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10th May 2015

OPINION: “A Stag/Hen Party Is NOT an Excuse to Lose the Run of Yourself”

Surely, the wedding should be the big celebration.

Cathy Donohue

“The ball and chain”.

If there’s one phrase I can’t stand, it’s this one.

It suggests that your husband/wife is somewhat of a tyrant who keeps you under lock and key and by marrying him/her, you’re signing up to a life of imprisonment where you only get out of jail at agreed times.

It might be just a phrase but it’s the connotation it has that infuriates me – as if that when you say those vows, you’re ending life as you know it and now your other half dictates the way you live your life.

Using terms like “ball and chain” insinuates that one person has the upper hand in the relationship, instead of an equal partnership.

So, if you feel you’re doomed to a life of being told what to do, are you going to have one last blow-out where you go completely off the rails?

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You and your friends drink yourselves into a stupor, take your clothes off, get thrown out of various venues and in some cases get into a lot of trouble. (I realise not everyone does this but some do.)

A group of lads, thought to be from Cork City, recently travelled to Prague on a stag and made “a disgrace of themselves” according to one Irish publican.

The men were accused of “abusing elderly people and donning Hitler masks”.

The publican, Frank Haughey, spoke on RTÉ’s John Murray Show after the incident where he stated that the men “had let themselves and their families down.”

Frank was joined by the groom’s future father-in-law who said that there wasn’t “any malice” in the men’s actions.

“There’s no harm in them, they were away for a good time,” he said in defense of his soon-to-be son-in-law.

However a “good time” can very easily get out of hand and in this case, it certainly seemed to.

While I’m all for having a good time, I don’t think a hen or a stag party is an excuse to behave any differently to how you normally would.

Getting married should be something you’re looking forward to, not an excuse to go on a complete bender so you can say goodbye to your single days.

The reason for a stag or hen party is to celebrate your upcoming marriage and the concept is getting lost as some see it as an opportunity to act outrageously.

If that’s the case, why are you getting married in the first place?

In my opinion, marriage should be for love. When you love someone so much that you can’t wait to pledge your love and adoration to them in front of those closest to you.

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Seeing those words on paper is a little daunting and that’s why getting married isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

They say when you know you know (that’s the closet romantic in me speaking) and surely, no amount of alcohol or partying is comparable to that feeling.

Like I said, I’m all for having a good time but the notion that you have to go stark raving mad for a few days is more than a little bizarre.

I don’t have any problem at all with the idea of a hen/stag party but I don’t think there’s a need to take it to the extreme and go all out before you even get to the wedding.

If you’re looking forward to the pre-party more than the actual event, then there’s definitely something wrong somewhere.