It’s officially wedding season, so if you’re on the older end of the millennial spectrum, your Facebook feed has probably been inundated with tons of wedding pics, bridesmaid grumbling (perfectly normal, by the way!) and various matrimonial invitations.

Some of these invites probably include a Jack and Jill party, otherwise referred to as a “Stag and Doe” or “wedding social,” or if we’re going to call a spade a spade, a “Help Me Pay for My Wedding that I Can’t Afford but Insist On Having, Family and Friends and People I Don’t Know Very Well!”

Oddly, it’s a tradition that only exists in Manitoba and Ontario. No one else in the world has any clue what a Jack and Jill party is or why we have it.

“Is that, like, a vibrator party?” My friend Erica in Rhode Island asked. Oh, how I wish it were!

A Jack and Jill party is an event designed to help raise funds for a betrothed couple’s impending nuptials. Family, friends, and acquaintances are expected to cough up a hefty chunk of cash for entrance fees, drinks, silent auctions, basically anything and everything where the bride and groom can fleece money from you to help pay for their big day.

The real kicker? Many of the attendees are NOT EVEN invited to the wedding! So you’re essentially helping to pay for a celebration for those who think you’re not “worthy enough” or “good enough” or “close enough” to attend in the first place. But your wallet? TOTALLY worthy!

“Oh, hey! What’s your name again? Nevermind. Have $50 for Pin the Donkey or the Groom? THANKS!” You might as well flush that $50 down the toilet in the name of matrimonial benevolence!

“Wait, what?” Erica said, after I explained to her the general gist of J&Js. “That is the stupidest thing ever. Pay for your own wedding, people. Have a smaller one!”

Can I get an Amen?

This is how I see it: All my life, I’ve wanted to live in a huge, Clooney-esque villa on Lake Como. Realistically, I can afford a small, modest townhouse in the ‘burbs. But fuck it. This is my HOUSE! And I’m only going to get one shot at it, so let’s go BIG! I’m going to throw a huge-ass party and invite friends, friends of friends, Facebook friends – basically people I don’t know – and then I’ll charge for all sorts of shit just so I can afford my dream home. Then, CHA-CHING! I’m able to put a down payment on my home! But guess what? You’re not invited to my house. Not even once. Even though you helped me realize my dream home, you’re not ever going to experience it or see it. (Unless I put the pictures up on Instagram a year later. But even still, it doesn’t come close to the real thing.) I know, I know. It would be more economical and considerate to buy the smaller option on my own, but I DESERVE this. Plus, my friend Phoebe did the same thing last year and her house is WAY bigger than mine.

See what I’m saying? NO ONE WOULD EVER DO THIS!

Proper wedding etiquette will always be debated, but hitting up your friends and family and perfect strangers to help pay for your wedding leaves a bad taste in my mouth (“It’s just tacky,” said Erica). If you can’t afford those fancy centerpieces, then maybe don’t have them, or, at least, re-evaluate your budget.

Because don’t forget there are bridal showers, wedding gifts, and bachelor/bachelorette parties, all of which are used to haemorrhage money from your family and friends over a short length of time. Do you really need to squeeze them for more cash just you can have a photo booth and mustache props?

On the practical side of things, my friend Colin, who, as a Best Man, is busy tackling various festivities, says there’s rarely a reasonable ROI to make a Jack and Jill party even worth it in the first place.

“We’ve reached out to a few people, and two broke even, and one was a loss of money,” he said. “The amount of resources that go into the party doesn’t equal the value that comes out of it.”

If you’re not even going to make a profit, then why ask your cash-strapped friends to dig deep into their pockets in the first place? Throwing a casual party after the wedding for friends and family – and not charging them for it – might be a better alternative.

Look, I know weddings can be hella expensive. It’s a gazillion-dollar industry that eagerly feeds on impressionable, Pinterest-addicted souls who demand multi-tiered chevron cakes and striped straws in mason jars, and won’t settle for anything less because it’s THEIR DAY. But a wedding is as expensive or as economically friendly as you want it to be. What can you realistically afford: a DIY backyard BBQ, or an opulent reception at the Liberty Grand Ballroom?

As with most important investments, planning a wedding comes down to priorities and financial integrity. If you want to accept financial support from willing family members and close friends, then that is your prerogative, but no one should be coerced into paying for your succulents, or any other wedding expense, no matter how exciting a game of Pin the Donkey or the Groom is. If you’re responsible enough to get married, then you should be financially responsible enough to afford it.

It’s not that I don’t want you to have your dream rustic wedding, complete with hayseats and sparklers; I just don’t want to have to pay for it.