Stag and Doe Parties
Good Co-ed Fun
Stag and doe parties, or buck and doe parties as they're also called, are designed to raise money for the couple's wedding. Hosting this type of pre-wedding party requires a lot of careful planning. As the intent is to raise money for the couple's wedding the stag and doe party must make a profit, hopefully a large one.
The profits from a stag and doe party are raised through ticket sales. That's right - guests pay to attend a stag and doe. Far from being a point of contention most guests are all too pleased to buy a ticket. Not only does the money help the couple financially, but the guest also gets to enjoy good company and have a great time. Often if the guest can't attend the party personally they'll purchase the ticket just for the sake of the bride and groom - now that's a great friend!
As mentioned, hosting a stag and doe party requires careful planning. These are large events and require a hall (or other venue), refreshments (food and alcohol), entertainment (through a DJ or band) and other little "extras" to attract guests (karaoke machine, 50/50 draw, door prizes, etc.).
Start first by estimating the number of guests you expect to attend. Book a venue that will comfortably hold that number of guests as well as allowing room for dancing (there's always dancing at a stag and doe). Check to see if the venue has a valid liquor license - you'll need it if you plan to sell alcohol. Even better, try to get a hall that will allow you to bring your own alcohol on site; it's normally cheaper to bring and sell your own alcohol than have the hall provide it. The number of expected guests will dictate the required amount of alcohol. On average, figure each guest will buy four drinks (either beer or mixed drinks). Essentially the equation for determining the amount of alcohol to purchase is the "number of guests times 8 ounces of alcohol" (approximately 2 ounces of alcohol per drink). So if you were expecting 50 people you would require approximately two 60-ounce bottles each of vodka, rum and rye, 5 cases of beer and 20 bottles of wine. Most liquor stores will also refund unopened bottles, but check first. Liquor stores may also sell stag and doe insurance relatively cheaply. This covers you for falls, or other accidents and it is a good investment.
As for the food, finger food or appetizers work best. Popular events such as 50/50 draws (in which 50% of the jackpot goes the winning ticket, the other 50% to the couple), roulette, karaoke machine or door prizes should also be properly budgeted when planning the stag and doe party. Usually the 50/50 winner gives the money to the couple as a gesture of good faith.
The single most important aspect of hosting a stag and doe party is selling tickets. Don't count on a lot of "at the door" sales - they account for very little of the overall sales. Enlist the help of the wedding party, family and friends to sell as many tickets as possible. It also doesn't hurt to run an advertisement in the local paper to help spread the word. It can't be emphasized enough - you need to sell a lot of tickets to make a profit on a stag and doe party. The alcohol sales won't even begin to cover the costs. Just when you think you've sold enough, try to sell more! On average, stag and doe party tickets range in price from $8 - $15. This of course will depend on what other local couples are charging for their stag and doe party tickets. During popular wedding months (May through August) you may have to compete against other stag and doe parties - so sell, sell, sell. And of course, have fun.