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The day after I got married, I went on holiday with my mates

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I took a rather unconventional turn after getting married (Picture: Mel Evans)

With one in four brides saying a wedding is the most stressful life event, after getting married April, I was desperate to avoid the same pitfall.

And, I can honestly say that my foray into married life has been a pretty relaxed time. Why? Well, rather than the romantic honeymoon to an island paradise just the two of us, my husband and I went away with six of our mates.

Forget honeymoons, I’m all about the ‘buddymoon’.

The day after after we walked up the aisle, we grabbed our closest pals and rented a massive place in the Cotswolds to keep the celebrations going – albeit in a more chilled way.

We left the venue in rented cars and spent the next three nights drinking leftover reception wine, eating bowlfuls of pasta, playing card games, watching films, going for long country walks and spending hours in sandstone village pubs reminiscing on the weekend that was.

And, rather than get the post-wedding blues, three days of what was essentially the world’s best ‘afters’ only illustrated how lovely getting married really was.

We wanted to carry on the wedding celebrations (Picture: Mel Evans)
We booked an Airbnb in the Cotswolds, and enjoyed views like this (Picture: Mel Evans)

We poured over Polaroids, swapped tales from the evening (where my husband and I were regaled with moments we’d missed) and spent more time catching up with those who live far away.

I’m from Australia, so the idea of taking off with my spouse as soon as the formalities were over when some of my closest friends had flown 16,000 kilometres to watch me get hitched was unthinkable.

Instead, spending a few more precious days together created special memories we still talk about in the group chat a month on.

A relaxing stroll (Picture: Mel Evans)

But for those who think a buddymoon is a downgrade from a honeymoon, please don’t be mistaken – we went bougie.

Having a large group of us meant we had more budget to rent a massive place in the Cotswolds.

We settled on a six-bedroom manor near Charingworth, booked via Airbnb (special thanks to Airbnb for making such a bougie stay possible and helping me find the perfect accommodation for my buddymoon adventure), surrounded by lush fields – but only a 20-minute walk to pubs and quaint farm shops in Ebrington.

I say cheers to buddymoons over honeymoons! (Picture: Mel Evans)

Here we kicked back with ample space in the sprawling dining room, cheersed over chilled tinnies in the hot tub (which fit eight) and basked in the sunshine on the massive lawns which were home to a family of pheasants. 

The outdoor space was large enough for al fresco dinners (Picture: Courtesy of the Airbnb Community)

When scouting for the perfect buddymoon home, we noticed Charingworth House (which we lovingly dubbed it Saltburn, more for its size and grandeur than any activities that went down – no bathtubs were harmed) had a Guest Favourite badge, which is based on ratings, reviews and reliability data, so we knew we were in for a guest-approved treat.

It may sound wild to many who just want to be holed up with their new spouse, but I’d take a post-wedding buddymoon over an immediate honeymoon any day.

Despite the wedding day itself meaning my husband and I were often dividing and conquering to spend time with our guests, we really appreciated having a more gradual means of decompressing and getting back to reality. 

Massive rooms meant we could still get some one-on-one downtime (Picture: Courtesy of the Airbnb Community)
The kitchen even had an AGA so we cooked in every night (Picture: Courtesy of the Airbnb Community)

Plus, when staying with friends, there is no way we’d get sick of one another, right?!

It also meant we could pour all our efforts into the wedding without having to worry about planning a massive two-week honeymoon at the same time.

Hardly a nail in our new marriage, our husband and I still spent quality time together, but didn’t feel pressure to revel in our newlywedness 24/7. We could relax with those we are closest to, while still feeling special – seeing as we were all together because we’d just got married. 

We were well in need of some downtime after the most hectic week ever (I’d had my hen the weekend before the wedding), which worked well for us and the host, seeing as Airbnb has a global party ban policy, which prohibits disruptive and unauthorised parties in its listings, as well as so-called ‘party houses’. But seeing as we’d just thrown the biggest party of our lives we just wanted to kick back and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

Because, let’s be honest, getting married is tiring and we wanted to sleep for days, which we would have felt too guilty to do had we spent big on an international honeymoon.



Booking a group holiday just got easier

Since we booked our Airbnb the platform has added a new feature that makes planning such a Buddymoon sojourn a touch easier for those with admin-phobia (while helping reduce the likelihood of the load falling on just one person’s shoulders) seeing as the platform says over 80% of trips booked are for groups. Now people can benefit from upgraded Wishlists, a redesigned Messages tab, and shared Trip Invitations that include check-in details and wifi passwords for everyone staying.

Plus, by the time we returned home later that week, we were even more excited to just sit together, the two of us, all alone, the first time since being married. 

So when it comes to the concept of a buddymoon, I do.

Prices on the listings page vary, but currently start from around £725 per night in the week, with a two-night minimum, and go up to £1,345 per night on the weekend.

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