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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 18 October, 2017

8 ways to take your stag or hen do from standard to stellar

Pre-wedding celebrations that you’ll actually remember.

cole-hutson-62477 Source: Unsplash

AFTER THE INITIAL CELEBRATIONS of your best friend’s announcement of their engagement inevitably comes the overwhelming sense of responsibility to organise an unforgettable hen or stag party.

Once the champagne has stopped flowing, the pressure is on to come up with a celebration that sits somewhere between The Hangover and Bridesmaids (minus the mishaps, obviously).

Here’s how to make sure that people actually remember the hen or stag you planned, for all the right reasons.

1. Keep your sanity by using social payment apps

stil-243534 Source: Unsplash

Whether it’s a fairly intense stag or a laid back hen party you’re attempting to plan, it can quickly become an expensive process. Cut your costs (and your frustrations) by paying for accommodation, transport and activities ahead of time and using apps like Circle or Venmo to allow people to pay you back without the mess of card-readers or IBANs.

2. Ditch the pub for some adrenaline-boosters

james-fitzgerald-124547 Source: Unsplash

The problem with flying to a different city and just drinking is that it doesn’t really feel that different from drinking in Dublin, Cork or Galway. Make new, potentially hilarious memories by trying something different like a batting cage, a surf trip or ziplining. You’ll feel a whole lot more fresh, and less awful the next morning, and have better memories.

3. Act as a fairy stagfather (or mother)

shutterstock_455365630 Source: Shutterstock/Dragon Images

Whether it’s sun cream, a much-needed Alka Seltzer, a bottle of water or spare sunglasses to hide the evidence of a late night, try to predict what the future bride or groom may need and have it on hand. Especially if you’ve activities planned the next day, it’s worth getting people in the right frame of mind after a night out.

4. Leave your phones locked safely in your hotel room

alex-holyoake-157976 Source: Unsplash

This one is for two reasons – firstly, to prevent the liability in your group from inevitably smashing their phone (or worse, Snapchatting things that are better off left unseen by colleagues and family). Secondly, as we found earlier in the year, too many of us constantly check our phones when we should be bonding with our soon-to-be-betrothed.

5. Consider whether a strip club visit is actually what they want

shutterstock_307808195 Source: Shutterstock/Kzenon

As tempting as it can be to go full hog on the ‘let’s book a stripper’ vibe associated with hen and stag parties, it’s not always what your friend would like for their celebration. If penis straws and strip clubs didn’t seem like something your friend would enjoy before they got engaged, chances are they’d probably prefer you to leave them out of the plans.

6. Take the necessary time to recover

shutterstock_548758831 Source: Shutterstock/Ko Backpacko

One very important piece of advice for getting back to normality – if you’ve opted for a cheap, blurry-eyed 5am flight home from Ryanair to take you from the club to your bed, maybe think about allowing yourself an extra day of annual leave. Both your body and your boss will probably be glad of not having you in work until you’ve rested properly.

7. Be decisive about your time away together

stil-243541 Source: Unsplash

As is often the case, if you wait until a consensus is reached while on the stag or hen for what to do, you’re only going to hear faint murmurs of ‘I don’t mind’. Instead, try to have a few activities booked and decided on before you leave home so nobody is caught killing time before they start drinking (they will probably just start drinking earlier).

8. Set your sights further afield than the typical spots

daniel-olah-273516 Source: Unsplash

When picking a destination, think beyond the bright red lights of Amsterdam and consider alternative spots. Whether you bring the crew to jazz clubs in Krakow or out dancing until the early hours in Lisbon, try to look further afield than the typical spots – chances are the activities available will be a whole lot more interesting.

Source: Skill Zone/YouTube

Thinking about planning a stag or hen activity away from the darkness of a bar? Skill Zone is Dublin’s first multi-sport indoor circuit, incorporating 10 different sports including a racing wall, batting cages, rugby, soccer, tennis, golf chipping, target practice, hang tough, Gaelic football and basketball in a 16,000 square foot state of the art facility.

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