They are super popular in rural parts of Canada… where they are typically known as a Stag & Doe (or “a Social”).
Jack & Jill here still refers to a Guys & Girls (Couples) Showers, and that is something TOTALLY DIFFERENT… and quite acceptable. Nothing like a fundraiser whatsoever.
With a Stag & Doe, one buys a ticket to go… somewhere in the range of $ 5 to $ 25 a person. Usually tickets are sold in advance, and people who know the couple may buy a ticket altho they may not even go.
Oftentimes the Stag & Doe Event is advertised in the local Newspaper, in the Social or Classifieds section.
The Party is typically held at a Community Hall, Legion Hall, or a Local “Bar”.
Anywhere that can be found that the Booze is cheaper (and well, booze isn’t cheap in Canada to begin with)
There is typically a DJ, and sometimes stuff to eat… nothing fancy.
The couple pays out for the DJ and occasionally some food… as well as making sure there are Door Prizes etc.
It isn’t unusual of the Couple to sell 50/50 Tickets “by the arm length”, and Door Prize Tickets… the better the Door Prizes, the more that people will pay to buy em (ie 3 for $ 10 vs 3 for $ 5)
For Door Prizes, often the couple will shell out for stuff like Bottles of Booze, Electronics, Getaway Weekends etc… in order to try and sell more tickets (to the event, and for the Draw)
I grew up around these parties, so in “that way / world” they are most definitely the norm. BUT as I said I cannot say I am a fan. They are pure & simple fundraisers, and therefore tacky IMO.
@Omgbunnies: Your location says New England, so I am guessing wherever you are you are seeing “spillage” over from Canada… as there are many Canadian Families that have ties in the Upper States.
PS… I once heard that Stag & Does were popular because it was a way that Couples from more Rural Areas / Farming Communities of Canada could manage to take their Brides off to the BIG City for a Honeymoon. (Remembering here that Canada is very much a HUGE country, with a scant population, we are BIGGER than the USA, but only have 1/10th of the population). Much like a “Barn Raising” it was a way that the community came together to help the couple have a pleasant start in life / Wedding – Honeymoon. That tho would have been the 30s, 40s and 50s… the world has changed a lot since then… including the “geography” of Canada, in that now the cities are much easier to get to (Expressways etc), on can now “go to town” in a lot shorter amount of time, and our population is a lot better off no matter where they live, so this tradition really is no longer a required thing IMO