Here in North Central Massachusetts there is a traditional party thrown for couples about to get married. They are called ‘Jack & Jills,’ and what happens is this: the couple (or their friends) rent a local hall, hire a band or DJ, advertise in the paper, and charge anywhere from 5-10 bucks to get in and party. People don’t usually bring gifts to these things, but any money left over does go to the couple.
I always assumed this sort of thing was done everywhere, but the more I hear from others, the more I realize that this seems to be a very regional type of thing. (By the way, these ‘Jack & Jills’ are not to be confused with ‘testimonials’ or ‘showers’ or anything. It’s really just a fund-raising party).
Here are my questions: Do you think this is a tacky practice? Do you have anything similar where you live? Do you have any horror stories?
There isn’t an equivalent in our region. I had never heard of such a thing before I started hanging out on a wedding MB last year. Apparently it’s pretty common in the New York/New Jersey area and in parts of Canada. I believe some people also call it a stag/stagette party.
One poster started a thread about how much people had raked in at these parties, and some of the amounts were astonishing. I’m not talking total intake from ticket sales, raffles, and gaming tables, I’m talking profit. Quite a lot of couples got $20,000-$30,000 from their parties.
Ironically enough, the poster who started that thread had that very day started another thread trashing the dollar dance, where totals are usually in the hundreds or low thousands. Her stance was that the dance was vulgar, crass, disgusting, and generally just plain tacky because it’s just a blatant money-grab. Hmm…pot, kettle?
Here in Northern NJ… a Jack and Jill is a Shower for the guy and the girl…
The one you are talking about sounds ok… not tacky really…
but I can’t see the couple walking away with too much money after paying for a dj… and the hall if everyone only gives $5 or $10…
The strange part is that you advertise in the paper?.. so you just invite random people?? That seems odd…
Clarification: I’m not saying that both practices are tacky, crass, or a blatant money-grab. I was just stunned that someone who threw herself a $30K fundraiser would take that view about another practice that raises money for the happy couple.
I was, however, fairly horrified when the concept of the Jack& Jill was explained to me. It’s just terribly foreign to the way my mind works. A party is something you do with your friends, and you don’t charge your friends to hang out with you. Charging your friends to attend your party, or just partying with whatever strangers happen to show up with $10 just boggles my mind.
The dollar dance never struck me that way. Maybe because it’s a part of so many ethnicities’ heritage. It always struck me as just a quaint little cultural thing, like some black couples having a broom-jumping.
You have to keep in mind, the admission is usually just the base price. There are often raffles, craps tables, poker games (where it’s considered bad form to not give your winnings to the groom) and other money-raising activities after you get in the door. I even saw someone mention “passing the hat” at their J&J.
Wow. I’ve never heard of anything like this. In the South, we have wedding showers, but even things like money trees are generally considered to be in poor taste.
I don’t think it’s tacky if it’s a well-known regional custon and everybody goes into it knowing what’s expected. On the other hand, I’d never feel comfortable having such a party.