'The roles of gender have evolved over time, and hence wedding traditions evolve'
Once upon a time, hen and stag dos were a thing of mythic spectacle, hailed by wedding attendees everywhere as the pinnacle of salacious marital celebrations, coloured by bouts of unapologetic debauchery, lewd behaviour and astonishing half-remembered and half-fictionalised anecdotes.
Even if you haven’t seen The Hangover, in which a naive groom goes missing for 24 hours following his inconceivably-indecent stag do in Las Vegas, you’ll be familiar with the tenacious hedonism that characterise the traditions of such pre-marital celebrations.
However, it seems that the tides may be turning, as more young couples are shunning conventional single-sex celebrations for mixed affairs, elevated by a sense of occasion - and civilisation.
As with most millennial trends, these shiny newfound celebrations boast an array of equally celebratory portmanteaus, introducing sten and hag dos.
They may not be the quippiest of monikers, but just one search for each on Instagram reveals their growing popularity, with both featuring a pleasing array of snaps from progressive couples’ respective mash-up celebrations.
Robin Weil, CEO and founder at Weddingplanner.co.uk, has noticed an increase in couples planning hag and sten dos on his site.
“Couples tend to share more friends than ever before and are looking to party as one big group rather than splitting out the guys and the girls,” he told The Independent.
“As time off work and holiday spend become increasingly more valuable, the guests who are coupled-up in particular are pushing for hag and sten dos so that they can get a holiday with their own partner whilst also taking part in the celebrations.”
Hamish Shephard, founder of the UK’s leading wedding planning app Bridebook.co.uk, agrees that amalgamated celebrations are definitely trending, putting this down to the abolishment of archaic gender stereotypes.
“A generation ago, society was more male-dominated and gender-segregated meaning couples were less likely to have friends of the opposite sex, but in today's modern society friendship is unfazed by gender.”
Long-gone are the days when men and women had exclusively single-sex social circles, he added.
This means that the traditionally single-sex parties can be exclusionary to couples' close friends, so they are diversifying the traditional format.
“My wife had a great male friend join her hen-do,” Shephard told The Independent, adding that he has also attended a series of successful hag sten-dos.
“The roles of gender have evolved over time, and hence wedding traditions evolve," he added.
“It is rightly so therefore that the single-gender pre-wedding ritual of the 'stag' and 'hen do' also evolves to match the reality of modern society.”