Why do we have stag parties?
Stag parties (or bachelor parties, for our American visitors) are one of the most iconic parts of the whole process of getting married – and certainly the one men are most interested in! While women can get excited about flowers, veils and table arrangements, there’s not really much in the run up to the big day that the groom can muster up too much enthusiasm for. That is, of course, until it comes to planning his stag do!
Stag parties are celebrated differently across the world, but here in London they often involve a huge group of the groom’s male friends and family, a lot of alcohol and usually, someone ending up in a compromising position! For a lot of men, their stag party appears to be the best part of getting married! For the groom’s friends it’s also the most enjoyable bit of their mate’s nuptials, and we think there’s often a bit of sneaky competition between groups of friends – who can have the most memorable, biggest and best stag do?!
Stag and bachelor parties are a big business – they’re portrayed in the media and pop culture all the time – who doesn’t remember the disastrous bachelor party unfolding in Las Vegas in The Hangover?! Perhaps because of this, modern day stag parties are often a huge affair. They can last up to a whole week, and involve a host of activities and events, often including a holiday abroad! But where did stag parties come from, and why do we celebrate them in the first place?
Stag Parties go way back
Men have been celebrating (or commiserating!) their impending marriage for as long as there have been humans on Earth; men have been tracked undertaking this custom as early as 500BC. But stag parties as we know and love them today only really became popular in the early 1900s…
What are we celebrating at a stag party?
Stag parties are often billed as a man’s final chance to go wild before he has to live within the confines of marriage forever. But they didn’t always have such a depressing and raucous purpose! Traditionally, stag parties were thrown by the groom’s male family members and friends, and they were a civilised affair – clearly, times have changed! Stag parties were a time to wish luck to the couple about to be married, and symbolically recognise the groom’s shift from boyhood to becoming a man. They were a celebration of the man’s honour, and a final chance to group together every man who had known him from childhood to his wedding day. See, when you strip stag parties down to their original purpose, it’s a lovely tradition – no wonder we’re still so keen to celebrate them today!
Why do we call it a ‘stag’ party?
There’s no official reason for this, although many believe the word ‘stag’ is used because the animal represents someone in the prime of their life, strength, vitality and leadership – everything a prospective groom should embody!
Stag parties nowadays
While they did have a lovely meaning behind them, the stag parties of yesteryear do sound pretty dull compared to what we’re used to today. Now, stag parties are a huge celebration and guys pull out all of the stops to wave goodbye to their single days with a bang!
If you’re planning your stag party, you should definitely uphold tradition – push the boat out and do it properly! Windmill International are experts at stag parties, and have been hosting groups of bachelors since we first opened our doors 80 years ago. However you envisage your big night out, we know we can cater to your every need!