The idea of having friends join you at your honeymoon may seem like an absurd one, but the reality is that more and more couples are doing it. Sure, traditionally, a honeymoon is that blissful escape you take only with your significant other after your nuptials, but like many other wedding traditions, this one is also getting a modern spin.
"Sightseeing, epic experiences, shopping and eating through a city are definitely in the plans, and having friends join can truly elevate the experience," says Jennifer Stiebel of SoCo Events. "Laying on the beach with a cocktail in hand is still a priority, but couples want to add more to their trip."
She recently worked with a couple who went on their honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa. To the bride's chagrin, though, shark cage diving had been on the groom's bucket list forever and he really insisted on it. The solution?
VIDEO: How to Save Money on Your Honeymoon
"Because some adventurous friends had tagged along, the group was able to split up a few times and have different experiences, which made everyone happy," Stiebel explains.
It's starting to make sense, isn't it? If you're spending a lot of money to go on an exotic trip, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest and let your partner do the same. With buddy-moons, couples can enjoy things individually that they may not do without the group in attendance.
Another reason to consider inviting your pals, according to Stiebel, is that you don't really get to spend much time with your family and friends while wedding planning, or, the day of your wedding. "Opting for a group honeymoon," she says, "allows for the celebration to continue and allows real quality time together."
Cortnie Fausner of the The Venue Report, an online resource that helps people plan events and gatherings, seems to agree with that.
"We have noticed that our millennial audience loves to travel with their friends in general, so it's only natural that this would carry over to the friend-moon or buddy-moon trend," she adds. "Additionally, just like a wedding where you have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your favorite people in one room for the night, the group-moon is a way to extend this."
There's also a financial benefit to inviting a few friends to join you: group discounts. A lot of resorts offer special rates for groups which means you can A) save some money or B) not save money and instead spend it on more activities.
But what does it mean "a group of people"? Surely, you can't invite the entire wedding crew with you. A friend of mine went on a group honeymoon a few years ago with 30 people, which as you may have guessed, turned out to be a complete disaster.
Stiebel suggests two to four additional people maximum. "It is still a honeymoon, not Spring Break," she says.
If you're still hung on the traditional idea of a honeymoon, you could spend a portion of the trip alone before or after the group joins you.
"A few days as newlyweds is a necessity after saying I Do. You will be happy that you had this time to just be together when you have to get back to reality," adds Stiebel.