preparation. It usually takes two months to plan a stag party from start to finish, and you’ll want to have plenty of time to sell tickets. If you are the bride or groom, you’re going to have your hands full with the wedding itself, so now is a great time to put that wedding party to work. You can also ask friends or family to help out with certain tasks. Create a realistic budget. Ideally, the ticket sales should cover the cost of the venue, music, and food, so use your guest list and ticket price as a guide. Purchase any supplies that will be necessary for the evening, such as decorations, raffle tickets, and the door prizes. To save money, design and print your own tickets. Packages of do-it-yourself business cards can be purchased for less than $10 at an office supply store. Be sure to list the address of your venue and even include general directions on the back side of the ticket.
Selecting a Hall
Choosing the right venue for your party is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Before you have your heart set on a particular location, do your research. Make a list of potential locations, contact numbers, and key questions to ask. First, make sure the site allows stag and doe parties. Other important facts to know include pricing, availability, maximum guest occupancy, floor layout and design, alcohol policy, and parking. Many venues offer package deals that include catering and bartending services which may save you time and money. While rare, a few halls will allow you to keep a portion of the profit from their alcohol sales. Find out if you are permitted to bring your drinks for guests to purchase or if you must use their bar. Before deciding on your spot, it’s wise to tour the facility to ensure it is a good match for you and your guests.
Nothing sets the mood quite like music. The easiest free way to provide a lively atmosphere is to hire a DJ. Usually, the DJ will act as an MC, announcing winners of raffles, informing guests of upcoming activities, and helping maintain a steady flow throughout the night. You may even score a discount if you book them for your wedding as well. If you prefer live music, hire a local band. It’s possible to find groups that are willing to play for free in exchange for the exposure. If hiring a DJ or band isn’t an option, avoid asking friends to bring their favorite CDs to the party. Keeping up with the discs and ensuring each one is returned to the proper owner is time consuming, stressful, and can result in lost items and frustration. Create a soundtrack beforehand and burn them onto blank CDs.
Games will be the primary source of revenue for your stag and doe party. Depending on where you live, there may be laws which consider raffles and other chance-based games to be gambling and therefore may be illegal. If such laws exist, consider skill-based games instead such as a putt-putt game, sack toss, balloon darts, and other carnival-style games. If permitted by law, offer door prizes and raffle items. The 50/50 method is very popular and encourages more participation. This allows the profits to be split between the bride and groom and the winner of a particular game or drawing.
With all the excitement, guests will need fuel to keep them going. It may seem less expensive to buy and provide the food yourself, but if you also need a caterer for the wedding, they may offer a combo discount. Whether you decide to provide and prepare the food yourself or hire a caterer, decide on the menu early. Easy menu ideas for stag and doe parties include light meals, such as chicken tenders with fries, lasagna with salad, and barbeque sandwiches with potato salad. Appetizers and finger foods can be made available through the night, such as crackers, cheese, fruit, vegetables, and vegetables with dip.