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Hen/Stag dos

(77 Posts)
annsixty Sat 16-Sep-23 20:58:09

This is really about hen dos as I don’t know much about Stags.
Did you have a Hen night or more?
I married in 1958 long before such things existed.
Over the years I have heard heard of the weird and the wonderful.
My GD’s friend is away this weekend inDublin for a Hen night for her cousin.
It is about a dozen close family, they flew out early Friday and will be back Sunday night.
The do for her friends and work colleagues is in a couple of weeks in Barcelona.
How much do theses things cost?
I assume all the people involved will be at the wedding with the huge associated costs.
Have things gone too far or do you agree that this is a one off and hang the cost.
My D was married 33 years ago, she and her friends went for a meal in an Italian restaurant in Manchester where she worked .
I wasn’t invited but sent money for several bottles of wine for the party.
Am I so totally out of touch and is this extravagance totally normal?

Fleurpepper Sat 16-Sep-23 21:08:46

Yes, gone far too far.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 16-Sep-23 21:18:59

Things change, it’s up to the bride to be and her friends and family.

Beechnut Sat 16-Sep-23 21:20:24

Some of them do seem to be over the top.
I went out with friends for a drink or several at a local hotel two days before our wedding. My daughter had an afternoon activity, evening dinner and onto a nightclub. She invited me and I went. We stayed overnight in a hotel as did most of her friends.

Fleurpepper Sat 16-Sep-23 21:30:11


Things change, it’s up to the bride to be and her friends and family.

Yes, but this is a discussion.

annsixty Sat 16-Sep-23 21:38:03

I hope you realise that I am not criticising the modern culture.
Just wondering if I am now out of step and wondering what your own experience was.
At the end of the day it comes down to money.
Lots can afford it and will.
Many others can barely afford a decent wedding and will do the best they can.
It takes all sorts …..

annsixty Sat 16-Sep-23 21:43:48

My next door neighbours had a wedding a few weeks ago for their D.
It was very extravagant and they themselves paid £500 for a suite for the night of the wedding in which they probably spent just a few hours.
But , horses for courses, they could afford it where for others this may have been the budget for the whole wedding.
I am merely interested in you own thoughts and experience,

Calendargirl Sat 16-Sep-23 21:46:08

Seeing as the happy couple have probably been living together for years and maybe have a couple of children, then it all seems a bit pointless.

Not like years gone by when it was all about leaving your parents home and starting out on a whole new life, bachelor/ spinster soon to be man and wife.

Sane reason as a huge expensive wedding seems OTT.

Casdon Sat 16-Sep-23 21:56:59

I love a good hen weekend, and in fact we now have an annual ‘no hen’ where a group of us (extended family and friends) go away for the weekend with no bride, it’s an excuse for a girls get together, this year it’s actually next weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. We go in the UK, and hire a big house, yurts or whatever, and do different things to normal, it doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s just lovely to all be together.

Callistemon21 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:12:40

If you're out of step, so am I, annsixty

There was no such things when I got married and DD just had a lovely meal out, although I think she and her friends went out in town afterwards while we oldies went home. DIL just had a nice meal out too.

I've heard of hen weekends in Majorca, Ibiza etc followed by a lavish wedding, then they say they can't afford the deposit for a property or decide to call the whole thing off anyway.

As for stag weekends, I don't know!

henetha Sat 16-Sep-23 23:31:49

Didn't exist when I married in 1958 thank goodness. Good luck to those who want it but it's gone a bit over the top in recent years I think.

BlueBelle Sat 16-Sep-23 23:36:57

I ve never been on one nothing like it when I married or my children ( thank goodness)
I m a real old grinch I think they are awful when I was in Barcelona recently there were loads parading through the city in their fancy dresses …. even a stag do with the groom wearing big pink balloons in a strategic place
They are so OTT and a big old waste of money but I m obviously just an old misery

nandad Sat 16-Sep-23 23:56:40

Friend’s daughter had a hen do in Switzerland earlier this year, will be having another one next year in Barcelona 2 months before the wedding which is in Italy. She’s thinking she might have one here as well for those that can’t get to Barcelona! I know you can say no but if you are a bridesmaid you are expected to go and also contribute to the hen’s costs. Then there are the t-shirts or other outfits for the obligatory ‘theme’ and the bits and pieces for the games, the bottomless brunch etc. Not sure if it’s a privilege to be invited or not. Think it can cause a lot of resentment. Just have a look over on MN.

Maggiemaybe Sun 17-Sep-23 00:06:19

No expense was spared for my hen do 46 years ago. Starting with an hour with a few friends, all of us feeling very sophisticated in the new-fangled wine bar that had just opened in the next town, then a taxi (yes, an actual taxi, very possibly my first ever!) back to my own town where we danced the night away in our local disco, with its cheap drinks and sticky carpet. We ate chicken in a basket and had a great time.

DD1 also just had a night out in town, as did DDIL, DD2 a weekend in a cottage in the country.

maddyone Sun 17-Sep-23 00:25:18

I don’t understand how or why younger people people pay for such extravagant and expensive hen nights when we’re constantly told that they have no money and can’t afford to buy houses because the selfish boomers got everything so cheaply.
Perhaps it was because the selfish boomers didn’t have any hen nights at all as they couldn’t afford them. Well I didn’t anyway, I had no money to pay for one.

Casdon Sun 17-Sep-23 07:27:40

I don’t think most brides do have massively expensive hen dos, it’s just that the ones that are visible to outsiders are the more raucous ones where they go abroad, dress up and take loads of selfies. All those I’ve been to in the last few years have been great fun, but more sedate than that, activity based rather than clubbing. The bride doesn’t pay for herself as it’s a treat for her, so her family and friends have clubbed together.

TerriBull Sun 17-Sep-23 07:32:07

This subject often comes up on MN, where inevitably the demographic is younger and they are more likely to attend such events. Nearly as good as parking wars, are some of the threads. There is often a consensus amongst those who post, that they are too extravagant, too costly, too onerous as far as the disruption they cause to working life/family life, especially where young children are involved and the juggling of child care etc. There was one particular thread that was breathtaking, where the summons was issued by the mother of the bride to the bride's friends, it went something along these lines "X is having her hen do something like 18 months hence, so you've no ifs, no buts, start saving now, the cost was going to be", if I remember rightly, something in the region of well over £1,000, maybe £1,500 for a week in Europe. So the "AIBU" was written by the not too happy invitee, who was weighing up the cost, how the week away would impact on her annual leave, slotting it into family life and whether that would mean they, the family could still all go away, all in all it sounded a logistics nightmare. It was pretty clear from the start that she wasn't on board with the idea. However things came to a head with the imperious mother,bridezilla & Co, when she couldn't be part of a Zoom meeting, she had the temerity of having to work due to a change a shift, (a nurse I believe) and got a severe reprimand for not being in on planning some of this crap involved the arrangements which kind of gave her the impetus to tell them she was out. She was dis-invited from the wedding, as was her husband/partner and he also had his invite from the corresponding stag party cancelled, lucky escape there, how much would the two events and the wedding cost them both, quite a sum I would imagine. So that scenario I gather is quite common and as some have said when they get invited to several of these events a year the whole cost is way too much. I remember having such a conversation with the daughter of my friend when we were all out too lunch, and she was saying pretty much the same thing, had been invited to a "hen" which was a week away, didn't really want to go, hardly knew any of the other women, and that's another factor some say, "I only really know the bride, none of the others, or I don't really get on with others that will be going". All in all, I feel lucky that this wasn't a thing at the time I and friends got married, maybe we'd have all gone out for a meal pre wedding, what's wrong with that? I'm sure some still do something more modest.

Personally I hate it when either stags or hens go abroad, it's bad enough at home, and behave really badly.

Anyway, to conclude, many of these happenings sound way over the top to me and a massive expense on top of the main event which as we know can cost a King's ransom anyway hmm

Susan56 Sun 17-Sep-23 07:50:59

My daughter has been invited to a wedding in the Caribbean.There are two stag dos one abroad and one local also two hen dos.Oh and a local wedding party once they are home.

This has all been booked and takes place within the next year.Even if people wanted to attend all the events how they expect young families with children to afford to I don’t know.Also cannot imagine it is what a lot of people will want to spend literally thousands of pounds on during a cost of living crisis.

NotSpaghetti Sun 17-Sep-23 08:05:48

Recent "family" stag do. 5 days in a villa in (?) Ibiza with a fine-dining day/night on a private yacht, spa day, paragliding, nightclub etc.

The groom paid for all the activities. It seemed unnecessary to me but subsequently I've spoken to several attendees and they all say what an amazing experience it was!

Male bonding? Who knows.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 17-Sep-23 08:08:37

I had a hen do with close friends at Stringfellows night club in London.

My sister had one in London and one abroad. Two AS’s had weekends away, one in Berlin one in Brighton.

Quite tame compared to some, but good fun.

M0nica Sun 17-Sep-23 08:17:10

Just how many people have these OTT hen/stag dos? I know in number terms it is quite high because so many cities make good business from them, but as a proportion of all weddings, it strikes me as being relatively small.

DS did not have a big stag do, just a few drinks with a couple of friends and I have very little memory of him ever having gone on a 'classic' stag do. DD is not married, so she has never had one and, again, I am not aware of her ever going on one either.

It is not something they wouldn't have told me about because I have been know all about their wild nights out, quite unassociated with weddings, so who is it, exactly that are having thiese wild hen/stag nights?

With the younger generation being far more abstemious than their elders, there was an article in the papers yesterday, about the huge growth of non-alcoholic beer wine and spirits market, will the fashion for these events die out?

TillyTrotter Sun 17-Sep-23 08:26:29

I had one in the late 70’s.
It was drinks in town (no cocktail bars then)
and around 10 pm we all piled into the one (and only) nightclub for miles around.
No meal, and we did not dress up like bees or fairies (as is sometimes the case now).
I don’t know what the cost was but it was minimal.
A good night was had by all.
I do think for some it has gone too far.
Maybe another opportunity to post on Instagram and say “look at me ?” Or maybe I am just out of touch with the young ones.

Joseann Sun 17-Sep-23 08:32:37

DD2 organises an activities package for hens and I think she enjoys it as much as the girls do. It's all about bonding (and getting to know the main friends before the day), and not a drop of alcohol is involved.
Going abroad to drink and party wouldn't be my choice.

Witzend Sun 17-Sep-23 08:38:20

I didn’t have one (1974) - TBH it didn’t even occur to me. Dh didn’t have a stag, either. We had a cracking wedding, though!

Judging from the number of posts about them on MN, so many people find the 3-4 day bashes, especially abroad, far too expensive, and then worry themselves sick about having to say no thanks, can’t afford it, and having the bride to be getting all huffy with them.

Though TBH even if they do have the money, without putting it on a cc, many people will have better uses for that cash, especially if (as so often now) they’re trying to save a deposit for a house.

It must be 20 years ago now, but a DD’s then boyfriend of maybe 23 said no thanks to a 4 day stag do in Boston - even then it was going to cost £500+. He wasn’t too proud to say he couldn’t afford it - and for that I did admire him.

Iam64 Sun 17-Sep-23 08:44:41

My daughters are in their late 30’s. They’ve been to 3 abroad hen do’s this year. They’re part of a large friendship group dating back to primary or high school. It’s unusual for the do not to involve the hens leaving their children home with the daddies and enjoying a great break away.
Then, the wedding arrives, often in a fantastic place in Italy or similar.
The expense is beyond my understanding but, these are good friends, all working hard and it’s become A Thing. Fashions change and possibly the next generation will go minimalist.
We went together to the local the night before our wedding. Married at the registry office and then had a party at our house.
The following day, we drove to the east coast for a week. Happy days.