What do Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, and Andy Murray & Kim Sears all have in common? Well, apart from selling countless copies of celebrity magazines, they all opted for something different to the norm for their honeymoons.
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux took their friends away with them to Bora Bora, on what is now being dubbed a buddymoon. The pair later told a journalist “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. It was really special, really beautiful”.
You could be forgiven for thinking this trend is just another celebrity fad. However, recent research by Travelex found that 20% of newlyweds had taken someone else with them on their honeymoons and the main reason cited was that it reduced costs accumulated by the wedding. Most couples choose to combine their destination weddings with a buddymoon, which makes sense for guests travelling overseas to attend nuptials. Putting on activities on the days following the main event can sway those not sure whether to travel the distance to attend a half-day ceremony.
So why have buddymoons caught on? Many spouses will have already been on exotic holidays together before marrying, and the honeymoon is no longer seen as the ‘big’ event that it was years ago. Inviting your friends along is one way of extending the wedding and keeping the celebrations going.
In the 19th Century, when the honeymoon first became fashionable, husband and wife often lived separately up until the wedding day – the vacation eased them gently into co-habiting. Before the honeymoon emerged, upper class families took a bridal tour – a holiday with friends and family following a wedding! Perhaps then the buddymoon isn’t something new, but rather the honeymoon just going full circle.
Times have changed from the 19th century and co-habiting is now the norm. Couples are no longer necessarily waiting to have children either, and in 2014 47.5% of children were born outside of marriage. Taking your children on your honeymoon has become increasingly popular. Just ask Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who took all six of their children with them! Us mere mortals might not be able to afford a team of nannies, but if you don’t want your little one to miss out it’s a good idea to pick a hotel that specifically caters to children, or has a babysitting service – so that quality time together is still an option.
Some newlyweds simply don’t have the time for a long honeymoon. Whether it’s fitting the getaway around the school holidays, or commitments at work, a lengthy break isn’t always an option. Andy Murray is certainly someone who knows this – his jam-packed tennis schedule meant that he only had time to fit in a mini-moon before the tennis season restarted. If the wedding budget has swallowed the holiday budget, a mini-moon can be the perfect compromise.
Do all these ‘somethingmoon’ fads mean the end of the traditional honeymoon? Steve Campion, Managing Director of Holiday Discount Centre doesn’t think so: “What we’ve seen from the days of the bridal tour to the present day is the honeymoon adapting to keep up with the times. The beauty is in its versatility and, as with your wedding, you should choose something that suits the both of you. There will always be those that want the traditional two-week break, and I see this as continuing to be the norm. However, if you want to invite your mates, kids, or even, in-laws (!) along, then we say just go for it”.