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As a child of the ‘90s, and a preteen of the early aughts, I grew up with a very distinct image of what a bachelorette party was. No, I did not have any actual exposure to a real life bachelorette party at the age of 12, but I was highly informed by the VHS tapes my friends and I rented from Blockbuster. (Yes, I’m an aging millennial.) I did know this: bachelorette parties and bachelor parties were two very separate events. However, as with many things my 12-year-old self believed, I was wrong. The pros and cons of a joint bachelorette or bachelor party are good to consider, but it’s 2018. Joint stag and hen parties are certainly happening. (And yes, I like to call them that on this side of the Atlantic.)

A lot has changed since my youth, after all. Blockbuster is closed, men can marry men and women can marry women now, and overall gender roles are changing and stereotypes are being broken. Why not break the stereotype of having two separate parties? My vague memories of scenes where women got together and pretended to enjoy flirting with a male stripper are simply not the reality. (I couldn’t tell you what movies these scenes were in, but I know it was pre- Bridesmaids and The Hangover.) I honestly think I assumed that bachelor parties were “one final time” to cheat on your almost-spouse. How wild is that?!

Pro: You Can Be Inclusive

Here’s a fun fact: men can be friends with women and women can be friends with men. It can all be platonic and lovely, and some brides may even want some close men in their life at their bachelorette party. (Stranger things have certainly happened.) Having a joint bachelor-bachelorette party means that whether you’re hetero, queer, gay, or just have a lot of mutual friends, your whole crew can all pre-celebrate your wedding with tequila as one big happy (drunk) family.

Con: It Loses Some Of The Magic

Contrary to my movie taste, bachelor and bachelorette parties are not just about getting hammered and cheating on your soon-to-be forever-person. Stag and hen parties are all about friendship, that’s what makes them so special. Having a weekend with your closest pals as a sort of send off is almost more romantic than the wedding itself — these are the people who have had your back no matter what, so enjoy that special time together.

Pro: It Allows Everyone To Meet Before The Wedding

Sometimes, being a groomsman or a bridesmaid can be incredibly awkward. You might know the couple getting married incredibly well, but you might totally feel like a weird loner around all of your friend’s new friends from that city she moved to after college. A joint party is a great way to get all of your young, fun friends from the entire wedding party together pre-wedding.

Con: Things Can Get Messy, Quickly

Large groups of single and non-single people taking tequila shots can lead to tongues down throats, embarrassing falls, and other pre-wedding drama. Even if you and your partner could party together forever without fighting, consider that the two crews you each want to invite might not get along.

The bottom line? The choice is yours. If your squad intermingles to the point where a solo stag or hen do just won't do, then bring that party under one roof.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett