Rather than having separate dos, some gals and guys have been opting to throw one big party for all the hens and stags. Would you give it a go?
Forget hens. Forget stags.
Why not throw everyone together and call it… a sten do! (a hag do, sadly, doesn’t sound quite so appealing). Word on the street is that combined pre-wedding parties are on the rise as couples opt to go for something other than the classic lads’ or ladies’ nights out that have so long been part of tradition. And whether you’re an active couple, a party duo or a cultural twosome, there’s a company out there ready to cater to your specific ‘sten’ whims. We’ve set out the cause for bringing the boys and the girls together.
Meet and greet
If your wedding guests include friends from different parts of the country or from school, university and work, as well as lots of relatives, a combined party is a great way for everyone to get to know each other before the big day. They’ll be able to skip all the awkward small-talk at your wedding and get straight on to laughing and reminiscing about the prenuptial party. And if your family and your H2B’s haven’t really properly made friends yet, this could be the perfect opportunity for them to chat before the wedding, without having to worry about acting respectably. Activities where you can all let go and have a laugh are a great way to forge bonds between ushers and bridesmaids, for example, and will give guests a head start on knowing who they’ll be spending your day with.
The gang’s all here
If you’ve been with your partner for a while, it’s natural that the two of you will share many of the same friends – you might even have started as mates or been set up by your pals. If your social circles overlap like this, it makes sense to have one big knees-up rather than split up into two separate groups. After all, as they say: the more the merrier!
And, just because you’ll have a variety of people there, doesn’t meant any ‘girly’ or ‘laddish’ activities are off-limits. Mix things up a bit and get all your guests to try something new. You could have a bit of everything in your day – from beauty treatments to bungee jumping – before you all head out to your favourite club. Filling the day with firsts will make things truly unforgettable and could certainly lead to some hilarious moments.
The choice is yours
If you’re a true party animal, there’s no limit (beyond the budget and your pals’ energy) to how many celebrations you can have before getting hitched. There’s the option for you and your other half to have separate shindigs and then have a joint bash for both groups.
Along with your wedding, a sten do is an event that you can all look back on and have a giggle at the retro outfits or the funny faces. You could even ask your photographer to accompany the group and have the festivities become part of the wedding album. Snaps of the first time your loved ones met each other could be a fab keepsake, as they’re almost certainly going to be seeing a lot more of each other in the years ahead.
Six ideas for stens looking for a weekend they’ll never forget (if they don’t hammer the booze too hard, that is…)
1 Booze cruise
Activity: Speedboat pub tour.
What happens: This is a pub crawl with a difference! Take your gang on a luxury speedboat trip around lush Loch Lomond and stop off at some lively Scottish pubs to kick off your sten weekend in style.
0333 577 0715,
2 Up in the air
Activity: Aerial assault course.
What happens: You and your brave chums will find yourselves dangling from a harness 100ft up in the air and tackling rope nets, ladders and a zipwire. This could be a great start to a day of thrill-seeking adventures.
0131 333 6333, www.eica-ratho.co.uk
3 Bumpy ride
Activity: White-water rafting.
What happens: Heading out onto wild Scottish waters could be a wonderful way to make your group work as a team and come out the other end at firm friends. A full-on activity, rafting is exhilarating and pretty satisfying once you get into a rhythm. 07521 697048,
4 Primped and pampered
Activity: Glam sleepover.
What happens: Grooming isn’t just for the girls. Cameron House on Loch Lomond has a fantastic getaway package for sten weekends which can include afternoon tea, a champagne cruise, Michelin-starred food and spa treatments.
5 Sweet deal
Activity: Chocolate tasting.
What happens: Become a chocolate connoisseur at the award-winning Coco Chocolate in Edinburgh, where you can treat your tastebuds to some morsels and sample wine specially chosen to bring out the flavours in the cocoa.
0131 558 2777,
6 Just like in the movies
Activity: Movie maker.
What happens: For an experience you can relive again and again, get your crew together and make some movie magic. Just pick your favourite film scenes and the Stag and Doe Company will provide all you need to recreate them – with you in the starring role! As an added bonus, you could have the première at your reception.