Couple Cancelled Wedding and Used $3000 Stag Party Cash For Debt

relationship debt

Unfortunately for this guy, his stag party ended with excitement but his wedding never brought him to the alter.

Every year couples get married but before the big day, they may hold a party to raise money for the wedding.

Some people are against being asked to participate in funding a wedding by attending a stag party (for men), hen party (for women) or a party for everyone also known as a Stag and Doe or Jack and Jill.

There are no shortage of names for these kinds of money-raising events which consist of lots of drinking and plenty of fun games.

That’s only the first stage because there may also be a wedding shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party and so on mainly orchestrated by the wedding party, family or friends.

Some pre-wedding events are merely just getting out for the last time as a single male or female and partying with your friends.

I didn’t go out with my mates or have a stag party.

My wife and I were pretty low-key about our wedding and saved the money ourselves, although it was a frugal wedding, to begin with.

A stag party, for instance, has men in attendance and a stag and doe have men and women at the party.

Some may consider a stag party night out with the boy’s others will consider it a night to raise money.

When you get married the parties just keep on happening right up until the big day.

It’s up to the couple to decide which type of party they wish to hold, if any at all.

Typically we hear of a Stag and Doe which from a financial perspective makes more sense to me.

The great part is everyone can get together under one roof to celebrate and have fun while raising money for the couple.

If you’re trying to raise money for a wedding you might as well do it all in one night unless there are things you don’t want each other to see.

What happens at a hen or stag party stays which means there’s no telling what happened.

It’s kind of like when you go to Las Vegas if you know what I mean. Wink!

Stag Party Costs

How much does it cost to attend a stag party?

Stag Party tickets may cost you about $5-10 each or more depending on the venue, which gets you in the door.

Sometimes you may be asked to bring a food bank donation which gets you a discounted ticket price.

This is great because you are now helping two causes.

Once you get in you will be ambushed by all sorts of people to sell you drinks and Stag Party game tickets.

You see, they want you to spend your money getting drunk and playing as many games as you can to win prizes. You’re there to party and you know it, so have fun.

You might even see various types of colourful jello shooters making the rounds for $1 which makes getting tipsy that much easier.

The whole point of a Stag Party is to have fun and to help the couple raise some money to help ease the financial burden of a wedding.

You don’t have to get drunk to have fun either because there are always lots of games to participate in and most often pretty cool prizes.

Stag Party Money

Where does all the Stag Party money go?

Not everyone who has a stag party will use the money for the actual wedding as some may put the money aside for a honeymoon or to pay for items they need for their new home.

Keep in mind that a large chunk of the money raised also goes towards paying for the venue, food, prizes unless they come donated.

At the end of the Stag Party as long as you had a good time that’s all that matters.

You see, not everyone who has a Stag Party or Stag and Doe go on to get married.

Sometimes things happen and there may be a wedding cancellation.

Today a Canadian Budget Binder fan wants to share his side of the story and wants to know what you would have done if you were in his situation.

Stag Party Memories

Dear Mr.CBB,

I met the most amazing woman 6 years ago while we were in University and at a lecture. All it took was one look into her big brown eyes and she took my breath away. I know that may sound odd coming from a guy but I did feel something special for her.

After being introduced by a mutual friend and some laughs I invited her out to dinner that weekend.

She accepted and the rest of our love story is history.

We went on a few trips to Cuba, Italy, and Thailand throughout our dating life and enjoyed the freedom we had as a couple in love.

Two years into the relationship I put a ring on her finger after I landed my dream career and she was working in her field of study.

We talked about getting married, renting a place so we could save money to buy our first house and pay debts.

Together we both had about $100,000 in student loans to pay back which we were doing with extra payments BUT we also had credit card payments from all those trips.

It got to the point where we were fighting about money quite often.

Although the last few months of our engaged life we started to budget it didn’t make a difference.

She didn’t feel that we needed to because we grossed over $100,000 annually.

You see, she was spending all of our money on tanning, clothes, shoes and going out with her friends for dinners.

Sure, we had date nights and I went out with the guys but I didn’t spend near as much as she did.

I am a practical guy who doesn’t need much.

I dress casually in t-shirts and jeans and live life-based on the premise of “Take me as I am” not “Look at what I’ve got.”

She had a problem trying to impress everyone because she wanted them to think we were successful and that we were going to make it big.

We’re not alone.

Many university grads want to make it in the real world and it becomes a “Show All” kind of life even if it’s not reality.

It was July, we were supposed to get married and she wanted to have a hen party and told me that I should have a stag party with all my guy friends so we could raise money for our wedding.

I thought it was a great idea and although I ran the traditional Stag and Doe by her she thought it was best to do them separately.

I didn’t argue with her and we worked on planning our parties together which was nice.

We both decided on having similar types of games, drinks, food, and prizes.

Stag Party Games

My Stag Party ended up having such events to raise money such as;

  • 50/50 draw
  • Toonie Toss
  • Silent Auction
  • Jello shooters
  • alcoholic drinks

Altogether I believe we had about 8 different game stations set up with games for all the guys.

I was dressed up with a Mexican hat and had a sign made up by one of my friends to wear all night along with a bra over my white dress shirt.

It was a great night and the next day after paying the Stag Party bills we ended up with $3000 profit.

That was great but then the fun dwindled.

Soon enough my bride-to-be realized that we weren’t getting ahead as fast as she wanted and her friends were buying big houses and starting to have kids. We weren’t even near that stage.

I mean, she had a big ring on her finger but that’s about it although I was trying.

During that time I did everything I could to get extra hours and I even went as far as to ask for a salary raise from my boss just to get ahead.

When we were together I was filled with love but I hated what money was doing to our relationship.

In my heart I only wish she would have seen how much I loved her.

It’s easier now to look back but I wanted her to know that money didn’t mean as much to me as it did to her.

Today, I know now that I probably would have never made her happy and even if I did earn more money (which I do today) that it wouldn’t have put a smile on her face.

She needed to learn how to budget and understand that she can’t spend money on stuff when she has so much debt.

It seemed like I was the level-headed one in the relationship when it came to saving and spending.

That bothered me and reaching out to her didn’t do the trick.

Her Hen Party never did happen as she cancelled it as well as the wedding because she no longer wanted to move forward with it or our relationship.

I was crushed because I knew that it was about the money but now I know that she must not have loved me as much as I loved her.

It’s been a couple of years now and although I’m still healing I’ve moved on and am with another amazing woman.

The problem is I have this one friend whose wife keeps annoying me because she says I should have given the money back to the guys who went to the stag party.

I spent the stag party money paying down our debt before we split up because I had no idea how to give the money back.

To be honest, I was ashamed that the wedding was cancelled and I didn’t think any of the guys would have cared.

So far none of them has said a thing to me about anything and probably never will.

I don’t know what to think or say and she makes me feel so guilty and angry at times.

It was bad enough what I went through but now I feel like it’s going to follow me forever unless I set her straight.

Her husband is my good friend who was in my wedding party and he can’t seem to get her to end it even though he tells me, sorry.

What should I have done?

Did I make a big mistake not giving all the money back to the guests?

Thanks for any advice.


Weddings Are A Financial Risk

Hi C,

Thanks for sharing your story and to be honest I’m sure it’s not uncommon either.

I bet there will be many people reading your story and saying that it sounds like what happened to them.

My theory is anytime someone goes to a wedding or any parties related to a wedding and spends money to go they know it’s all a financial risk.

Whether it’s a wedding gift, financial donation or expenses paid at a hen or stag party we all know that the wedding could end before it even starts.

If this was a wedding and you cancelled it but received gifts in advance, sure you could send them back.

Some people say that if you divorce up to 12 months after getting married you should send un-used or monetary gifts back.

Ultimately there is no right and wrong answer, do what you feel is best.

It wouldn’t be the first and it certainly won’t be the last time it happens.

I’m not sure why she is giving you a hard time but honestly don’t let her get to you.

The Stag Party is long over and none of your friends seem too worried about it.

How on earth would you go about giving back the money anyway?

You could have given back the entry money they paid for the stag tickets but you still had to pay for food and the venue.

You’d have to try and find all the guys who attended as well.

Not everyone who goes to a Stag Party may know the groom either. Friends may bring their friends for a night out just to have fun.

I’m pretty sure all the guys understood what you were going through and the money they spent was chalked up to a guys night of fun.

No one can predict the future and everyone who goes to a wedding knows that it is a financial risk but it shouldn’t be about the money or the gift.

It should be to support a couple and even though it may not last it doesn’t mean they got married just to get gifts.

Gifts are not meant to pay for a wedding rather a gesture to welcome the new couple’s marriage.

I think she needs to lay off you and get on her with her life so don’t be afraid to tell her so.

If you want to be kind about it simply tell her what is done was your decision and to please let it go and move on.

If you want to get to the point just tell her to mind her own business.

On the flip side, you can hand her a couple of hundred bucks and tell her that the money should cover the costs her husband spent at the Stag Party and end it, even though he doesn’t seem to care.

That may be harsh but allowing someone to fill you with guilt and to beat yourself up mentally about it because you did what you thought was right can affect your well-being.

Even if she thinks it’s wrong or society believes it’s wrong it was the decision you made.

Not everything we do in life has to be stamped with approval by the rest of the world.

If she chooses not to let it go you don’t need to see her and let your good friend know that it bothers you so if he wants to hang out that it would be at your place and not his.

By the sounds of it, you are happy now so enjoy your life moving forward and I bet you won’t let finances get in the way of a relationship again.

Happy Budgeting and enjoy the love you have in your life.

Discussion: Has this ever happened to you? What would you do?

Leave me your comments below.

Related articles

Photo Credit:


Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. I feel for this guy…sounds like he got mixed up with a woman who was way too focused on keeping up with the Joneses. However, I feel that parties to raise money for a wedding are totally tacky. If you can’t afford a fancy wedding, have a small one. You shouldn’t be asking others to pay for it. With that said, if you feel like I do, you probably just avoid these parties all together. So, if this woman’s husband went, he was obviously cool with it and she needs to drop it. It’s not her place.

  2. I had a party before our wedding and this helped us raise some money that helped finance our wedding. Most friends contributed so much that we didn’t expect them to. I think we were so lucky that we raised enough and to have them as our friends.

  3. I have to wonder just what is up this woman’s fanny that she has to be so rude!! I’m inclined to think much like you…it was a guys night out and that is that. It’s water under the bridge now. I wonder if she would have expected a wedding gift back if things had gone that far and the couple split up after the wedding.
    I do agree with Dee and Mary here, she wasn’t there and she needs to get a life….
    I hope this guy has a happy life after all this, he sounds like a great guy

  4. I guess I can (just slightly) understand where the friend’s wife is coming from. My husband when he was young and single, socialized like this all the time by going out to drink with friends at bars, dances, buck n does etc. So he wouldn’t have cared if something like this happened because he would have spend the money anyways. When I was young and single, I didn’t normally socialize this way, because I was cheap, and didn’t drink, movies, dinners out, hanging out at the mall or a friend’s house was what I did. So if I were have gone to a friend’s buck n doe, spent way more money than I usually would have to basically “donate” to them, yes I would feel a little annoyed if this happened. But I would not be so rude like this woman and would never demand my money back. Her husband signed up to be in the wedding party, knowing that there would be expenses like this involved. And probably if the wedding was cancelled her husband probably saved on other expenses.

    1. Another point that was not touched upon was the savings that he didn’t have to pay because the wedding was cancelled. It happens all the time. Life goes on. I would never dream to ask for my gift back.

      1. Yes, that is part of an adult, that despite your best planning, you may have these “sunk costs” where you spend a chunk of money, and get no return, and you must learn how to deal with it. Even though it may be frustrating, a mature adult deals with it in a calm and rational manner.

  5. This woman really needs to get a grip. He should tell her to go find the exgirlfriend and demand the exgirlfriend return the money since she’s the one who cancelled the ladies party and wedding. Very difficult to return stag money unless he has a party for the guys and foots the bill in return for the money given. It sounds like this woman is either a mean person or has other issues going on in her life. Jealousy can show up in the weirdest way over simple things.

  6. I agreed with Dee, but it still isn’t helping the situation with this particular woman.
    Maybe just ask the woman directly, how much did she think the compensation should be?
    If she gives a $$ figure, pay the male friend the money in front of her (warn the male friend first)
    If the male friend wants to keep it, give it to the wife, or return it to him… doesn’t matter..
    Then look the woman in the eyes, and say you never it want it mentioned again.

  7. C’mon, get over it, Lady!
    How was he supposed to give it back? Nobody was forced to anything, shit happens and we must just move on.
    What the guy can do is call all the friends he remember that attended the party and ASK. “Hey, man, what’s up? Listen, I was thinking about the stag party from a few years ago… Do you remember? So, I was wondering if you by chance were upset because you, well, gave me money for my wedding and you know the wedding never happened. Oh, thanks bro. Let’s have a beer some day! Nice talking to you, take care!”

  8. I have to say this is one seriously ignorant woman!

    I say that UNLESS your buddy and his family, including the wife, are destitute and this is her very crass way of asking for the money to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs – she needs a dose of manners and to be taught not to throw salt in an open wound. What happened to “Do unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You?” Yikes!

    If your buddy is seriously financially strapped, throw a couple hundred bucks his way to help ease the crunch and the pickle they are in. I believe it’s up to him to deal with his wife & you should tell her to take it up with her husband, not you. If he wants the money, you’ll happily pay it but he has to let you know that he wants it since she was never at the get-together and doesn’t get a say in what happens now. This is a money problem in their marriage. Don’t try and fix it. It’s their marriage, their problem and either they fix it or they let it drive a wedge between them. You won’t solve it by giving her money.

    It is on the other hand very worthwhile to help a friend in need. If he ever tells you that he NEEDS the money, pay up asap as he supported you when you needed it. 🙂 You have no reason to dwell on this nor feel guilty. It’s not your problem. It is her problem and consequently your friend’s problem to deal with.

    1. A simple situation turned upside down for nothing in my opinion. I agree she should take it up with the husband and by the sounds of it they have talked about it but she won’t let it go. I’d hate to be him, lol.

  9. My question would be is how is the stag party really any different than a bunch of people going out to a bar for the night. This buddy’s wife needs to get over herself and chalk up the money as spent. I won’t be going thru anything like this as I don’t have any plans of ever getting married so I considered myself lucky not having to deal with this situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.