A real industry has built up around the staging of stag and hen events. In days gone by, for blokes it was perfectly acceptable to just go out for a pint with mates and maybe get tied to a lamp post minus your trousers. For women, a spa day with best friends usually hit the mark. Getting married these days is a massive performance in itself, involving enormous feats of organisation. If you add to that the stress of orchestrating a fabulous, memorable stag or hen do, then you’re really making life difficult for yourself.
Many couples are wise enough to delegate the stag and hen organisation to their best man and maid of honour, respectively. Although this eases the pressure on you as you wrestle with table plans and menus, dress fittings and florists, it does mean you have to relinquish control over plans.
Be warned. When you hand decision making over to friends, they may select a stag or hen activity that you hadn’t considered. Ever.
Ceding control of stag and hen event plans is totally understandable under the circumstances, however, it can sometimes lead to unusual activities being organised…
A growing trend in the field of pre-wedding extravaganzas is that of the total immersion dramatic event. Plunging yourselves into an experience that is so totally removed from reality can be a real buzz – and doing it with your best friends only improves matters.
One of the most successful experiences of this kind are zombie events. Fuelled by the runaway popularity of American TV series such as The Walking Dead and big budget Hollywood films like World War Z, the current obsession with everything zombie is even beginning to influence the type of stag and hen dos we enjoy.
Many of these zombie events are staged overnight in amazingly realistic locations, with a cast of petrifying zombies on hand to scare the living daylights out of you and your mates. The best companies are those run on a military style basis where you get a briefing at the beginning outlining the scale of the apocalypse facing you, then you are given a mission to complete. The premium events are those which take place over night, under the cover of darkness. Military style accommodation and instructors with a soldierly bearing dish out orders and objectives, so anyone harbouring secret fantasies of being in the army or fighting an Armageddon style war against the living dead will be thrilled. Of course, the zombies aren’t going to make things easy for anyone – it all adds up to an adrenaline filled night of fun and adventure – nothing like any stag or hen do you’ve ever attended before.
If there are people in your party who aren’t very fit, it doesn’t really matter. Reports from those who have attended these events suggest that the adrenaline gets you through the worst of it – and it’s more about neutralising the zombies than chasing around too much. Scruffy clothes are recommended because you are very likely to get covered in zombie goo, fake blood, tears (your own!) or worse. That said, you are usually issued with costumes that really help you get into character. Helmets, riot gear and shields, gloves, boots and overalls – it all depends on the venue and scenario. Once you and your friends are decked out in the right gear, it won’t be long before you are channelling zombie assassins and are up for a fight to remember.
If zombies aren’t really your thing and you’re more of a werewolf fan, then there are events to fit the bill. Hardcore survival events where you pit your wits against a pack of horrific werewolves really sort out the heroes and heroines in the party. Failing that, if a deadly virus scenario fires your imagination more, there are events that enable you to explore those chilling possibilities.
It seems that one of the greatest bonding experiences going is that of being scared to death with your mates. And if you can do it in a safe and controlled way, the nightmare will be fun. Nobody will actually get hurt and everyone will be safe and hopefully calm enough to enjoy the forthcoming nuptials.
After zombie events, actually walking down the aisle and getting married will seem like an absolute picnic. So why not drop a few hints in the right ears – the sooner the bookings are made the better, because zombie events are proving scarily popular…