When most of us plan our stag and hen weekends, we usually think about a spa day or a drunken weekend in Eastern Europe. However some couples are saving on money by having a joint celebration, known as a sten do or a hag party.
Despite the questionable names, a hag or sten do is a party where both the groom and bride attends. Essentially, it’s a unisex hen weekend or stag do, and apparently it’s more popular than ever.
A recent article in The Telegraph referred to traditional hen parties as so ‘last century’. Sten and hag parties are not even particularly new, Salman Rushdie famously had a female only stag party in 2004 and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had a joint celebration when they wed.
Many couples share the same circle of friends so it’s a great chance to get everyone together before the wedding. In fact, it could be a way to to avoid any fallout of having separate parties and allow hen and stags to veto controversial activities.
Joint stag and hen weekends can help save money
Let’s face it, weddings can be an expensive affair. According to Brides Magazine, the average British wedding can cost up to £30,000. Additionally, it’s more than likely that the bride and groom that pay for some if not all of the wedding as 42% of couple’s cover all the costs of their big day.
While we all love stag and hen weekends, they can add to an already expensive wedding. Even finding last minute deals, and booking with specialists that offer packages, can all help keep costs down and make our dream party weekends affordable. Having a shared party can also ensure you have a few extra pounds to spend on the honeymoon as, for example, couple friends can share rooms.
There’s lots of weekend activities to suit everybody
Lots of hen and stag ideas aren’t gender specific. So rather than a spa day or a trip to a strip club, there are many hen weekend packages that can suit everyone regardless of gender.
Maximise, experts in hen weekends, are experts in running both stag and hen parties. However, Maximise are accommodating more and more people who want to participate in alternative activities.
For example, as well as the traditional hen weekend packages, such as afternoon tea, cocktail making and spa retreats, many women are choosing murder mystery nights, bungee jumping and ghost tours.
It can take off the pressure
One potential reason hag parties are becoming so popular; there was an 100% increase in joint stag and hen parties from 2010 to 2013, is that having a joint party can remove the pressure on brides and grooms to do certain activities.
According to Banana Moon Clothing, 26% of stag and hen do’s involve some sort of of adult entertainment. Visiting a stripper, going to sex technique class and life drawing classes are perfectly good fun to most hen’s, but some may feel awkward about these things but be obliged to go through with them. Having a joint celebration will completely change the type of party you have, and this for some, will be the perfect excuse to avoid a debauched night out.
You should still do everything you want to do
It’s not that a traditional stag or hen weekend isn’t as popular, we’re spending more than ever, and going on more stag and hen parties than ever. However, for some couples with a close circle of friends a joint party makes sense as long as you both get to do what you want to do.
Joint hens and stags shouldn’t be an excuse to watch over your fiancé and stop them doing things you would rather they didn’t, similarly you shouldn’t compromise anything you want to do. If you want a spa day with the girls, or even want to do something decidedly raunchier, you shouldn’t have to cancel those plans.
A solution is to have a joint stag and hen weekend away in a city, this way you can do activities as a big group and as hen’s and stag’s separately.