Stag and doe
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A stag and doe party, stag and drag party, hen and stag party, buck and doe party, or a jack and jill party is a party and fundraiser for an engaged couple.
In Canada, an event popular mostly in Manitoba or Ontario under various names to raise money for a couple for their future wedding plans or honeymoon. In Southern Ontario it may be called a stag and doe, or buck and doe, and in Northwestern Ontario it is called a shag. In Manitoba, this is often called a social or wedding social with less fundraising pressure than seen in Ontario.
The event is usually organized by the bridal party, but in some circumstances may also be held by the bride and groom before they are married, similar to a Jack & Jill. It acts as a fundraiser for the wedding. Guests purchase entrance tickets and are entertained by draws, food and drink, music and fun and games that they will pay for to participate in. It is not a combined stag night/bachelor party and bachelorette party, or engagement party, as the primary focus is to raise money for the engaged couple, so their new life together is not started in debt.
The intent of a stag and doe party is specifically to make a profit.
Often, people who may not be close enough to the engaged couple to warrant an invitation to the wedding or reception (especially in the case of a small wedding), will be "tapped" to attend the stag and do so as to be part of the overall wedding fundraising. Hosting a stag and doe party does not preclude the couple from participating in other wedding-related parties, such as a bridal shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party, and so on.
A popular stag and doe tradition is a toonie toss, which has guests toss toonies (C$2 coins) at a Texas mickey (3L) bottle of liquor. The toss runs for some time until the Toonie closest to the bottle without making contact wins the bottle.
In Manitoba, in addition to purchasing entrance tickets, guests bid on silent auction prizes, participate in a 50-50 draw, and purchase liquor. Typical food at a Manitoba wedding social includes KUB bread, cold cuts, cheese cubes, and Timbits. Often the bridal or wedding shower is held the afternoon before the social. Other times, it is used as a fundraiser for the wedding itself and will be held a few weeks before the day of the wedding.
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Though very uncommon in the United States, stag and drag is held before the wedding of a couple as a big party open to all friends. Guests typically have to purchase a ticket to cover the costs of the event. Unlike wedding reception or engagement, a stag and drag is not expected to be attended only by the invited guest list of a wedding reception, if there is to be one. Anyone can attend – the more guests, the better. Stag and drag could be conducted from many months before the wedding, to a couple of weeks before. The stag and drag party could include food, drink, games, music, dancing, bonfire and other fun activities. Guests could be offered memorabilia such as an engraved cup with the couple's names and wedding date.
The United States version is not meant to be a profitable money making event, but more of a large party that breaks even financially as a time for friends beyond the wedding reception invite list to join in on the future bride and groom's happy occasion. It is used more often when a couple elopes as a way of the couple to marry having a party without expense.
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