Rahul Tiwari, a marketing professional, dated his girlfriend for a year before getting married in December, 2014. The couple went on a honeymoon to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Sounds like a common-enough case?
Well, not really, if the data revealed by a travel website (that surveyed 2,000 men and women in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata) is to be believed. According to the survey, people like Rahul make for only 30 per cent of the urban Indian population. Interestingly, the other 70% apparently prefers taking another couple along on their honeymoon. So, while Rahul feels that a “honeymoon is about personal time,” an increasing number of people also think otherwise. We spoke to a few to understand the trend.
Not without my friends
The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘honeymoon’ as “a holiday spent together by a newly-married couple”. But the definition, for a lot of young Indians, seems to be somewhat different. Planning a honeymoon with friends is far from a rarity. Yogesh Singh (name changed on request), who works for a media organisation, married his girlfriend of six years in December, 2014. While dating, the couple went on several trips just by themselves. So, when they got married, the novelty of travelling as a couple had perhaps worn off. That's why, they decided to take their friends along.
“Many of our friends had come down to the city for our wedding. Among them, a couple — who are our common friends — was on their way to their hometown, Udaipur, Rajasthan. So, we decided to undertake part of our journey with them. Together, we did a road trip to Jodhpur, and spent two nights there,” Singh reveals. From there, however, the couple proceeded to Jaisalmer on their own, while their friends went to Udaipur. “Their company only made a long road journey more fun,” he adds.
Melroy D’Cruz, who works in the hotel industry, and Angelina D’Souza, dated for nine years before tying the knot. They also had friends for company during their recent honeymoon in Goa. Their reasons had less to do with practicality, though. Melroy says he asked his wife if he could bring some of their common friends along. He simply felt that having them for company during the honeymoon would just make it more enjoyable. “I have known them since the time I started dating Angelina. Also, many of them helped a great deal during my wedding preparations. I felt it was unfair that I holiday post the wedding, and they don’t. So, I asked them to join us in Goa,” says Melroy.
The ‘arranged’ honeymoon
However, things aren’t the same when it comes to arranged marriages. According to Vishnu Modi, relationship adviser and counsellor, most people in arranged marriages still prefer the ‘couple only’ route to honeymoons. “A lot of urban couples these days marry after a prolonged dating period. So, during that time, you make common friends. Then it gets a lot easier to take these friends along for a honeymoon. The same isn’t true of couples who have had arranged marriages, where it’s almost impossible to take each other’s friends on a honeymoon because they are all still strangers,” says Modi.
But he does feel that there isn’t anything odd about the concept of a ‘group honeymoon’. “Couples who are in love marriages, might take friends along to make their holiday more exciting. That makes it a fresh experience,” he says.