How to Plan a Jack and Jill Party

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Replacing standard pre-wedding celebrations with a Jack and Jill party, in which both members of the wedding party and friends from each side attend, offers a twist for those who do not want a standard celebration. Jack and Jill parties are often more like a casual social gathering or a party, than a standard wedding shower, and can be anything from a brunch or dinner in style at a fine restaurant to a casual potluck at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Invitations
  • Determine who will be on the planning committee. The maid of honor typically throws a bridal shower, while the best man plans the bachelor party, but this is not a standard party. Since both wedding members are involved, planning and input should be shared by bridesmaids, groomsmen and even the couple's parents to reflect both the bride and groom.

  • Discuss what type of celebration would best suit the couple. Perhaps they would feel happiest at a relaxed backyard barbecue with beer, or maybe they would love an elegant brunch. How closely the celebration reflects the couple will determine its success.

  • Instruct the bride and groom to register for household gifts. Like a typical shower, many guests will want to bring a gift. For a Jack and Jill party, both people should have a say on the registry, since the celebration is for both of them.

  • Plan the entertainment so it coincides with the theme of the party. A simple, backyard barbecue needs no more than a well-thought out play-list, where a larger, more extensive event might require a DJ. Contact caterers or restaurants well in advance. If you plan on holding a potluck, decide on a central theme so guests will have an idea of what to bring, even if the theme is as general as brunch or Mexican food.

  • Send out invitations at least three to four weeks early. This is particularly important if the couple is registering for gifts; people need time to not only make arrangements to attend, free their schedules and commit, but they need time to purchase a gift. Include information on the type of food you will serve, requests for what the guests can bring, whether or not children are welcome and if alcohol is being served.

  • Enjoy the party. A benefit of Jack and Jill parties is they do not adhere to the rigid format of bridal showers, with structured games or a specific limit on who is allowed to attend. Jack and Jill parties provide a chance to casually relax with friends, meet new people from the bride or groom's side and celebrate before the big day.

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