I haven't been involved in many weddings yet. Being young, not too many of my friends have tied the knot (though I'm sure this will change in the next few years) so I'm not very 'in the know' about weddings.
Until a year ago I had never heard of a 'Stag & Doe' party. In my mind a couple had a bachelorette/bachelor party and then the wedding. That's it. C'est tout. Two parties.
Apparently not. Apparently the big thing these days is having a Stag & Doe party. I think they're greedy and ridiculous.
A Stag & Doe (also known as a 'Social', a 'Jack & Jill' or a 'Buck & Doe') is a party that the engaged couple throw to try and raise money for their wedding. Guests buy tickets to the party where there will usually be a raffle, contests, prizes and a cash bar, with all proceeds go towards funding the wedding. Guests can make straight-up donations, too, if they're so inclined.
If this was the only party happening then I really wouldn't have a problem with it. I could celebrate and give them something once, then be done with it! This isn't the case, though! Nope, there are more parties that could go down. It seems the routine goes as such:
- Stag & Doe (give us money!)
- Bridal Shower (give me gifts/money!)
- Bachelorette/Bachelor Party (pay for my drinks and stuff!)
- Wedding (buy us presents or just give us straight-up money!)
Now listen...I know I can be cheap sometimes, but I think this is just too much. If a couple expects their guests to shell out money at every one of these parties, then they're really big assholes. Yes, I'll buy you a present at your wedding and sure I'll get you a few shots at your bachelor party...but if you're expecting me to put down $400 to start your life together, you've got another thing coming to you. It's atrocious and I'm poor.
I think perhaps a better option would be to hold a Stag & Doe but ask your guests to not purchase gifts for the actual wedding. That way people don't get resentful and you will have some more money to spend on your big day. Plus: not everyone will be able to make it to the fundraiser party, so you'll still have a few gifts to open when it's all said and done. Everybody wins!
Weddings can be expensive - I understand this - but making your friends pay for it AND expecting a gift is just a little bit too much.