Considered by many to be a rite of passage, a stag or hens party is a chance to celebrate your upcoming wedding with your nearest and dearest, as well as let loose a little after months of planning. From low-key shared celebrations, to weekends away, and glamorous nights on the town, we share some of our favourite ways to say farewell to the single life…
For the girls
SLUMBER PARTY Forget the Disney movie marathons and flannel PJ attire from your childhood sleepovers, and enjoy a chic night in with the girls à la Sex and the City style. Pop the Champagne, paint your nails and wear your most luxurious and stylish pajamas while watching movies – Crazy, Stupid Love, Pitch Perfect or Bridesmaids are always a hit on girls night. Serve your guests platters of fruit, cheese and crackers, or create a cinema-style experience with popcorn, cocktails and an ice cream sundae bar.
WEEKEND AWAY Gather your friends for a festival-style weekend away of teepee glamping, campfire stories, lavish grazing platters, rosé, and sunset memories. Create a relaxing oasis by layering Turkish rugs on the floor of your teepee, scatter around cushions, add a few cosy throw rugs for the cooler nights, and string up fairy lights in the nearby trees. Just remember to bring the bug repellant and plenty of sunscreen.
OUT AND ABOUT Find your inner artist and enjoy a few wines and laughs with your friends at an art class. Get your hair and makeup professionally done, wear your most fabulous outfit and meet the girls for a few cocktails beforehand, then treat yourself to a degustation dinner before dancing the night away. Alternatively, skip the art class and brush up on your dance skills before the big day with a group burlesque, salsa or musical theatre class.
Our favourite ways to say farewell to the single life Photo Gallery
DIY BRIDE Skip a boozy night on the town and throw an elegant afternoon tea, complete with a flower crown making or floristry class, plus a few fun games. Raise a glass of Champagne and enjoy high tea served on antique china. Or, if you’re more of a morning person, why not hold a brunch-style hens party at home with a DIY mimosa bar, acai bowl and waffle-making stations.
GET ACTIVE After months of stressful wedding planning, spend the day finding your inner Zen and organise a private group Pilates, yoga or barre class. Alternatively, turn up the heat with a friendly tennis match or hit the beach for a stand-up paddle boarding lesson. Unwind after an active morning with a relaxing meal at your favourite cafe, followed by a luxurious pamper session and sauna at the spa.
For the guys
BOYS WEEKEND Hire a beachside bach and head away for a few nights with the lads. Wake up early and hit the beach for a sunrise surf or wakeboard, enjoy a cruisy BBQ brunch, before chartering a boat for a day of fishing. Visit the local pub for dinner and a few celebratory pints, before a poker night in. Just remember the Sea-Legs and sunscreen when you’re on the boat so you’re not looking too red or green on the big day!
SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP Celebrate your love of sport and gather the boys together for a day at the cricket, tennis, or hit the golf course to try and get that perfect hole in one. Alternatively, if it’s rugby season, why not make a weekend of it and travel to an out-of-town game so you can cheer on your favourite team from the sidelines.
LAD’S NIGHT Organise an afternoon of whiskey or craft beer tasting at your favourite distillery or brewery, followed by dinner and a few games of pool. Travel the city in style in a decked out party bus! Or gather your mates together for a BBQ and beer tasting at home, followed by an action movie or Xbox tournament.
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS Gather your friends together for an adventurepacked day of BMX biking, paintball, sky diving and clay bird shooting. Or discover one of New Zealand’s great scenic walks and take on the challenge of doing the Tongariro Crossing, Milford or Abel Tasman tracks as a group. There’s guaranteed to be plenty of laughs and jokes to share later in the wedding speeches.
While stag and hens parties are traditionally held separately, don’t let that stop you from holding a joint celebration for twice the fun.
FAMILY FRIENDLY A hen or stag party doesn’t have to be an adult-only affair. If you have little ones or family and friends with children, why not throw a daytime celebration. A BBQ in the backyard is a great place to celebrate your impending nuptials. Or invite everyone over for a Mexican-style fiesta complete with Mexican costumes, a taco making station, churros and margaritas.
RAISE A GLASS Head to your favourite vineyard and spend the day wine tasting, grazing on cheese and charcuterie platters and enjoying the beautiful views. Or book a wine tour bus and spend the afternoon vineyard hopping – Waiheke Island in Auckland, the Hawke’s Bay or Queenstown are great places for this. Add in a costume theme and some bride and groom competitive team challenges, before finishing the day at your favourite restaurant.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE If you’re an outdoor loving couple, why not spend the weekend snowboarding, skiing and sledding. Organise some group challenges, book in massages at the end of a tough day on the mountain, before enjoying drinks and dinner at a nearby restaurant. Or head to the South Island for an adrenaline packed weekend of skydiving, bungy jumping, flyboarding and a glacier helicopter ride.
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