A COMPANY started in a bedroom “almost completely by accident” is celebrating its 25th birthday this month – after turning over more than £100m.

When Cockermouth native Matt Mavir started Last Night of Freedom in 1999, he had no idea it would turn into the leading stag and hen do provider in the UK.

Matt, at university at the time, had never even been on a stag do but decided to set up a website offering tips and pranks for best men, based on his nights out as a student and rugby player.

A quarter of a century later, the company has now organised 50,000 stag and hen weekends in 60 destinations across the world, from Benidorm to the North Pole.

Matt said: “It happened almost completely by accident – I was a student and enjoyed a night out, so when I wanted to design a website I just started writing about that.

“After a while I think something must have changed in Google’s algorithm because all of a sudden we topped search lists and the number of people visiting our website just exploded.

“People started asking us to organise their stag weekends for them, and the rest is history.”

Times and Star: Matt Mavir, who started the company in a Cockermouth bedroomMatt Mavir, who started the company in a Cockermouth bedroom (Image: Last Night of Freedom)

Last Night of Freedom became the first company to purely focus on organising pre-wedding getaways, offering packages with accommodation and activities while arranging guides and guaranteed entry to top bars and clubs.

As the firm took off, Matt even featured on the Times & Star’s front page in September 2000 from his family home in Papcastle, telling the paper that his company understood that many best men didn’t enjoy the responsibility of organising a stag weekend.

And the burgeoning business was already sensing that the way nearly-weds wanted to celebrate their last night of freedom was evolving from simply getting drunk in the local high street.

Times and Star: Matt and the team at a 25th birthday party held last weekMatt and the team at a 25th birthday party held last week (Image: Last Night of Freedom)

“We have seen massive changes in how people celebrate their stag or hen do,” continued Matt.

“Boozing on a pub crawl was pretty much as adventurous as our customers got.

“Don’t get me wrong, while partying is still a massive part of a good stag or hen, people are now on average drinking less alcohol and are looking for much, much more – they want to visit somewhere new and pack in as many activities as they can.”

The company is now based in Gateshead, and also offers stag and hen accessories and personalised clothes, fulfilling more than 350,000 orders.

Times and Star: The original front page of the Times and Star from 2000, just after the company had been launched by MattThe original front page of the Times and Star from 2000, just after the company had been launched by Matt (Image: Supplied)

And Matt has become a go-to stag and hen industry expert, regularly featuring in national and international media like the BBC and the New York Times.

“It feels surreal to think we’ve been in business for 25 years, and we’ve had an incredible time,” Matt continued.

“I think the secret to our longevity is our personal touch. People will usually only have one stag or hen do in their life and we understand it’s about much more than just throwing a party.

“We listen to exactly what our customers want and then pull all the strings to make it happen, simplify the process and do all the hard graft so that they can sit back, relax and truly enjoy their trip.”