Why STEN Parties are on the Rise

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Many Hen Party and Stag Party companies and venues are reporting a drastic rise in the so-called STEN party in the last two years. A STEN party is usually a celebration which includes both the bride-to-be, groom-to-be and all of their friends (family too if they dare). This new wave is in place of the traditional Stag and Hen parties and is sometimes referred to as a Hag-do. However, hen parties where male friends are included and stag parties where female friends are also invited may also be referred to as a STEN.

But why are they becoming so popular?

Firstly, it can be a lot simpler for the couple to have one celebration and can also work out cheaper. It’s also a good opportunity for the bride and grooms friends to get to know each other before the wedding if they don’t know one another already. Just pray they don’t get to know each other too well or there could be drama on the wedding day!

Perhaps though it is more to do with a modern mixed gender society where we all have both male and female friends and ‘couple friends’ that both the bride and groom enjoy spending time together. The idea of a hen or stag do can be a bit worrying for some partners too – not necessarily because of trust but because they are notorious for getting carried away. Fusing the parties can lessen the chances of the Stag receiving those traditional humiliating pranks. They can also prevent the hens from attracting unwanted attention when out on the town.

However, a STEN doesn’t have to be a dual celebration. You may just have a few male friends if you are the bride-to-be, and why should you count them out of the party? Or vice-versa for the groom.

So what are the drawbacks?

Well obviously if you are a couple doing a dual celebration you must both be equally keen to have a STEN. Then there is the matter of who organises it. If the idea of your maid of honour of best man planning your party fills you with fear, this may be a good opportunity for you to take over using the excuse that you know what your partner will also enjoy.

Of course, some games played at Stag and Hen do might have to be axed for a STEN which could take a little of the cheekiness out of it. A game of Mr and Mrs with you both there though would probably be even better than when played separately as it usually is at split parties.

In terms of hen parties or stag parties which invite friends of the other gender, we can envisage very few issues. You should be able to invite who you like and have fun together.

There is, of course, the problem of what to do to satisfy everyone. It’s always wise to plan some activities as opposed to just going out and drinking. This makes a party more memorable and does a great job of ice-breaking when not everybody knows each other. However, this can be a challenge.

Betty Lou hen parties are best known for the vintage hair styling and vintage make-up that we provide, prior to a second activity. Although we have had men take part in this part of the party, generally it’s not too popular with the blokes. So when we put together our Brighton Sten Party package we decided to include this signature part but offer a head massage experience as an alternative. Hens and Stags can choose either the massage or makeover and both can take place at the same time in a private room in a bar, all together whilst chatting and enjoying canapes. After this, the party offers a choice between a Whiskey Tasting class or Cocktail Making Class and again, not everyone has to choose the same activity.


Sometimes its simple to find activities you all want to do, but it’s wonderful to have a choice and therefore keep everybody happy.

Seeing that society is no longer so split gender it’s a wonder the STEN party hadn’t become popular ten years ago.

Are you thinking of having a STEN? Consider the following:

– Is it definitely what you want and have you considered the drawbacks? – Can you plan a party everyone can enjoy? Or find someone who can (Betty Lou can!) – How are you going to ensure the bride-to-be and groom-to-be are equally receiving the gold star treatment they deserve?

Check out Betty Lou’s Brighton STEN party package which offers fun experiences and, quite essential for a STEN – choice!

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Photographs mostly taken by XCPhotography

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