How much do we spend on our stag and hen dos?

If you are getting married for the first time or are doing it for the second time, the big question is how much to spend on our stag and hen dos. A big bash in Budapest? Party paintballing? A mad fancy dress one at a nightclub? Long gone are the times when stag and hen dos were simply a night down at the pub or out on the tiles. The pre-marital parties of today are more extravagant, audacious and costly than ever – but just how costly exactly?

With more of us turning our stags and hens into grandiose weekend events, we look at how much they’re setting us back, and whether it’s still possible to do one on a budget.

A breakdown of costs

It was recently reported that the average cost of attendance at a hen or stag comes to more than £200. Costs included:

  • Food & drink: £28.35
  • Clothing & accessories: £36.37
  • Transport: £26.05
  • Accommodation: £27.82
  • Childcare: £5.34
  • Gifts: £35.47
  • Activities: £45.41

Now, to some this might seem daunting, but considering many a stag is now a European weekend away or hen a full-blown spa weekend, those costs may just be the tip of the iceberg for some. Say you’re taking things abroad, £200 is likely the figure you’ll need to spend before the event has even started.

Living up to expectations

There is a question as to why our stags and hens have become a gigantic spendathon. After all, what was so bad about an old-fashioned night out around your local town?

In recent memory, stag and hen dos have become more of an occasion, with many event services tailored specifically towards stag and hen weekends, while the rise of cheap European flights has made the prospect of a few days away much more accessible. Especially for groups of friends where numerous people are getting married in a short period of time, there is an onus on one party to be as good as the last. So, if one best man or maid of honour decides to up the ante, the rest tend to follow suit.

That’s leaving attendees with a rather busy – and rather expensive – schedule ahead of them.

Working to a budget?

According to research from 118 118 Money, 23% of us don’t want to pay as much as we do for stag and hen weekends, but that hasn’t stopped many pushing the boat out when it comes to celebrating. For 25-32-year-olds, who are typically the ones with the most wedding-based obligations, 13% claim they have to spend on an event they don’t really want to at least once a week. Across the course of the month, 8.8 million Brits are spending on occasions they feel they can’t avoid on two or three occasions.

With stats like the above in mind, it makes sense that some of us might prefer a few stags and hens done on a budget. Here are a few money saving ideas that still guarantee a lot of fun:

  • Escape Rooms: They are all the rage these days and should cost you as little as £15 per person for a truly unique experience.
  • Classic bar crawl: You can get apps for your phone that give you a guide to the local area, meaning you can explore your chosen location in style.
  • Paintballing/go-karting: Loads of fun, with locations all over the country.
  • Cocktail making class: You’ll be able to find one near you, and you might learn a few handy tricks.
  • Murder mystery: One for the actors, you can host a murder mystery event in your own home.

With all the costs associated with adulting in today’s money-tight world, spending a fortune on a stream of stag and hen parties is understandably not high on many of our to do lists. While careful budgeting becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, perhaps it’s time we had a thing about a return to the humble stag or hen do.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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