By: Revanche

On the wedding merry-go-round: Stag&hen parties

March 6, 2014

HeartCluster Yes, we’re American but stag & hen is just easier to say. πŸ™‚

I was just being grateful that at my age, most of my friends have gone past needing some ridiculous pre-wedding party, with a few exceptions (notably, a recent invitation that I declined that was composed of an overnight stay, bookended by multiple expensive activities).

But no, I was wrong. Gone are the days of having a group of friends get together for a relatively inexpensive spa day, or night off drinks and dancing or whatever it is we did back in the day as broke college grads. Now we’re seeing people ask their friends to fly across country, or meet up at a destination city, there to party it up for a full weekend. Between gifts, time-off, lodgings, travel arrangements, most of these seem to be $1000 minimum.

My physical therapist was just telling me about the great deal her boyfriend got, going to Mexico for “just $1000” for his friend’s stag party! *blink*

“All inclusive” is nice but $1000 for a weekend party with the boys (or girls) is a deal? When did that become the norm?

It almost feels like I woke up one day and our friends all became “wealthy” without us. To be fair, PiC’s friends are actually truly well-off, so it’s really not terribly surprising that a few thousand here and there isn’t cause for pause for them.

I don’t have any philosophical issues with destination weddings: that’s where the couple wants to go? Fine. And invitees are free to go, or not go, according to their time and budget constraints.

But stag and hen parties?Β  They feel a little more like hostage negotiation when you’re part of the wedding party and the relevant betrothed is asking: so, what do you think of going to [insert international destination, during high season]? Y’all, when you need a passport for the pre-wedding party, I have objections.

We’ll have honest conversations with the friends, of course, because we’re simply not lining up to spend a few thousand dollars between the stag party, gifts and travel to the wedding; it’s not their fault but let’s face it, every wedding we attend requires travel these days.

There just aren’t that many people that we can spend that kind of money on, especially not with a friend getting married every year or two and oh, living our lives?

I’ve organized my fair share of these, there was the memorable year I ‘maided for 4 brides in 1 summer, but this remains too rich for my blood.Β  Neither PiC or I got either stag/hen parties and I didn’t get a bridal shower, and our budget’s pretty happy about that.

How do you feel about these things? Fun and worth doing as a “once in a lifetime”? Or does it make you want to call for a simpler life? Or somewhere in between?

18 Responses to “On the wedding merry-go-round: Stag&hen parties”

  1. Abigail says:

    My friends and I went for drinks. Tim’s friends took him to a stripper and had drinks. Plenty of fun, and Tim just had to drive down to Puyallup. About 40 miles away, but he stayed at his parents’ house.

    I still have seen hen parties that are just gals drinking. So clearly not everyone has lost their minds.

    • Revanche says:

      “So clearly not everyone has lost their minds.”

      Well, that’s reassuring! Barring the stripper (which I have sanitary phobias about), that all sounds like fun – hanging out with friends is just the low-key ticket.

      • Karen says:

        There’s a strip place/steak house in the area. Supposedly, it’s very good steak. A woman, who is a bit of a germaphobe like me, has been. She said there’s a glass wall that separates the dining from the entertainment. And yes, the steak was good.
        There’s another place that has a buffet, I believe. Obviously, they have to meet health codes, but I wonder about the quality of the food.

  2. SP says:

    I’m all about going for drinks and having a fun night out. A vacation weekend? Only if it is VERY optional. Which it pretty much never is, right?

    Vacation time and money are precious to me, and I don’t want to use it up on a party weekend. It’s not my thing, no matter how much I love you!

  3. Karen says:

    For good friends, I might do the party weekend. I did do it for the last wedding I was in but fortunately, she’s from Small Town, USA so it wasn’t an expensive weekend (and it wasn’t exactly a party weekend just that the hen party and wedding was in her hometown). And it’s probably not once in a lifetime as she’s now divorced. And, yes, for her, I’d probably do it again.

    • Revanche says:

      I think probably there is usually one or two people for whom the answer will always be “yes”. I just can’t open that circle to everyone, we have too many old friends! πŸ™‚

  4. Jess says:

    I organized a hen do this fall that involved a nice dinner, some drinks & a fairly inexpensive ($20 pp) burlesque show. The bride burned some of her CC points to treat us to a hotel convenient to the festivities (all the attendees live in Brooklyn, Queens or Jersey City and the event was in Brooklyn so we all definitely could have gone home afterward but it was nice to go back to a hotel together and eat homemade penis cake. Also it was cheaper than separate cab rides home, especially to Jersey City). Everyone had fun and I think it felt festive and special occasion-y without being horrendously expensive.

    That being said, one of the ‘maids backed out of the party at the last minute for dubious reasons & it caused a little bit of bridal party drama because it meant that the rest of our costs would be proportionally higher.

    • Revanche says:

      That sounds both super reasonable and pretty fun. I can understand chagrin at costs going up at the last minute; I like my costs to be predictable and stay that way πŸ™‚

  5. Me and my girlfriends went to Vegas for my stagette, and I think it cost everyone around $500 each? Still, I made sure that it wasn’t obligatory to go and if anyone didn’t think it was a good idea/too expensive, we wouldn’t do it. I think it also worked out since I was the only one who was engaged so it’s not like there was gonna be a ton of other stagettes in the near future that everyone had to save up for.
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    • Revanche says:

      I think all the circumstances around that work out: It’s expensive to me but not staggeringly so for a traveling weekend, totally optional & accepting of input, and you weren’t one of a series of engageds. I might opt out of going but I certainly wouldn’t be grumpy about it because it’s not “proposed” (aka required) like how folks do their invites. Hope you had a great time!

  6. Sense says:

    Stag or hen ‘do’ is even shorter! Gotta love how the Down Unders shorten or abbreviate EVERYTHING. πŸ™‚

  7. LOL! I think each generation vies to outdo the previous one in the competition to dream up The Dumbest Stuff in the History of Personkind.
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