Pre-wedding celebrations and rituals are usually divided until the big day. From bachelor(ette) parties to wedding showers, brides and grooms celebrate separately with their own friends and family. Sometimes, even the wedding day is separated—couples and their entourages get ready separately, so the newlyweds don’t see each other before the aisle. And while there’s nothing wrong with separating the two groups, it doesn’t work for every couple. For those couples, planning a Jack and Jill party may be a good, blended alternative to a bachelor(ette) party and/or a wedding shower.
At a bachelor(ette) party, each side of the wedding party celebrates on their own, typically a few weeks before the big day. On the flip side, a wedding shower is traditionally a ladies-only event with friends and family from both sides of the happy couple. But a Jack and Jill party can replace all of those events. At a Jack a Jill party, the couple is present along with anyone they want to invite! It usually includes close friends and family, but not everyone on the wedding guest list. You can think of it like an extended wedding party celebration.
But just like bachelor(ette) parties and wedding showers, there are pros and cons to Jack and Jills, too. It may be the right decision for your special day, but let’s explore those pros and cons before you make a final decision.
You can celebrate with your partner
Unless you and your partner plan an engagement party, you won’t typically celebrate your upcoming nuptials together. Bachelor(ette) parties and wedding showers don’t usually include both halves of the couple. Of course, you’ll have your own celebrations leading up to the wedding. But they won’t include your friends and family—or any shared friends! At a Jack and Jill party, your partner is there to celebrate with you. This is especially helpful as you meet friends and family of your betrothed. They can introduce you and help avoid any awkward first greetings.
Jack and Jill parties aren’t as intimate
Bachelor(ette) parties are especially intimate. The guest list typically includes only the respective halves of the wedding party. So, for example, a bride invites their bridesmen and bridesmaids to the bachelorette party. A groom would do the same with any groomsmen or groomswomen. With a Jack and Jill, everyone can come. That means a long guest list, which also means a less intimate affair. If you’re looking for a pre-wedding party, then a Jack and Jill is it! But if you also want some one-on-one time with your BFFs, consider a Jack and Jill and a bachelor(ette) party.
You only have to plan one party
We don’t have to tell you that planning a wedding is a lot of work! The whole celebration has a never-ending to-do list, and that doesn’t include any honeymoon travel or coordinating the details with your wedding party. (Although your wedding party can help with some of those plans!) And when you start adding other parties, like an engagement celebration or a shower, your to-do list grows longer. Granted, the wedding party typically plans the bachelor(ette) parties and the families plan the wedding shower. But you’ll likely still be involved in the planning on some level, and you’ll probably want final approval, too. If you choose a Jack and Jill party, you can fit all those extra parties into one day. Plus, you can still ask your wedding party to plan it!
You only get one party before the wedding
Of course, only having one party means…well…only having one party! Engagement season is a special time in your relationship, and you may want to live it up as much as possible. For you, that could include an engagement party, shower, and bachelor(ette) party. Having just one party—usually close to the wedding date—might be anticlimactic. And if your wedding is over a year away, you may not want to wait that long to celebrate! So before you choose to host a Jack and Jill, ask yourself how much celebrating you want to do before the big day.
You can invite anyone
We’ve mentioned this in passing already, but the guest list isn’t limited at a Jack and Jill. Yes, technically you can invite whoever you want to any party. But your family and friends may expect a certain level of tradition, and it may be weird to invite a non-wedding-party friend to the bachelor(ette) party. But there aren’t any rules at a Jack and Jill. On the contrary, guests expect it to be nontraditional. That gives you the flexibility to invite whoever you want. (As long as they’re invited to the wedding, of course!)
A longer guest list costs more
We didn’t need to tell you that wedding planning takes a lot of work. And we certainly don’t need to tell you it takes a lot of money, either. While planning just one party might seem like a money saver, the longer guest list can mean the exact opposite. More guests means more food and the need for a larger venue. Depending on your event, it could also mean more favors, centerpieces, and decorations. All together, those details can add up fast. So before you decide on a Jack and Jill, consider your budget and determine if you’ll be able to stay within it for the event.
Jack and Jills are an accommodating twist on the traditionally divided wedding celebration. Instead of brides and grooms celebrating separately, they can celebrate together with all their friends and family. However, it may also cost more, and you won’t get the intimate one-on-one time with your closest friends, like you would at a bachelor(ette) party. Be sure to consider all the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Do you prefer Jack and Jills or bachelor(ette) parties? Would you consider hosting both?