It can be a good choice for couples with lots of shared friends in couples and it’s a natural quencher of the kind of stag night excess that many husbands (and wives) fear, but we at Staggered reckon it’s also a potential minefield of can’t-please-everybody problems.
With that in mind, here are our Hag Night rules!
Consider your reasons
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 you should be getting married at all.
“We do not see our marriage as some form of punishment that we will be incarcerated in for the rest of our lives,” say one forum poster about their joint bash.
Make it different to an engagement party
The bride’s friends plus the groom’s friends plus booze equals an engagement party, or a reception. So something has to be done to make the hen and stag night different, whether it’s activities, games or entertainment. With roughly equal-sized groups of girls and boys, there’s scope for a mix of battle-of-the-sexes games.
Ever fancied popping a paintball cap in your future sister-in-law? Now’s your chance!
Think about the numbers
A stag and hen night will have twice the number of guests, so bar crawls are probably a bad idea (though many stag-infested cities are much happier with mixed groups than same-sex parties). Having a big shindig in one location is more practical: Other options would be a joint barbecue, a shared cottage etc.
Never forget that if you’re bringing a big party to a club/bar/restaurant you are a bartering superpower. There will be concerns about you trashing the place it’s always worth a phone call.
Turn a blind eye
The stag and hen should feel they can let their hair down without worrying about being judged by the other partner. The guys in attendance will be feeling testosterone-fuelled and ultra laddy, the girls will be in full “Boots advert” mode, and things are bound to get a little rambunctious. Talk about boundaries before the event, so if his and hers strippers show up, you know how to handle it.
Keep some separation
Even if you 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 main focus. Factor in some times 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.
Keep it nasty
A joint hen and stag party sounds nice, but hen and stag parties aren’t necessarily meant to be nice. Work out ways to make it naughty despite the balancing effect of male and female guests. On the other side of the coin, be aware that with all that drink floating around, there may be some unholy unions formed by stag and hen guests, which might cause some awkwardness come the wedding day.
Be prepared for some opposition
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. You’ll also be hearing a lot about tradition; they are not in the slightest bit traditional.
Combine budgets, appoint the leaders
One good reason to combine the parties is to combine the budgets, meaning you can all get more bang for your buck. 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.
Don't Call it a 'Hag Do'
It has odd connotations. Some people refer to them as Jack & Jill or pre-nup parties, but that doesn’t sound very exciting either. There’s not really a good name for it, but that’s what you get for being a trailblazer – the chance to create the name and the traditions.
Don’t forget to send us the pics.