What's a sten do, I hear you ask? It’s a joint hen and stag do, also known as a 'hag do’ (though that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). More and more brides and grooms are rejecting the old school, single-sex hen and stag parties in favour of a more modern, joint sten party. And for good reason, too!
Don’t get me wrong, spending the last night of freedom with your partner isn’t for everyone, but it sure can have some perks. For starters, you can invite all your friends, male and female, so no one needs to miss out on your ultimate pre-wedding party. But, If you’re unsure about the whole Jack and Jill joint party idea, then read on to see our list of the pros and cons of a joint stag and hen do.
One good reason to join the stag and hen party is that you can combine the budgets, meaning you can go bigger and better and you’ll all get more for your money. Think about all the group discounts you could get bringing a big party to a club/bar/restaurant - you’ll be a bartering superpower.
A stag and hen night will have twice the number of guests, so bar crawls might be a bad idea (though many places are much happier with mixed groups than same-sex parties). Having a big do in one venue is probably more practical if there’s a huge group of you.
Many couples share the same friendship group, so why not get everyone together for a send-off and have a joint shindig? Plus, sten dos can also be a great choice for couples with lots of friends of the opposite sex - both, men and women can be invited so you’ll avoid the awkward restrictions of a single-sex guest list.
For some couples, a mutual friend’s stag or hen night is a rare chance for one partner to get out on their own and have a bit of family-free fun. Instead, they might find themselves going out as a couple, maybe having to arrange childcare, and they’ll possibly be less likely to let their hair down. Canvas your friends before making final arrangements to make sure they’re up for a joint do.
There will be no wondering what your other half might be up to on their last night of freedom, as you’ll be right there living it with them. A Sten do will definitely reduce any sleepless nights or worried phone calls. Plus, you’ll be able to reminisce together about the night together.
Why are you intent on combining the two bashes? If it’s to double the fun, fine. If it’s because there’s a lack of trust about what one partner might get up to, then it’s worth questioning whether it’s a healthy decision. Also, talk about boundaries before the event, so if his and hers strippers show up, you’ll know how to handle it.
Another perk of a sten do is that your stag and hens will get to know each other before the big day (everyone will have a better time at the wedding if there’s no awkward small talk). Why not even through in some healthy competition to liven things up - with roughly equal-sized groups of girls and boys, there’s scope for a battle-of-the-sexes team challenge. Ever fancied popping a paintball cap in your future sister-in-law? Now’s your chance!
Then there’s the tricky matter of the planning committee. The hen night is traditionally the responsibility of the chief bridesmaid, and the stag is the domain of the best man. They’re going to need to work together on a joint hen and stag night, so you’ll need to make sure they’re both on board with the idea and willing to cooperate. Otherwise, it could be a potential minefield of can’t-please-everybody problems.
If you do want to share your party with your partner, remember that a stag or hen night is a chance to spend time with friends, and that should be your primary focus. Factor in some time when the two groups can do things separately, whether it’s for activities or meals, and don’t be glued to your partner during shared times. A good idea would be to do some separate activities during the day and meet up for the party in the evening, or vice versa.
Another tip is to make sure that your sten party is different to an engagement party - something has to be done to make the hen and stag night different, whether it’s activities, games or entertainment. If a joint stag and hen party sounds like the perfect option for you and your other half, take a look at our top 15 sten do ideas to find some great large group activities.
Not convinced? A sten do isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you’d rather see off your unmarried life without your significant other, then check out our full list of stag and hen do activities or get in touch for more information.