Joint Stag and Hen Do, Sten Do Ideas
The Rise of the Sten
By Ross Bowdler
Stag and Hen Weekends have long been a traditionally same-sex offering. The traditional setup is that the groom-to-be has the stag do exclusively with his male friends, and the bride goes away with her exclusively female friends. And for many people, that’s a tradition that they are happy to continue.
But planning separate Stag and Hen weekends may not be the most viable or preferred option for all wedding parties, and over the last few years we have seen more and more joint parties – commonly known as Sten parties.
These parties, being less bound by tradition, can be a great option for a variety of reasons. The first is obvious – in this day and age, a Stag or Hen party is less about having “one last night of freedom” and more about having some quality time with friends before moving on to the next stage of your life – and it shouldn’t matter if the friends are male or female for you to enjoy their company.
There is also the matter of people who are friends with both of you. If you and your other half were friends before you were a couple, or indeed have been a couple for a long time, you may well have a vast selection of shared friends that you would like to invite – and a lot of them may be couples too! It makes for a more inclusive experience, where you can spend time with any and all of the people you want to spend the time with.
And yes, that includes your intended. Because in this day and age, where money is tight and holidays are expensive, the idea of going away without your future spouse may not be a perfect idea for you. If you are a couple who enjoy similar things then you might find a Sten scratches your holiday itch, by allowing you to spend time together AND with a selection of close friends. And really, what more could you want?
The last reason that a Sten party is definitely worth considering are the practical aspects. Whether you are considering the financial elements or the more basic home-life aspects, the practicalities of arranging one party instead of two separate ones are much easier. It’s cheaper; finding a date that you can all make is easier and if you (or any of your guests) need to arrange childcare while you are away, you only need to arrange one instance rather than two. Also, the fact that you will be able to utilise double rooms (for yourselves and any other couples coming) rather than twins mean that you will be sleeping next to someone you know and love, rather than sharing a room with the groom’s cousin Gary who yells in his sleep and likes to have the window wide open!
I’ve talked a lot about the positives of a Sten party, but what are the negatives? Well, to be honest, if you’ve read this far, you are probably the sort of person who wouldn’t think there are any. Obviously some people prefer the traditional stag and hen do, and that’s absolutely fine – but you don’t need to succumb to tradition at the expense of everything else. If you would prefer to all go away together, then do it – book a Sten party and enjoy time away with all of your friends in one fun-packed weekend.
But what sorts of activities suit a Sten party? Why not check out the second part of this blog and find out what we at The Stag and Hen Experience would recommend.