How about a break from the norm with a Sten weekend?
When it comes to the big day we all have our own ideas. Perhaps you're a traditionalist? White dress, long flowing train, top hat and tails, tried and tested vows, and all the fairytale pomp and circumstance associated with the "perfect" wedding. Maybe you like to plan in a more contemporary manner? After all, when it comes down to it, it's YOUR big day, and there's certainly nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box to ensure you get exactly what you want when the time comes.
Nowadays the same can be said when it comes to organising your last hurrah. Your final night of freedom is no longer an event exclusively for your nearest and dearest of the same sex. Introducing the Sten weekend! As the title suggests, this is the notion of combining the bride to be's Hen party with the groom to be's Stag do - and it's a trend which is fast becoming all the rage! Gone is the long-standing tradition of separate weekends away, and in its place an early opportunity to get a head start on the whole for better and for worse thing!
Its popularity can be attributed to trendsetting celeb couples such as Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson giving the idea a bash, and subsequently a big thumbs up - but is it a concept YOU should be contemplating? Here we look at some of the big advantages of a combined big send off.
The Big Get-Together
The stag or hen party has always been a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family that we rarely get to see. Perhaps this is something more relevant depending on age groups, but by and large, couples tend to be friends with other couples. This means that by joining forces the fun can be doubled, not to mention the fact that if some of your friends don't know each other, the more the merrier concept makes for a fantastic way for them to finally meet. It may be the case that not everyone in your party has already been coupled off. Fear not. The "power in numbers" concept of the Sten party makes for a great ice-breaker, and who knows? Perhaps the mixed nature of the group may even lead to a bit of match-making.
This one's a no-brainer. Stag and Hen parties are hugely important, so it stands to reason that every detail is perfectly planned to ensure a party or weekend to remember. As an organiser, you'll need to carefully consider everything from accommodation, fun activities, great food, transport (including flights if you're venturing slightly further afield), perhaps try to blag a reserved area in a bar or nightclub. It's quite the responsibility, even if you book through a great concierge company. Now multiply it by two... Imagine the time you could save, and reinvest in planning the wedding and honeymoon if you were to combine the two into a single, awesome event. Not to mention the headspace you'd gain by eliminating some of that stress.
A combined Hen and Stag party will most likely mean a larger group. This could potentially work to your advantage as quite often hotels and restaurants will offer discounts on large bookings. When it comes to transport, you can easily save a few bob by booking a minibus rather than separate cars or taxis, not to mention the money saved on splitting the bill when it comes to drinks and food.
Eliminate any Lingering Trust Issues
Okay, lets cut to the chase. We all say that we trust our partners implicitly when it comes to them heading off on a weekend away partying. In reality, there can very often be a niggling thought in the back of the mind depending on who they're with (and how much drinking they may do). In fact, a recent survey found that 74% of men lie to their partners about their Stag party activities, while 43% of women admit to being untruthful. This may or may not be a concern for you, but a combined Sten party will most certainly do away with any jealousy or the potential for it to become an issue.
Does a combined party mean that Stags or Hens may not get to do the things they'd like? Absolutely not. In fact, given that your group is now probably larger than the traditional Stag or Hen party, the potential for more ideas when it comes to fun activities is huge. The guys and girls don't need to be joined at the hip for the entire day or weekend. Perhaps the ladies would favour a spa day or shopping while the guys go paintballing or dirt biking? Once the evening comes you may choose to meet up at a bar, restaurant or pub crawl together before hitting the clubs.
All things considered, it does seem certain that the Sten Party is here to stay, and we predict that it will continue to grow in popularity. What do we suggest? Well, when it comes to planning a unique event, it's always most important to do what's right for YOU. Very seldom do we make decisions around or wedding day solely to please others, and the same should very definitely apply to your big send-off. Nevertheless, it is most certainly a discussion well worth having, and may very well lead to a wonderful event full of the kind of magical memories which last a lifetime.