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Cut Wedding Costs with a Jack and Jill Party: 6 Do’s and Don’ts

If you're looking to plan a wedding on a budget, a Jack and Jill party might just be your saving grace. This popular pre-wedding event, perfected by our neighbors in Canada, can help couples cope...

If you're looking to plan a wedding on a budget, a Jack and Jill party might just be your saving grace. This popular pre-wedding event, perfected by our neighbors in Canada, can help couples cope with the financial strain of wedding events while bringing their whole crew together. But there are some etiquette guidelines to follow to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are the most important do's and don'ts to keep in mind when planning a Jack and Jill party.

What is a Jack and Jill Party?

First of all, if you're not familiar with a Jack and Jill party, don't worry. Many Americans haven't heard of this event. It's a great way to gather everyone without separating them by gender, and it eliminates the need for silly games or huge gift registries. The best part? If done right, it can help subsidize your wedding costs, the open bar, or even the honeymoon budget.

But what's the proper Jack and Jill party etiquette? Let's take a look.

wedding guests waving white cloths and laughing Photo by Volvoreta

Do: Charge a nominal amount as a "ticket price"

The main purpose of a Jack and Jill party is to defray the costs of the wedding. To do this without any awkwardness, you can simply charge an agreed-upon amount at the door. Most couples choose a price range between $15-$25 per person, which adds up quickly but isn't a huge burden on any single guest. You can also set up an optional collection basket for extra cash for a specific cause, such as the honeymoon. This allows more generous guests to chip in anonymously if they choose. It's important to list wedding items that everyone gets to enjoy, like the cake or the wine selection, instead of more extravagant expenses.

bride smiling happily at one of her bridesmaids Photo by Jaicee Morgan

Don't: Limit the guest list

A Jack and Jill party is a great opportunity to bring all of your friends together, including those who can't make it to the wedding. You can invite distant relatives, colleagues, or acquaintances who might not be attending a smaller wedding or a destination wedding. It's also a chance to spend more time with people than you'll be able to at the wedding itself. So don't limit the guest list and remember, more guests mean more money and more fun!

20s themed jack and jill party guests on green field Photo by Volvoreta

Do: Have a fun theme

Having a fun or quirky theme for your Jack and Jill party can make the day more enjoyable and entice more guests to join you. The theme can be almost anything you can think of, like brunch with bocce, beers with baseball, or afternoon tea by the lake. Just make sure it's practical and something your guests will want to attend. Avoid themes that might not appeal to everyone, like paintball if you have older guests. Having a focused event will help guests understand what they're getting into and ensure that everyone has a good time.

wedding guests sitting next to the dance floor watching a performance Photo by Ashton Teriece

Don't: Go overboard

While it's important to have a theme and provide food and drinks, remember that the goal of the Jack and Jill party is to raise money. So don't spend too much on the party itself. Choose locations that are free or inexpensive to use, like a public park or a relative's yard. Use drink tickets to control the bar tab, and consider buying in bulk to save on costs. For food, choose hearty, shareable options like barbeque or sandwiches that can easily feed a large group. Don't forget, the priority is to maximize profits and minimize stress.

table filled with donuts at a jack and jill party Photo by Sanford Creative

Do: Hold a Jack and Jill in lieu of another event

Planning multiple events leading up to the wedding can be overwhelming for both the couple and their friends. Instead of asking your friends to attend multiple events, consider hosting a Jack and Jill party in place of an engagement party, a bridal shower, or even a bachelor/bachelorette party. Be clear with your guests about their expectations, whether it's gifts or simply their presence. This allows everyone to have a good time without feeling overwhelmed.

two bridesmaids crossing arms and sipping drinks Photo by Jaicee Morgan

Don't: Expect too much

While a Jack and Jill party can bring extra funds and excitement to your wedding, don't expect the proceeds to cover all your expenses. The goal is to subsidize, not bankroll your wedding. So don't get frustrated if you only make a few hundred bucks. Think of it as getting paid to have a party with all your friends. It's about enjoying the experience and sharing special moments together.

jack and jill party guests sitting at wooden tables outdoors Photo by Ashton Teriece

Got any other ideas for Jack and Jill do's and don'ts? Let us know in the comments! And don't forget to follow our Instagram and Pinterest pages for daily wedding inspiration and photos.

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