Over the course of our nine-year relationship, the 9,000+ miles of distance meant that our families being together at the same time had been all but impossible. So, we decided to skip the traditional honeymoon and instead spend a week in Deer Isle, Maine, with both families in tow.
Paul and I handled all the planning. (Since there were 18 people total, it would have been too many cooks in the kitchen.) We rented a couple houses for everyone, and Paul and I booked a room in a lovely B&B. We were on our honeymoon, after all! Each night, one of the houses would cook or host cocktail hour, which was really fun.
Our best move was designating days where we’d do things as group and then having downtime days. We organized a big walk in Acadia, and then the next day everyone did their own thing. Paul and I would steal off for lunch or to go the beach. That was key — for everyone to have their own time. We had a kitty as well, and we all threw money in there, so it wasn’t awkward with people splitting bills.
Luckily everyone got along. There were a couple sweet friendships that developed. Paul and I just bought an old 1985 VW Westfalia camper van, but we’re typical New Yorkers and have never had to fix a car. His dad is an engineer and my dad is a pilot, and they’re both like, omg our kids have no skills. One day they fixed up our van and got along really well. They both like spinning a yarn; they’re as bad as each other. They took turns telling each other these long stories!
One afternoon we went to a store to buy a wooden spoon or something, and the shopkeeper said, “Are you with the family moon? Oh my gosh, the whole town is talking about it!” There were thirteen of us, and everyone either has strong English or Australian accent, so we were pretty noticeable. The locals thought it was so amusing that Paul and I had brought our whole family on our honeymoon.