Think honeymoons are just about spending quality time with your other half? Not for these brides! Here ’ s why they roped their friends in to their holiday of a lifetime.
YOU MIGHT ENVISAGE YOUR HONEYMOON – aka that insanely luxurious, all-out trip that you’ve been dreaming of for the last decade – as some sun-soaked affair filled with glittering seas, bucketsized cocktails and, crucially, a chance for you and your new husband or wife to be alone for a few blissed-out days. But, actually, a new trend is in swing – one that’s seeing intrepid newlyweds invite their nearest and dearest to stick around and honeymoon with them after the wedding. In fact, recent studies found that 47% of people aged between 18 and 35 would consider going on a ‘buddymoon’, and with destination weddings on the up, why not use that time after the big day to keep the party going and experience something truly precious: uninterrupted time with your family and friends? Here’s why these brides decided to ’moon en masse.
10 Travel Tips For Group Holiday with Friends Photo Gallery
Joely Walker, 28, travelled to France with 25 friends for her buddymoon We got married in the French countryside, in a tiny town called Cotignac. With all of our friends over for the wedding (including some from Australia and New Zealand), we thought it was only right to extend the party for a few extra days. It would have seemed like a waste not to, and we wanted to eke everything possible out of our wedding!
We’re only doing it once, so we thought, ‘Why not?’ We had 27 people in total (including us), with most of us having met at university in Manchester. It was a fairly even gender split and we rented a 24-person villa on Airbnb, just outside of Cannes. We wanted somewhere close to a port, so that we could rent a big catamaran for the day, and somewhere that was easily accessible for everyone to travel home from. Knowing that we had something so fun to look forward to really prolonged the high of the wedding. It will likely be the only time we ever get every single one of those friends together in the same place at the same time.
The hangovers were the only downside! My liver was truly on its last legs by the end of it and I haven’t had a single glass of rosé (my staple in France) since.
JOELY’S TOP TIP
End with a few days forjust the two of you to sit back and take it all in. Even ifit means eating beans on toastforthe foreseeable future, it’s worth it! Also, if you’re going in a big group, ask your bridal party to book some elements for you. One of my bridesmaids booked the catamaran, whilst anotherlooked into hiring a chef(often cheaper than eating out in big groups!).
Hannah Jackson, 32, partied it up in Barbados with a group of 22 friends after her wedding My husband was in the army when we got married and he had arranged to take a cricket tour to Barbados with the Scots Guards the week after our wedding! Instead of being grumpy at home, I decided to join him and booked a villa nearby for me and two of our ushers. So our buddymoon group was me, my husband, two ushers and 20 soldiers! Honeymooning with so many of our friends was incredible. It really felt like we were just continuing the buzz of our wedding – much rum punch was consumed!
There weren’t really any downsides, unless you count waking up to three smelly and hungover men each day (one of whom was my husband). That was interesting! My standout memory from the trip was definitely an all-day boat party. We sailed around the south coast of the island with the strangest group of people, but once the punch was flowing, we found ourselves doing the Cha Cha Slide together like we’d always been best pals!
HANNAH’S TOP TIP Pick your buddies carefully. Make sure they’re people you want to continue the party with, as those days after your wedding are so precious. Don’t waste them with people you don’t really like!
Emily Tilley, 30, took 10 friends to dreamy Santorini We got engaged and later married in Mykonos and knew from other holidaymakers how easy it was to get the ferry across to Santorini. It was always somewhere we had wanted to go, so we thought that whilst we were in that part of the world, we might as well head straight there after our week-long celebrations. We wanted to prolong the holiday and let the whirlwind of the wedding week sink in! We’d already had a full-on week out in Mykonos – including a crazy three-day hen party – so we really wanted this trip to Santorini to feel like an amazing holiday for our family and friends (not just a wedding for us!). So we put out a casual invitation and from there people soon started booking their own ferries and accommodation.
The buzz and excitement from the wedding carried on for the whole buddymoon. We were able to digest and discuss the week we had just had, and spend more time partying and relaxing all together. We also combined it with my 30th birthday, so I got to have an amazing celebration for that, too! Having a big group of people meant we were able to go on big adventures and do things we perhaps wouldn’t have been able to afford ourselves. One day, we all hired quad bikes and explored the island together. It was such a fun, unifying experience and at the end of the day everyone was on such a high. EMILY’S TOP TIP Keep some things separate, like accommodation. My husband and I had our own villa, so we could steal little moments to unwind. It was then really fun going for drinks and dinner as a group.
Louise Saukila, 34, travelled to Malawi with a group of 12 friends and family for the buddymoon of a lifetime My husband is originally from Malawi, and we wanted his family to be able to come to the wedding, so we got married in Blantyre – and decided to extend the celebrations with a buddymoon in the beautiful surrounding countryside. We arranged plenty of activities for the pre-wedding week, including a safari at Majete Wildlife Reserve and a tour of the grounds of Game Haven Lodge, where animals roam the golf course! After the wedding, we travelled with our friends to Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate for an afternoon tea in the gardens of Huntingdon House, where we played croquet and badminton on the lawns whilst wearing traditional African dresses!
Then, the whole buddymoon party bundled into a mini bus to travel to Mangochi, by Lake Malawi. We took a boat ride, snorkelled amongst the beautiful fish and even fed the eagles. We got our inspiration for the buddymoon from the Indian weddings we’ve been to, which are celebrated over a few days, meaning guests really get to know each other. Also, Malawi isn’t the most welltrodden of tourist destinations! We basically created a ‘wedding holiday’ with travel logistics pre-arranged, so as many close friends as possible could come without the worry of what to do next after the big day. My most special memory is taking leftover wedding cake and enjoying it with our friends in some wonderful settings, including while watching the sun setting over Lake Malawi!