ILLUSTRATION | Sarah Holliday
If you’ve got loads of mutual pals, should you share your pre-wedding party with your partner?
Maybe I’m just an attention hog, but I totally balk at the thought of having to share a party with someone else when convention dictates it should be thrown solely in my honour – even if that someone else is my soon-to-be spouse.
If my hen party’s sole purpose is to embarrass me as much as possible with cheesy strippers (or my pals regaling work colleagues and conservative aunties with deeply mortifying stories about me), so be it.
That’s the hen party tradition, and when it happens, it’ll be all mine.
I get it though; you’re not like those regular brides. You’re a cool bride.
The thought of 18 squawking girls on the main strip in Marbella really isn’t your bag, and even a chill hen at a log cabin sipping Cosmopolitans out of penis or vagina straws seems a little too contrived to you.
Plus, you and your partner share the same friend group, so it makes sense to have a joint hen and stag – right?
Well, not necessarily. It’s vital to have a strong friendship group separate to your relationship, and your hen is the perfect time to celebrate those friendships.
That’s not to say your partner can’t be friends with your friends and vice versa, but even couples in the happiest relationships should be able to socialise without the other – and do it reasonably often.
If you don’t want to do your hen without them, I want you to look at your social life and see what else you’re not doing without them. If it’s hardly anything, for the sake of your long term sanity and overall health of your relationship, make a change – however small!
The whole point behind the tradition of a hen or stag is to have one last solo hurrah before you’re officially off the market.
I’m not usually a stickler for tradition, but in this case I’m a ﬁrm believer in enjoying this rite of passage.
After all, you have the rest of your lives (not to mention your wedding!) to party together.
Hen and stag parties have changed dramatically in recent years – a nice meal at your fave Italian followed by a pub crawl just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.
Instead it’s all about ﬂying off to Ibiza or Prague or any other country that offers a bit of sun and lethal single measures of vodka for £1.50.
And it gets expensive. Super expensive. Especially if you’re already saving for your own wedding or, heaven forbid, a holiday to a destination that you’ve actually picked yourself.
So whenever I get married, I love the idea of combining mine and my partner’s pre-wedding blowouts and planning an amazing party somewhere fun.
And I hope that because all of our couple friends would be able to come together and enjoy a bit of quality time to themselves whilst we’re away, it wouldn’t be so much of a burden to ask them to splurge a few hundred pounds to get there.
I 100% get the ‘you’ve got the whole rest of your married life to have parties together’ argument against joint hen and stags, but so long as you don’t suddenly switch to a joint Facebook proﬁle and start inviting your other half to every girls’night in, there’s no harm in joining forces and budgets for one great pre-wedding party.
Plus, having a joint hen and stag doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment as one big group.
You can always separate and go off to do your own hen or stag activities before meeting up later on for drinks, drinks and more drinks.
I mean, even if you stuck to traditional separate parties you’d only end up propped up outside the bar drunk-dialling your ﬁancé anyway (don’t even try tell me otherwise).
At least if you’re all out celebrating together no one has to leave the party to declare their undying love (or make any cold-feet confessions…).
“I’M HAVING A STEN DO!”
“My fiancée and I are sharing our stag and hen as our friends are travelling together from the US to Scotland for the wedding.
Plus we both love the idea of Ibiza, so it seems logical to combine the event!
We’d like to have one night where we party together and another strictly apart so the girls and guys can get their own time.” SAM SMITH