Enjoying a weekend away as a stag party with friends is so commonplace that many people don’t stop to give it a second thought. Nearly every wedding takes place after a stag weekend, and in many cases the guests actually prefer the stag do! (Not mine. Ed.) It has become a part of modern tradition, and rarely does a couple change their mind or consider choosing a different option. Just as women gather in the time before a wedding to celebrate the marriage with a hen night, the men gather with the groom for a bachelor party, or stag do. Why are these stag weekends abroad so popular? And where did they first originate?
(Courtesy of Flickr User: Simon Welsh)
The Popularity of Stag Vacations
It should come as no surprise that when it comes to planning a wedding, a man might already have his mind on the stag do with his friends. It is often one last hurrah before the wedding day, and a chance for his friends to show their support of the marriage as well as solidify their friendship. While a night out on the town is fun, it becomes infinitely more fun when the group is able to travel abroad to celebrate with a stag weekend. Whether the travel party heads to a nearby English town or heads to a foreign country for the party, it becomes a great bonding experience that won’t soon be forgotten. The element of surprise, as well as the exotic nature of a brand new locations, can bring a groom and his friends together for life.
(Courtesy of Flickr User: erocka)
The Origins of Stag Parties
The history of the first recorded bachelor parties starts all the way back in the 5th century BC, in Sparta. The famed Spartan soldiers were very close to one another, thanks to years of training and fighting side by side. So when one of the men was engaged to be married, there would be a dinner held in his honour the evening before the wedding. There was plenty of feasting and drinking, with an emphasis on toasts to bless and honour the groom, as well as to approve of his marriage. It was also the way that Spartan soldiers could feel close to this man, who would in a matter of hours be sworn to another woman.
(Courtesy of Flickr User: russelljsmith)
The Rise of Stag Weekends Abroad
Since the Spartans began the tradition of honouring their soon to be married friends, most men have opted to also celebrate the impending marriage in a grand way. However, with many men heading to their local pubs or nightclubs on a normal weekend, there should be something more special to signify something as important as marriage. Thanks to the rising number of budget airlines in Europe, it is easier and cheaper than ever to simply pack up for a long weekend and head away together. Going somewhere new means that your stag weekend is not simply another night out, but something truly unique and one of a kind. This is especially important for the groom, who should remember this as one of the most exciting nights of his life, and be able to say it brought him and his friends closer together.
Who Plans the Stag Weekend?
Traditionally, the best man is the person who organises and plans the stag do. However, in some cases major decisions are also left up to the groom, depending on the scale of the travel. As stag weekends are starting to happen further and further abroad, it means that some groups need help organizing their trip, thus, the rise of companies who can plan your stag weekend for you. This includes basics like flights, visa informations and hotels, but can also be the added benefits of suggestions for activities, bars and restaurants while you are in a new location. Most stag weekend include an element of action sports during the day, along with meals out and perhaps a trip to a new bar or nightclub after dark.
Since the 5th century BC, the history of stag weekends has evolved from a traditional feast to honour the groom to a thrilling trip abroad for the groom and his best mates. The thoughts behind it are still the same though. It is an occasion to solidify friendships and celebrate the coming marriage.
This is a guest article by Ruben Corbo, a writer for several websites like Red Seven Leisure, which is the best man’s choice in providing the best service for planning your stag weekends abroad and more. When Ruben is not writing he is composing or producing music for short films and other visual