Thursday, March 08, 2012

Fundraising for a wedding??

I have been in a few wedding parties and each had it's own personality if you will, to complement the varying personalities of my dear girlfriends who have married their sweethearts.

There were the super-laid-back brides, the plan-every-detail-like-Martha-Stewart brides, the DIY brides, there were young and even younger brides (only one was older than me), there were student brides and working brides, there were brides who were frugal and brides who were accustomed to the finer things in life.

As would be expected, each of their personalities came out in their weddings.  In a good way - usually ;)  There may have been a few heated discussions and a few things said in haste, but the friendships remain and the marriages grow stronger and my closet gets fuller.

There is one particular part of wedding planning that I just need to comment on.  That part is the fundraiser for the wedding.  If you're not from southern Ontario, you may not know about this phenomenon - that people actually raise money for their wedding.  There are engagement parties, there are bridal showers, there are couple wedding showers, there are tool parties, there are bachelorette and bachelor parties, there are family celebrations, work celebrations, friend celebrations and church celebrations.  But there's one celebration you may not be familiar with and that is the Stag and Doe, or the Buck and Doe.  This event is known as a fundraiser for the engaged couple, so that they do not start their married life in debt.

However, this has often become a license to be overly extravagant and splurge on things for the item you may not (absolutely won't) need.  Dresses worth thousands of dollars.  Guest lists larger than a Dutch church directory.  Tacky wedding favours that people throw out.  And that's just 'average' people - just google 'lavish weddings' if you really want to be blown away.

Please don't take this rant as that of a jaded single 28 year old, because it's not.

I do however, take issue with the idea of spending so much on your wedding that you need a fundraiser to pay for it.  I know people who drew up wedding budgets with an income line titled "Stag&Doe".  Yes, they counted on it.  And as the event (the Stag and Doe, not the wedding) drew nearer and not enough tickets were sold, the wedding party would freak out, spamming everyone's facebook wall saying "you HAVE to buy a ticket - 'so' and 'so' are counting on it!"  Really?  Well I'm sorry, but then maybe you should cut back your budget.

To be fair, some people that I know who have gotten married had absolutely zero family support and needed help to pay for the basics - the ring, paying the officiant, getting their marriage license.  This rant isn't directed at them.

My other issue with Stag and Doe's is that the main source of revenue is selling alcohol.  I don't know about you, but something about others getting drunk so that I can pay for my wedding just doesn't sit right with me.  Call me old-fashioned.

What are your thoughts?


  1. I totally agree. I find it very hard to support people who have alcohol at their Stag & Doe's. I do not agree with getting drunk and that's pretty much what they do there. We had a Baseball Tournament for ours and there was no alcohol there and that's how we wanted it even though a few people complained, but we stood firm. Sure, we may have raised more money, but in these situations you just need to get creative and I wouldn't of felt right raising money by letting others get drunk! It actually makes me kind of sad/disappointed with how people are all about drinking and getting drunk! :(

  2. I also agree. I actually don't attend Stag N Doe's anymore for that reason. I will go to engagement/wedding showers. I will get a gift for the wedding. I will help with the planning, the decorating, the shopping, the organization, etc. But I will not encourage others to buy tickets that will cause them to sin just so that a couple can afford the extras. I'm with Jen - get creative! There are other ways to get support financially. And also, if you had been wise with your finances to begin with, maybe you wouldn't be in as dire of a predicament. Just saying.

  3. Never have I ever been to a Stag and Doe. Never did I ever even want to have a Stag and Doe. People are spending so much on you already, why beg them for more? Simple weddings are better - people should be focusing on the marriage, not the wedding. It makes me CRAZY when people overspend on their wedding and you see them in their marriage and they just don't have it sad.

  4. I guess I'm too practical to understand why anyone would want to waste so much money on one day in their life, but I didn't grow up with all the Disney Princess' fluff images and other unrealistic impressions that so many grow up with.
    We spent $10 on the marriage license and then , what ?, $1.20 on transportation, read bus fare, lol.
    I never felt like I missed out, the goal was to get married and that we did.
    Maybe our parents felt cheated, then again, mine were in Europe, not exactly approving and maybe glad not to have the expense of a daughter's wedding and your dad's parents threw a family get together 2 days later where all the aunts&uncles, cousins, sis&bro, 2 grandmas and 2 nieces helped us celebrate and spoiled us with gifts to help us get a start.
    Nana's sisters helped by bringing some dishes they cooked for the occasion, we were pleasantly surprised, as we had no expectations and it all did help our tiny budget to get some household items as gifts. :) No regrets :) love, mom

  5. I've never experienced this phenomenon in this part of southern Ontario! Is it really common in your area? The weddings I've been involved with have usually just had a wedding shower or three and a bachelorette party which might or might not involve small gifts. The whole "fundraising for the wedding" things seems a little tacky to me, to be quite honest...
    ~Rachel S.

  6. I think they're one of the best parts of the wedding process. Friends and extended family come together to help the bride and groom, who this day in age tend to be funding the wedding themselves, kick-off their life together without the burden of paying for the entire event themselves. I have been to many and the spirit in those rooms is amazing - the community really pulls together.

    Then again, I do not judge other peoples' choices ;). If they do it - they have my full-blown support. If not, all the same.

    Keep in mind that these things are also often thrown by the wedding party/the town itself.