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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Stag parties going strong, but hen parties economise

DESPITE hard times, British men are preserving the right to enjoy their last days of pre-nuptial freedom while brides-to-be are reining in their spending and economising on hen parties, according to a poll by leading accommodation website Hotels.com.

Hotels.com and Wedding Ideas magazine found that stags continue to revel in a final fling of freedom as three quarters (74%) say their celebrations will last for a weekend or longer. Stay-at-home hens, meanwhile, are far more likely to economise as two-thirds (59%) say their pre-marital celebrations will only last one day.

Accordingly, the research found, stags are spending considerably more - parting with £179 each on average for each party they attend. Hens spend a more modest £118 on the celebration.

Stags are far more likely than their hen counterparts to venture beyond British shores for their celebration, with a third (32%) planning parties overseas. Of all stags polled, a quarter (27%) will head to European party destinations while another one-in-twenty (5%) will venture even further afield to the US or Canada. As a result, a number of the top stag do destinations were foreign cities: Prague (2), Amsterdam (3), Barcelona (5) and Tallinn (8) all feature in the top ten destinations for stags, although London retained the top spot.

At the other end of the scale, the vast majority (96%) of brides-to-be will celebrate in the UK and over a quarter (28%) will not venture further than their home towns. In fact, only one foreign destination - the Spanish party city of Barcelona - made it into the top 10 most popular locations for hen parties. For hens, London came out on top, closely followed by Brighton, Edinburgh, Devon, Cornwall and Bath.

Most popular stag/hen destinations

Stags Hens
1 London 1 London
2 Prague 2 Brighton
3 Amsterdam 3 Edinburgh
4 Brighton 4 Devon/Cornwall
5 Barcelona 5 Bath
6 Leeds 6 Cotswolds
7 Edinburgh 7 Lake District
8 Tallinn 8 Barcelona
9 Liverpool 9 Liverpool
10 Newcastle 10 Newcastle

Alison Couper, Director of Communications for Hotels.com says "Traditionally the wedding day is all about the bride, so it would seem that many grooms use their stag do as an opportunity to take share the limelight ahead of the big day."

Rachel Moschke, Editor of Wedding Ideas magazine, said: "Most of us worry about keeping our wedding costs to a minimum, and brides are becoming increasingly conscious of what they ask their friends and family to pay for. The hen do is one area where brides feel like they need to keep their eye on the budget and are celebrating in the UK so there is more in the kitty for their big day."

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