A co-ed shower is one thing, but a party where guests buy their way in and are expected to pay for drinks or activities once inside? Not on my watch. The Jack and Jill is a rather old tradition, as I discovered while reading Bachelor Party Confidential. Back in the days when $600 was a HUGE wad of cash, and many brides and grooms started out with absolutely nada, Jack and Jills helped the new couple find their feet. But today, when so many young newlyweds already have a little something socked away (or at least steady jobs), the notion of holding a fête where the object is to rake in the bucks seems just a tad outdated.
The Jack and Jill, also known as the “Doe and Stag” or couples shower, it can bleed your wallet white. The best man and the maid of honor usually collaborate on this matrimonial mugging. They rent a hall — at their cost, not the bride’s — and sell tickets, usually for around $20. If you’re invited, but not planning to attend, you’re still expected to buy a few tickets. Just about everyone invited to the wedding gets roped into this one.
There’s a no-host bar, where a glass of wine costs $5 to $10, plus a series of gambling games and raffle drawings. If you win a prize, you’re expected to donate it to the happy couple. Win $50 at roulette, you’re supposed to hand that over, too. The entire bar profits, raffle proceeds and admission-ticket money goes to subsidize the honeymoon.
If that’s not enough, upfront and center in the hall is an artificial tree, the Money Tree, to which guests are expected to fasten envelopes full of cash and checks for the honeymoon.
So, let me get this straight. I’m to bring a present to the shower and then send a gift on ahead before the wedding, and I’m supposed to “subsidize the honeymoon?” Overkill, much? I understand that such parties can be culturally appropriate, but the individuals hosting them should be sensitive to the fact that some guests may be shocked and appalled at the idea. Me? I just can’t get behind it… a marriage license is not a license to grub for cash.