You love your friends, perhaps even vacationing with them, but having them tag along on your honeymoon? That's not everyone's idea of romantic post-wedding bliss. Many couples, however, are open to the idea, which is why group honeymoons (a.k.a. buddymoons) have become popular in recent years. Even celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon. Although they're no longer together, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux invited close pals Courteney Cox, Chelsea Handler, Jason Bateman, and Jimmy Kimmel to join them on their 2015 honeymooned in Bora Bora. So, depending on what you and your future husband or wife are like, traveling with your best friends might be the very best way to kick off married life.
"I can see buddymoons becoming more popular for one main reason: With more couples living together and having sex before marriage, the traditional honeymoon as a romantic getaway to focus on sex has lost a lot of its original purpose," explains Jonathan Bennett, a relationship and life coach and certified counselor. "It's turned into a vacation to celebrate marriage. So, why not involve friends and family?"
Isadora Martin-Dye, a wedding planner and owner of owner of Rixley Manor, agrees, adding that buddymoons are most ideal for couples who've already been together for a while, as they view the honeymoon as a chance to visit an exotic location. "In these circumstances, having your best friends with you is a way to build a different kind of lasting memory, while still getting the revitalization you need after a wedding," she says. "However, for some couples, the honeymoon should serve as an intimate vacation that allows them to get wrapped up in each other. If friends came on a honeymoon in those circumstances, they may feel left out, so it is not for everybody."
Danielle Rothweiler, owner of Rothweiler Event Design, however, totally disagrees and takes a hard pass on the idea. "This isn't spring break. There are so many opportunities to take trips with friends, but if you take a buddymoon you will regret not having that alone time with your new spouse," she says. "Instead, reward your wedding planning work with a trip for just the two of you."
For couples planning a destination wedding, a buddymoon is more likely—and not necessarily a bad thing, according to Jodi Smith, etiquette coach and owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. But when a destination location is not in the picture, she doesn't believe that friends should accompany newlyweds on their honeymoon. "The couple really has to ask themselves why they are getting married if they are not looking forward to spending time with just their betrothed," she says. "Aren't you excited to spend time just with your new spouse? If not, you really should be honest with yourself about why are marrying this person." If you do decide to take a buddymoon, and invite your friends or family members, don't forget to take some time to focus on the two of you as a couple. Additionally, Bennett recommends letting your friends know in advance that you won't be with them every waking second. "While friends can enhance the trip, even a buddymoon should involve alone and intimate time for the newly-married couple—and friends need to clearly understand this," he adds.
If you're going with another couple, make sure their relationship is in a similar place to yours, that they understand the financial commitment that's required to achieve the experiences you want and that they're seasoned travelers, says Martin-Dye. "The last thing you want to be doing is teaching them how to navigate around a new place or dealing with nervousness in a new country," she adds.