A hag do (otherwise known as a sten), where both the stags and hens join forces for pre-nuptial celebrations, are gaining in popularity. And who can blame those young bucks and does? To many, the rituals and rites of passage of the traditional bachelor/ette party feel oh so antiquated now, especially if they’re to be held the night before the wedding. After all, who wants to be arriving at the aisle, bleary eyed, booze breathed and full of a weird sense of shame. Moreover, most of us don’t have purely gender-specific groups of friends. If you do, you might want to check that. Let’s bring things into the 21st century people! Here’s how; our 4 IDEAL tips for organising a winter hag do.
A WINTER WEEKEND AWAY
When the weather is cold outside and outdoor options for your joint do are limited, a weekend away in a cosy cottage with a log burning fire, whiskeys at the ready and a sense of hygge harnessed, could be just the ticket. We think somewhere rural and peaceful is perfect; a welcome break from the rat race, and all that. The Cotswolds, with its almost comically quaint pace to life, gentle rolling hills, honey-stoned villages, cute cottages with thatched roofs, little lanes, sparkling streams and easy flowing rivers, is just what we have in mind. Or perhaps rural Wales, truly off the beaten path, could fit the bill?
Either way, those ubiquitous bride and groom team personalised hoodies (we have to keep some hen/stag traditions alive) are going to be needed to keep you warm on those winter walks. Don’t just look for your bride and groom party hoodies on sites that sell wedding paraphernalia. You’ll find great deals from the good guys over at the School Leavers Company who offer personalised clothing in all manner of shapes and styles.
CHOOSE A WINTER THEME
While we’re certainly not advocating ‘organised fun’ or ice breaker vibes, most hag party attendees will welcome a little guidance in terms of a theme. Setting one provides a very welcome conversation starter, and limits the danger of a school disco situation where all the boys are congregated at one side of the dancefloor, all the girls huddled at the other. A big, brash and boisterous opportunity to mingle and make friends as one cohesive unit will work wonders for wedding day unity, with reminiscing and anecdotes aplenty later down the line.
Perhaps a ski chalet theme, all wintery cosy and chic, will suit your group? Or a white winter wonderland, with everyone dressed up in white (go on, you know it suits you) could get tongues wagging. Alternatively, you could base your hag do around your passion as a couple; if the bride and groom to-be love to cook, everyone has to come dressed as an ingredient. Should the finances devote their free time to tennis, well, it’s Wimbledon whites all round, right?
A LOW KEY AFFAIR AT THE LOCAL
Weddings are an expensive, stressful business, and not just for the bride and groom. What’s more, the festive period can get busy quickly, with everyone’s calendars packed with Christmas parties, family get togethers, work drinks and the rest. Whisper it, but the hag group might just welcome something a little lowkey, which doesn’t demand a huge commitment in terms of time and the bank balance. Consider hosting a dinner and drinks event at your local, then, with a low and slow pace and little on the agenda but good food, good wine and great conversation. Sounds like heaven to us.
Not every stag and hen party has to revolve around beer pong, shots of Boilermaker and the inevitable big head the next morning. Yep, in the age of normcore and an annual increase in abstinence rates, a hag do with no drinking could go down very well indeed. Instead, why not organise a Winter Olympics competition, taking in a range of fun activities around the city you live? You could start out racing at an indoor ski slope, continue to the ice rink for a round of figure skating with members of the hag ranking the performances, and finish with a game of ice hockey (find where to play a game at the English Ice Hockey Association’s website). Now that sounds like a good time.