Hen and stag
Hen and stag do’s are traditionally the final celebration with family and friends before you take the walk down the aisle. The way we celebrate has changed a lot over the years. Rather than a night at home enjoying a few glasses of wine with friends or a round of beers down the pub, you now have hens and stags flying all over the world for fun-packed adventure weekends. Spa days are popular along with off-roading, even paint balling, or (as my brother-in-law did) a zombie experience. It really is a case of anything goes and it’s a brilliant way of celebrating the final countdown to the big day!
If you are on a tight budget, the convenience of having a wedding abroad means you can have your hen and stag parties a few days before the wedding! It’s handy as you’ll have your nearest and dearest with you already. Imagine a beach picnic with sparkling wine, hiring a yacht for the day, or celebrating with a gorgeous meal beside the sea with a beautiful sunset as your entertainment. If you’re getting married abroad, you’re already doing something unique, so why go normal with the hen and stag parties?
Pre-wedding get together
Most couples have some type of wedding get together once their guests have arrived. This can be as casual as everyone meeting down the beach or in a bar after dinner one night. Or, like some of our couples, hiring a boat and taking everyone off on a sunset cruise as a thank you for making the journey. It depends on your budget. If you can’t afford to provide food and drinks, you could meet at a local bar – if you speak to the venue beforehand, they may reserve an area for you.
A pre-wedding get together is a great way to update guests with any final changes to the itinerary and for people to meet each other before the wedding day. And if you’re providing welcome bags, this is an ideal time to hand them out.
One our couples wanted to arrange a welcome party in fancy dress, in Greece. Yes, a bit unusual – I would have loved to have seen the locals’ faces. Fancy dress was their thing and they frequently hosted such parties back at home for their friends. Considering the bride was wearing a black wedding dress, they were not exactly a conventional couple.
A pre-wedding get together can be as intimate as you like with only immediate family and friends or can include everyone attending the wedding. Whichever option you choose, give guests plenty of notice to make sure they book flights to arrive in time.
After party celebrations
For those couples that want the celebrations to continue that bit longer before returning to reality, there are the after party celebrations!
This could be the morning after (there’s nothing like a brunch to soak up excess alcohol) or the following evening to give everyone time to recover. We see this more with larger weddings where the bride and groom want to spend more time with their guests.
Wedding days can easily go by without you feeling like you’ve spent enough time with everyone. With an after wedding party, you can reminisce, laugh and fully relax as the planning is over.
A beach BBQ is a great way to do this as it’s relaxed, but again, anything goes. One of our couples bought tickets for everyone to go to a water park! What a fun way to spend your first day as a married couple.
One final note, make sure you keep it optional.
Real bride Nicola, who married in Ibiza
I made an itinerary of things we could all do together and expressed no one had to do anything if they didn’t want to join in.
- Decide if you would like any pre or post-wedding get togethers and make sure your budget will allow you to cater for these.
- Allocate and detail your budget – using our Budget Checklist
- Consider the following:
- Having a hen or stag do when you arrive for the wedding can be a great cost saving alternative to hen or stag party at home.
- The welcome and after parties can be anything from a casual get together with drinks to a private catered dinner to a sunset cruise. Before deciding, consider what your budget will support.
Remember pre and post get togethers are completely optional.