Should We Have a Sten Party?
Raucous nights of drunken debauchery, enough cosmo to drown in and perhaps a misguided sexual encounter with a lady boy – what’s not to love about the age old tradition of the stag and hen party?
Okay, so not all parties quite follow the same dangerous pattern of Hollywood’s Hangover films, but we wouldn’t mind betting that it isn’t all hyperbole. Well, maybe the bit where they stole Mike Tyson’s tiger.
It’s perhaps partly because of these films that more and more couples are opting to have joint parties, otherwise known as a Sten party – perhaps they don’t trust one another to play safe. Perhaps they simply don’t trust each other.
But perhaps it’s because they share all the same friends, perhaps it is because they don’t have an exclusively gender-based set of friends to spend a night out with, perhaps it is because they enjoy each others’ company. Who knows. Crazier things have happened.
One Last Night of Freedom
Traditional Hen and Stag parties have notoriously bad reputations and in the lead up there is always some concern that the best man or chief bridesmaid is going to hire a stripper or attempt a ‘honey trap’ for their friend.
I think this is one of those images that just doesn’t go away, like Englishmen with bad teeth and Frenchmen in mime outfits. These are, for the most part, ridiculous stereotypes that have very little basis in truth.
Solo parties these days are often getting longer, spread out across a weekend and indulge in several activities such as quad biking or spa days. It’s become a lot less about getting absolutely trashed and cheating on your partner and much more about spending a fun couple of days with your friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is no alcohol consumed of course…
Let’s not fool one another, nine times out of ten your friends will act differently around you than they would in front of their partners. I think this counts doubly for most guys. A party with your mates before your wedding isn’t an excuse to go and have meaningless sex with someone whose name you can’t remember, but to destress and be silly and fun. This might mean doing things that your partner might not approve of, but only because they would call you childish perhaps.
Joined at the Hip
Having a ‘Sten’ party, as it has been dubiously named, is a good way to combine budgets, combine friends and celebrate together. If you’re thinking of having a party together because you don’t trust your partner, you might want to reconsider why you’re actually getting married. If you’re thinking of having a party together because you don’t trust your partner’s best mate to look after them when they’ve had a couple too many, you may also want to question your motives.
There are very few legitimate reasons to have a Sten party, but the ones that exist are very good reasons indeed. For starters
- Your best friends don’t fit into a gender category
Most of my wife’s best friends are guys. She has a couple of girlfriends, but realistically, 90 per cent of her friends are men. This could technically make a hen do quite problematic. Her friends could feel left out (especially as I have a completly different group of friends) and she ends up having quite a small group to go out with. In this case, a joint party means that they could have come, invited by her.
- You share all the same friends
You could still go off in seperate directions, but if you’re the kind of people that like to do things as one group, it makes sense. You just have to make sure you’re spending time with friends rather than together – there will be plenty of time for that soon, trust me.
A joint party means joint budgets and it also means, as a larger group, that you can often get good discounts on things such as restaurants, activities and drinks.
We got married in Thailand, so we sort of cheated. We had seperate parties back at home, but once we got out to Thailand we had a joint party with everyone that came with us. With any luck (and maybe a heavy helping of hard work) you should only ever be doing this the once. So rinse it. Celebrate it until you simply can’t party anymore. It doesn’t need to be shots and spiked marshmallows – it’s just another excuse to spend time with all the people you love. Make the most of it.
About the author