Buddymoons: The Honeymoon Alternative For Non-Traditional Couples

It's a honeymoon...but with all your friends.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're a social butterfly who's planning to get married (opens in new tab) this year, here's an idea: consider forgoing a standard honeymoon and trade it in for a group trip with your partner and close friends, a.k.a. a buddymoon (opens in new tab). On a buddymoon, married couples aren't expected to pay for the whole vacation, and can essentially decide how active they want it to be depending on the spot they choose. (Plus, there is room for alone time—nobody says you have to spend the whole trip doing group activities!) Here, some destinations that are perfect for the unconventional wedding celebration.

The Surf Club (Florida)

Head north of Miami to Surfside, Florida, where you'll find quieter beaches and a more refined selection of shops and restaurants to take in with your crew. Rent a cabana for your group and you'll have access to a pool, plus air conditioning and couches to shield you from the heat. After a day of fun in the sun or shopping at Bal Harbour Shops, enjoy happy hour at Le Sirenuse followed by dinner at Thomas Keller's Surf Club restaurant (opens in new tab). Foodies can get a personalized tour of the kitchen —and maybe even a glimpse of Keller himself.

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Blackberry Mountain (Tennessee)

Blackberry Mountain is the ultimate place to unwind, immerse yourself in nature, and get active. It's a secluded paradise for a close group of special friends where you can spend your days hiking the trails or book an adventure that gets you outside of your comfort zone—like rock climbing, an off-road experience, or camping beneath the stars. After a day out in nature, grab a cocktail at The Firetower restaurant (opens in new tab), perched atop the mountain in a restored 1950's lookout tower, followed by dinner at The Barn at Blackberry Farm (opens in new tab), where you can indulge in farm-to-table fare and a selection of fine wines for pairing.

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Hotel Esencia (Mexico) 

Located on a 50-acre estate in the Mayan Riviera, this warm weather playground was originally constructed as a private hideaway for Italian royals. Today, its secluded grounds and close beach proximity make it a sought-after buddymoon destination. Rent out the private villas for your crew and spend your days exploring the Mayan ruins of Tulum or Chichen Itza (opens in new tab). Or carve out time for diving, snorkeling, and sipping margs on the beach. Book a group dinner at Beefbar Esencia (opens in new tab) for a selection of meat-focused fusion street food dishes—like kobe beef tacos and wagyu beef (you're celebrating after all!). Or opt for an evening at Mistura (opens in new tab) for upscale Mexican cuisine under a beachfront palapa.

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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon (Iceland)

An hour outside of the popular town of Reykjavík, this majestic retreat is carved into the side of an 800-year-old lava field and decked out with chic minimalist decor that invites the outside in. For post-nuptial pampering with pals, spend your days unwinding in the Blue Lagoon's revitalizing waters with custom massages and beauty treatments. Alternatively, visit the Lava Cove (opens in new tab), a private spa within the spa, ideal for a group experiences with your very own lagoon, a wood-burning fireplace, kitchen, and guided yoga sessions. In the evening, head over to the onsite Michelin starred Moss restaurant (opens in new tab) that sits at the highest point of the Blue Lagoon with stellar volcano views.

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Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.