Hen and Stag parties are one of the most long standing wedding traditions that should be maintained as provide a good opportunity to celebrate the upcoming wedding in an informal setting and a chance to get rid of nerves and cut loose.
However, there are many different approaches to these events that don’t all necessarily have to involve drinking to excess and entertaining strippers. Don't get us wrong you can still drink and see scantily dressed dancers if you choose but before you plan your night why not have a look at some of our modern alternatives which are sure to create just as many memories and laughs.
Also check out our ‘Hen and Stag Party’ products and services directory here for our advertisers in your area who will have suggestions for a great event.
Outdoors: Especially in New Zealand many enjoy doing outdoors activities and this can be a good opportunity for the more desk bound among us to do something more adventuresome. Nearby every town or city are going to be venues such as paintball, kayaking, white water and black water rafting, caving, abseiling, horseback riding – need we go on? This is perfect for the thrill-seeking hen or stag and will provide some great photos. Also with so much activity guests can only get on and that will help at the wedding especially if your friends don’t all know each other. However, one warning check if all your guests are going to enjoy the day eg if one is afraid of the water a water based activity may push the boundaries of your friendship.
Sports and Recreation: Good-natured competition is a great way to burn off the nerves. Why not organize a day of sports. You can choose either outdoors games such as rugby and a BBQ or perhaps an indoor sport such as go-karting and hotdogs. There are so many different options. We suggest: mini golf, video games, pool, ice skating, bowling or laser strike (who doesn’t have fond memories of doing that as a child!). Alternatively if you prefer watching the sport to playing it why not plan your party on the same day as a sporting event such as an All Blacks match, a day at the cricket or whatever is your favourite team live in action.
Culture: If sport isn’t your thing then take in a show. Go to whatever is showing in your town at the time such as a comedy performance, a play, a musical or even live music. Check out Ticketek or the entertainment section of your local newspaper for details. Perhaps go to the Art Gallery and see an exhibition or even take in a movie favourite at the local cinema. A way to make an evening event is to go to a theme cabaret theatre dinner or even a drag show up on K Road .
Luxury: Treat and pamper yourself and that doesn’t just mean the women. Visit a spa for the day and get the works: massage, pedicure, manicure, facial. The ultimate in relaxation and at the same time getting yourself ready for the big day and ensuring you will all look your best. Another fun idea could be to all get hair and makeup done (okay this is maybe aimed at the women) and then hit the town or if you want to continue in the relaxing frame organize platters of your favourite foods and a nice bottle of wine or two.
Night on the Town: The classic Hen or Stag evening but why not try it with a twist. Rent a room at a restaurant, set a menu with a theme or choose a restaurant or bar with a difference such as at the top of the sky tower in Auckland . It doesn’t need to be expensive as many venues can organise an evening to suit any budget.
Weekend Away: Find, borrow or rent a bach somewhere out of town and then organize for the party to spend a night or two away. Maybe try an area in a wine region - a trip to the local wineries for lunch will always be a success. It is also a good idea to organize some games or activities to ensure guests don’t get bored. Take favourite board games and play them with a difference, a pack of cards will inevitably lead to poker and betting, rent a karaoke machine for hours of musical fun or plan some dares. Remember to bring plenty of food and drinks and of course the camera!
And here are some of our readers' suggestions for hen and stag parties