The Stag Night, British Customs
Prior to enjoying the joys of wedded bliss, it is the custom for the British male to make one last defiant stand for his bachelor days. This process traditionally involves one last wild night of freedom on his Stag Night. For this one night, he will forget his beautiful bride-to-be for a final no-holds barred night of debauchery with his mates.
The Stag Night is a chance for one’s friends to show their true colours. Will your friends join you for a great night of fun, yet keep an eye on you to make sure things don’t get too out of hand? Are they the type to recognise their responsibility as true friends to keep you in one piece for the ceremony on the following day? Or are they the other type, the type for whom the evening knows no bounds? These revellers will not look after your interests, they will simply attempt to ensure that you engage in wild enough activities such that if your bride to be ever found out what you did on your Stag Night, the wedding would be off anyway! Strippers and shaving cream are the order of the day for this kind of Stag Night. Be warned, if these are the type of friends that you spend your Stag Night with, you may well be lucky to make it to the church the next day! First you may have to overcome the challenge of finding yourself waking up on your wedding morning fifty miles or so from the church. Worse still, you may well find that you are stark naked apart from a generous wrapping of cling film, which only serves to make it even more difficult to even get out of the bramble bush that your kind friends dumped you in the night before!
Sister to the Stag Night is the Hen Night. In these days of sexual equality these are growing rapidly in popularity and a large group of loud girls wearing devil horns and L plates is a common site in the pubs these days. In fact they tend to be far more visible and vocal than Stag Nights. The Hen Night may also feature a male stripper at some point, but the practice of setting some kind of minor survival challenge involving cling film and bushes seems solely the domain of the Stags. Perhaps this is a social comment on the different nature of friendship across the gender divide. But it probably won’t be too long before the ladettes start joining in with this practice so look out for the tell-tale bramble scratches on the bride in future wedding photographs!