Traditionally held the night before the wedding with a group of male friends having a few drinks together in a pub, stag night antics have been the inspiration behind numerous movies. Rarely consisting of just a few drinks these days. stag nights are more usually stag weekends, with the most popular European Stag (or Hen) destinations being Amsterdam, Prague, Edinburgh and Dublin. There is a huge industry built up around custom made stag weekends and stag parties, this option being much simpler than expecting the Best Man, who may not know all men in the bridal party, to organise it all himself. With these stag packages the company or agent will be the main point of contact for each of the stags attending; they will make all of the arrangements and collect payment from each of the guests.
It is well accepted that what happens on a hen or stag night remains on the hen or stag night, and while it is fun to have photographs of the event and particularly any activities during the day, it is not appropriate to display photos of drunken behaviour from the hen or stag night at your wedding reception, or for the best man to relate stories from the event during his wedding speech. When it comes to who to invite on a hen night it is correct for a hen to invite her mum and any sisters, and it is diplomatic, but not expected, to also invite the groom’s mum and sisters. Many brides have second hen night with those close family members that they feel obliged to invite but who wouldn’t really enjoy a wild night out with the rest of the hens. It is not appropriate to invite anyone who has not been invited to the wedding. Stags seem more relaxed on who to invite and there is generally more of an attitude of “the more the merrier” with the potential guests knowing what they are likely to be letting themselves in for and deciding whether or not they want to go. Our research showed that most grooms will not change their stag night plans to suit their friends or family members, and that stags on average spend three times more on their stag weekend than a hen spends on her hen weekend.