I’m a wedding expert, Vicky Pattison & Rangers flop have inspired a new trend and it’s seriously hot for 2024

HEN and stag parties have long been the perfect way for budding brides and grooms to celebrate before tying the knot.

As far back as ancient Greece, men and women have left their partners home alone to go off for raucous fun and games.

More couples are opting to celebrate together

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More couples are opting to celebrate together
Jess Martin reckons the trend will continue

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Jess Martin reckons the trend will continue

But joint stag/hen celebrations, or so-called sten dos, have now become a thing.

Celebs such as former Geordie Shore actress Vicky Pattison and ex- Rangers footballer Mateusz Zukowski are leading the way, after each having sten bashes with their respective partners.

Jess Martin, wedding planning expert at decorations firm Ginger Ray, told the Scottish Sun: “We’ve seen an increase in couples opting to team up their last hurrahs with a sten do, and I expect to see this to continue as we enter this year’s peak wedding season.

“Not only has the trend become more popular through social media, with Vicky Pattison and [her partner] Ercan Ramadan, inset, showcasing their lavish joint Dubai do, TV soaps have also incorporated the trend.”

But why are soon-to-be married couples so keen to stick with their partners for their post-proposal parties?

Jess reckons budget comes into it.

She said: “Planning one combined event can be more convenient and cost-effective, this is especially appealing to couples juggling increasing costs associated with weddings and other related celebrations too.

“Social media also plays a huge role in promoting sten dos as they visualise the fun and togetherness of mixed celebrations. The more couples that share their positive experiences online, especially influencers and celebrities, the trend becomes more and more appealing to engaged couples.”

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Some reckon that couples don’t trust their other half to go off on a wild weekend with their mates – and sten parties allow them to keep an eye on each other.

Inside Vicky Pattison’s joint hen and stag do with fiance Ercan – as they hire £119 an hour luxury yacht in Dubai

But Jess isn’t so cynical.

She said: “I believe that sten dos display a deeper bond between the couple rather than suggesting a lack of trust. They allow both partners to enjoy their pre-wedding celebrations together, which actually emphasises unity rather than separation.”

Here the wedding pro shares her five perfect stens for couples who want to celebrate together.

GLAMP IT UP

FOR low-key, nature-lovers glamping is a great option for a sten do.

It can also be budget-friendly as you can take your own food and plan couple-themed games.

Jess said: “In warmer months, opt for a budget-friendly, scenic, glamping trip. This type of staycation allows everyone to add their own personal touches and can be truly tailored for your wedding party.

“Using party decorations, you can elevate any space to bring the party feel to a usually neutral background.

“From cosy tents to luxury lodges, you can cook over an open fire, have drinks in the hot tub or share stories around the fire about the couple whilst competing in board games, there’s an activity for everyone.

WINE AND DINE

HAVING something in the comfort of your own home can take the stress out of a celebration.

This wouldn’t work for a traditional hen or stag – as you’d have to kick your partner out- but it’s ideal for a sten.

Jess said: “Hosting friends and family at home is not only cost-effective but can also be a lovely convenience. A dinner party is not just limited to within the home and if the weather allows for it, the celebration can also extend to the garden for outdoor hosting instead.

“Opt for a theme and commit to it.

“Take the time to really indulge in what you both want and enjoy the planning process together. From a sip and paint party, to an elegant dinner, you can mix and match your styles to create a unique sten do.

CITY ESCAPE

GETTING away for a couple of days can be a great way to celebrate with your nearest and dearest.

But separate hen and stag dos can start to ramp up in costs – and they can cause tension between couples as they spent time away from each other in the run up to a wedding.

So a city break for a sten can work a treat – and the couple can choose somewhere they’ve always wanted to visit together.

Jess says: “Who doesn’t love a holiday? A city break can cater to all budgets, with an open and customisable agenda for all desires.

“Whether you opt for cultural tours, gourmet dining, bar hopping or wine tasting, the possibilities are endless with various options for every personality type.

DOUBLE UP

STEN parties give couples the chance to tick something off their bucket list – while also celebrating their upcoming nuptials.

Whether it’s watching a footie match in a stadium overseas or seeing your favourite band play, they are an ideal opportunity to do something you love as a twosome.

Jess says: “Modern couples often prioritise shared experiences over individual ones and a sten do gives couples an opportunity to create lasting memories with their closest family and friends together. This is particularly important for those who may have grown up together, or share social circles

“Combining events with your celebration can bank you even more cost savings. Options could include music festivals, sports events or themed club events – celebrate your love whilst ticking an event off your to-do list.

AND RELAX

PLANNING a wedding can be stressful with everyone and their auntie giving their views on how the big day should go.

So having a spa trip is the ideal way to chill out ahead of saying I do. And if both the bride and groom can find some zen before they walk down the aisle, even better.

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Jess said: “It’s important to remember that not everyone wants a typical party celebration for the pre-wedding ‘do. A serene retreat or a wellness spa can be more preferable options to bring about calmness and peace before the big wedding storm.

“Activities can include group yoga, pilates, guided meditation, nature walks or even healthy cooking classes.”

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