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20th March 2018
Everyone loves a hen or stag do. They’re the perfect opportunity to get all your best buddies together and really let your hair down. In recent years, stag and hen parties have become big business, with each one being more elaborate than the last.
A few decades ago there wasn’t this huge pressure to have a wild hen do - a night out in your local big town with your bridesmaids/groomsmen was more than enough. Sadly, it appears that these days are gone, and hen and stag parties are frequently made up of a whole day of various activities ending with a VIP nightclub experience that a flashy celebrity would be proud of. In fact, a lot of hen and stag parties now involve jetting off for long weekend breaks to exotic locations like Las Vegas or Marbella.
Obviously, all of this comes with a hefty price tag. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of great ideas out there to help you to keep the cost down while still having plenty of fun. Read our top tips to help you plan an excellent budget hen or stag do.
Plan Something Well in Advance
Be sure to plan ahead! This not only allows your guests plenty of time to prepare for the event, it also allows you to make the biggest savings, especially if there is an element of travel involved in your plans. Most rail operators offer hefty discounts when you book tickets up to 12 weeks in advance. Thetrainline.com allow you to search for reduced-priced tickets but also has a handy Ticket Alert system that will let you know when cheap advance tickets become available for your selected journey.
Cut Costs, Not Experiences
If you need accommodation for your hen or stag do, consider using a website like AirBnB or renting a whole self-catering house somewhere, as this can work out considerably cheaper than expensive hotel rooms when the cost is split per person, especially if you’re looking to stay in a city centre.
If you’re planning a boozy night out somewhere and don’t happen to have a designated driver, try using Uber, as this can be almost one-and-a-half times cheaper than a traditional taxi. Payments are made automatically using your card via the app so there won’t be any risk of drunkenly overpaying the driver and you’ll be provided with an estimated cost for the journey before you even order a car. It’s super easy to split the fare with other riders and there’s loads of discount codes knocking around online that can make your journey extra cheap.
Why not go to a retro stag/hen do location like Bournemouth, Brighton or Blackpool, and have a super traditional stag like back in the good old days? Or even try some kind of group event - anything from a pottery class to a pub quiz - right in your home town?
Or, why not consider staying in? A poker party, wine and cigar evening or online gaming night would work well for a stag/hen do. Or consider ideas like a cocktail masterclass, cupcake decorating or a good old-fashioned sleepover. This will help you to save money all round as you won’t need to fork out for accommodation or pricey venues and you can save a fortune on alcohol by stocking up at the local supermarket. You might need to buy certain bits of equipment for some of the activities but it’s likely that these costs will be far lower than a typical night out or organised activity.
While a stag and hen do is all part of the fun of getting married, with the impending cost of the big day and the honeymoon, it’s important to keep your priorities in check, budget and keep costs down. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy yourself; just be sure to be prepared and do your research before you go ahead and book anything that your wallet might regret.
It’s probably a good idea to ask people of older generations what their stag and hen dos were like, to get a realistic view of what these kind of parties were like before 'social media expectations' took over. That way you can keep the cash for more important things like the wedding cake, the honeymoon or even the deposit on your first home together.