After spending months planning a wedding, the last thing you want to do is have the special day end. So, why not invite your closest friends on your honeymoon, also known as the “buddymoon"?
That's what Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux were thinking when they brought their closest pals like Chelsea Handler, Jason Bateman, and Courteney Cox to the Four Seasons Bora Bora for their honeymoon in August 2015.
12 percent of people said they'd attended a group honeymoon (or buddymoon) in the last five years.
“We had thought about it; we could just do a normal honeymoon or we could go with friends, keep the party going, relax, and have fun,” Theroux told Extra.
While celebs understandably have the time and money to jet off to far-flung destinations, a recent Priceline survey of more than 1,000 Americans on wedding travel found that 12 percent of people said they'd attended a group honeymoon (or buddymoon) in the last five years.
The sudden interest in buddymoons partially stems from so many couples living together before their wedding, leaving the honeymoon feeling less precious.
“For them, I think having friends come along is less of a big deal,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and the director of the National Marriage Project, told The New York Times. “And in some ways makes it more of a special and exceptional occasion.”
Additionally, as wedding customs have relaxed over time, the ideal of the honeymoon has shifted, too. “As people tend to get married later in life, weddings have become a lot less traditional,” Lia Batkin, co-founder of the planning company In The Know Experiences, told Condé Nast Traveler. “Couples are planning more destination weddings than ever, so they’re tacking on a trip with their friends at the end of it to extend the celebration.”
After their 2016 wedding, Gabriella Le Breton, 38, and her husband decided to take a buddymoon in Zermatt, Switzerland, where they met up with a group of friends for a week of skiing. “We're both passionate skiers so our dream holiday is a ski trip,” she told Traveler. “However, because we both love off-piste skiing/freeriding, this usually involves hiring a guide and skiing in a group of likeminded powder hounds, which is why a buddymoon struck us as the perfect option.”
Le Breton said that even with all of her besties in tow, the trip still managed to be romantic. “I absolutely loved being cozied up in that candlelit and fire-warmed hut, sharing tales of our wedding with friends over some wedding cake that I'd saved for the occasion,” she said.
Already, work-obsessed Americans take so little time off—they left 222 million vacation days on the table in 2015—that making a whole holiday out of a destination wedding proves more efficient. According to Batkin, newlyweds are also taking much longer honeymoons, traveling for a month or even more. “When you’re away for four plus weeks, it's nice to have your friends come with you,” she said. “It allows you to see different places with different people versus just traveling with your partner."
Lynn Hanson, a New York City-based publicist, was a guest on her friend's buddymoon. After attending the wedding in Marbella, Spain, a group of about 20 headed to Ibiza before the couple set off alone to Italy. "It was perfect for the couple who were married, and a great way to send them off to their romantic part of their honeymoon," she said. "It just felt like a continuation of their wedding."
Hanson admits certain locations like Ibiza or the Greek islands are better for bigger groups because they don't feel as romantic.
But, let’s face it: Buddymoons aren't for everyone.
“If you’re just going away for a couple of weeks to a place like the Maldives, you might not want your friends to come along," said Batkin. "You still want to relish in that special time together.”
Batkin had a few essential tips for planning your buddymoon, too.
“Pick a longer trip with lots of things to see, keep the group under 10 people, and stick to mostly couples,” she said. “Also, you want to be sure the people you're traveling with have similar outlooks and price points. The last thing you want is to feel stressed on your honeymoon.”
More from Condé Nast Traveler: