IT was once a chance for the bride or groom-to-be to enjoy a low-key night in the local pub with their closest friends ahead of the big day.
But now stag and hen parties are becoming increasingly extravagant - and far away – with one in six people saying they have travelled abroad this year for a friend’s last night out as a single person, at an average cost of £276 a head. And for one in ten stag and hen night-goers, the cost has spiralled to as much as £500 to celebrate a friend’s upcoming nuptials overseas.
Despite the growing financial burden, however, just 51 per cent of the population believe it is a “big ask” to demand that their friends fork out to celebrate abroad, according to new research by Confused.com, with the remainder assuming it is their friends’ duty to follow them to far-flung destinations for their send-off.
Barcelona is the top destination for stags while Ibiza is the choice of hens, the report revealed, closely followed by the Spanish capital. Spanish islands also feature highly, with Benidorm, Marbella and Majorca also featuring in the top five.
Roni Hyslop, director of Edinburgh-based wedding planner All Wrapped Up, said clients have stag and hen nights as far away as Prague and Las Vegas.
“It used to be a stag or hen night – now it’s at least a weekend.
“I think people see it as very much part of the tradition these days – some of the old-fashioned wedding traditions have gone, but the stag and hen party remain,” she added.
More than 13 per cent of revellers admit to having been thrown out of their hotel due to rowdiness and debauchery, the poll found, while a further one in ten have been arrested as a result of their drunken behaviour.
Some alcohol-fuelled party-goers have even gone as far as having a tattoo or piercing to commemorate the stag or hen party. Nearly a quarter of party-goers admit they have lost friends on a night out when on a stag or hen do in a foreign country, while a further one in ten claim either they or another member of the party ended up missing their flight home.
Many revellers have also lost or had items stolen, including their mobile phone, luggage and passport.
Mhairi Edwards, head of travel insurance at Confused.com, said: “Illness, accident, lost passports and missed flights can all put a financial and stressful strain on a trip, but having adequate insurance cover could help ease these problems.”