There’s no denying just how expensive having a wedding can be. Luckily, you can generate some much-needed funds by throwing a stag and doe party before your big day. This party is designed to help raise funds for engaged couples through admission tickets and games.
Don’t worry, this is not another event to add to your massive wedding to-do list. Stag and doe parties are traditionally planned by the wedding party, but you can share this helpful planning guide to help them out just a little.
Set a Budget
The first step to planning any party is setting the budget, as it will determine every detail of your party, from event space to decorations. Remember, keeping the budget small will make turning a profit easier. Once you’ve settled on a number, then you can move on to the fun parts of planning a party!
Pick a Date and Venue
Ideally, you want to set a date that is far enough in advance so you can actually use some of the funds to pay wedding vendors. However, make sure it does not overlap with any other pre-wedding activities, like the bridal shower or bachelor and bachelorette parties. Four to six months in advance of the wedding is a good general rule of thumb to follow.
Next is the venue. You want a space that is big enough for all your guests with some extra room for party games. Some event spaces in Toronto, such as Château Le Jardin, offer stag and doe party packages, so you don’t have to worry about planning a party menu.
Set a Theme
While it’s not necessary to have a theme for your stag and doe party, everybody loves a themed party and it can make choosing decorations easier down the line. If you’re planning your party on a day when people will be going out anyway, like St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween, why not embrace the theme?
Create a Guestlist
Since this is a fundraiser, the more guests you have, the merrier. More people means more funds for your big day, so try to fill the venue to its capacity! Don’t be shy when it comes to invitations for the stag and doe.
Your party guests do not have to also be on the wedding guest list, especially if the wedding is small, but remember to ask the bride- and groom-to-be to review the list before sending out invitations.
Set an Admission Price
While you want to raise as much money as possible from your stag and doe party, setting your admission price too high can discourage guests from attending. We suggest keeping admissions at the $15-$20 range, which is similar to the cover for a bar or a club night out.
The rules and regulations regarding hosting a fundraising party will differ depending on where you live. Make sure you do your research early so you can get all the necessary permits to avoid getting shut down, or worse, getting into legal troubles.
In Ontario, a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is required for private events held outside a private place or an establishment with an alcohol licence.
An event is considered private if there are invited guests only and the event is not intended to profit from the sale of alcohol. You must have the SOP present behind the bar for the duration of the event with alcohol purchase receipts included. If an inspector arrives and finds alcohol unaccounted for, you could get shut down.
There are also some rules around the types of games permitted. For example, in Ontario, the AGCO allows games of skill, such as a ring toss, mini putt, or ball games, but not games of chance and 50/50 draws. Make sure to ask your venue if they are licensed, as it could save you a lot of trouble!
Plan Prizes and Games
Now that you have all the necessary permits, you can start planning the games and activities for your stag and doe party. Games like raffles and auctions are simple but great money generators, as they allow guests to play without much instruction.
For raffle prizes, we recommend having mid-range prizes as well as a few high-ticket items, like hockey tickets or holiday vouchers, to encourage participation from your guests.
Food and Drinks
A well-stocked bar is one way to keep your guests generous, and it does not have to be complicated! Have some standard beer, wine, and cocktail choices on the menu, and you’re good to go. You can also sell drink tickets at the door to keep the bar service quick and simple.
It’s also a good idea to serve food if you are serving alcohol at the party, and this does not have to be anything fancy either. Finger foods that are easy to eat are the best choice if your guests will be walking around the space and playing games.
Of course, if your selected event space already includes a food and drinks menu, then you can tick this off your to-do list.
Now that the bulk of the planning is done, it’s time to send out some invites. Depending on your budget, you can choose to send formal invitations or simply create a private Facebook event. Don’t forget to list the games and prizes up for grabs at the party!
To learn more about how Château Le Jardin can help you find the perfect event space for your next stag and doe party in Toronto, call us at 289-236-2572 or send us a message here. We can’t wait to help you organize the perfect event!