The stag and doe (or Jack and Jill) is a time-honoured pre-wedding celebration where guests purchase tickets to attend a party full of family, friends, and fun games that help raise money for the bride and groom-to-be. There’s typically a great deal of Jell-O shooters, loud music and heightened levels of crazy. They can be indoors or outdoors, just for adults or for the whole family. You can even get your beloved pets in on the fun. (Just don’t give them the Jell-O.)
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If you’re planning the party yourself, here are a few fun game ideas to ensure your stag and doe is a huge success.
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The 50/50 Draw
Guests buy tickets to enter to win half the money collected in the draw.
The Grand Prize Draw
If you have a large grand prize (tablet, large TV, etc.) tickets can be sold all night and the winning ticket drawn at the end of the night.
Guests pay for the chance to guess how many items are in a large jar. Keep a board handy with each person’s guess, making sure there are no doubles. At the end of the night, announce the person with the right guess (or the closest guess without going over) and that person wins the jar or other prize or even half the money collected.
Lock and Key
Choose a good prize and put it in a box with a lock on it. Throw the box’s key into a pot with a bunch of mismatched keys from various sources. Let guests buy a key and try their luck on the lock. If the lock opens, they get to keep the prize. Some rental places also offer combination security boxes where instead of the key, guests try guessing the code to unlock the box.
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A special prize (of decent value) is placed on the floor. Tape a line about 10 feet away from the prize and let guests toss toonies to try to get their toonie closest to the prize. The person with the toonie closest to the prize when the game is ended wins the prize. Use strips of masking tape with the guest’s name on it to mark their toonie location as this game can be played throughout the night.
Go to Jail
Designate a corner of the room as the “jail” and two guests as “sheriffs.” Don’t be afraid to get seriously creative with decorations and costumes. There are essentially three rules. Guests can pay the sheriffs to put someone in jail. ($2 for 2 minutes – or as much as they’re willing to spend), other guests can bail themselves or other guests by doubling the amount spent to put them “behind bars”, and guests can purchase “get out of jail free” cards throughout the night so if the Sheriff happens by to escort them to jail they can show their card and keep their freedom. (Cards are single use only though.)
When guests arrive they are asked if they want to buy insurance. If they don’t, and end up winning a prize throughout the night and don’t have an insurance card, they get a pie in the face. (Some events use live minnows for guests to swallow instead of the pie. Poor little fishies.)
Dress up the Groom
You can get as create as you want with milestones and rules, but here are a few to inspire. After the first $50.00 raised, the Groom gets his nails done. After $100, he puts on a dress (usually a mock wedding dress or old-school bridesmaid dress). At $200, the Bride removes his garter with her teeth and he throws a bouquet to all the single guys. At $400, he starts having spot dances with the wedding party. Over $500 and parts of him might be getting waxed.
To Sing or not to Sing
Place two buckets in a high traffic area. One bucket will be labeled “sing” and the other “don’t sing.” Instruct guests to drop money into whichever they’d like the bride and groom to do. You can either draw a line on the bucket, or t the end of the night, count the change in each to determine which bucket is the winner. If there’s more money in “sing,” the bride and groom must perform a duet for their guests (karaoke or have a guitar handy for them to try to make something up.)
Other games to consider: basket toss, bra pong, kissing booth, balloon stomp, find the joker, plinko, crown and anchor, and on and on.
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Also, don’t be afraid to try your hand at setting your event up like a carnival. Tons of colour and game options equals more fun for your guests and more money raised for the happy couple.