Courtesy of Fiona Mackay

Courtesy of Fiona Mackay

Millennial couples from Northern Ireland break tradition, inviting mates along on their milestone celebrations

  • 38 per cent of millennials from Northern Ireland have been on, or would consider going on, a ‘buddymoon’ – a honeymoon with friends and family invited
  • 19 per cent of those aged 18-35 and living in Northern Ireland have also been involved in a ‘hag’ and ‘sten’ do, or a mixed-gender celebration for the bride and groom before they get married
  • 79 per cent of millennials from Northern Ireland say they are more likely to go on a group trip now than five years ago, and 29 per cent say it’s because they have more fun with a bigger group
  • With a honeymoon costing an average of £3,630, financial considerations also come into play – 29 per cent in Northern Ireland believe they save money with a group booking

For millennials in Northern Ireland, it’s mates before dates as the trend of friends joining traditionally two-person occasions becomes increasingly popular.

Research from Pingit – an app powered by Barclays that allows for fast, easy payments and bill-splitting with just a mobile number – reveals that when it comes to pivotal life moments, sharing has replaced pairing. Nearly 39% per cent* of millennials from Northern Ireland have been on or would consider a ‘buddymoon’ and a further 41 per cent say they have more fun with a wider group of friends and family than with their partner alone.

The Northern Ireland millennial mindset of ‘the more the merrier’ has been a trend in the making – with 79 per cent stating they are more likely to holiday with friends than they were five years ago – and applies to other cork-popping occasions.

22 per cent of people in Belfast have now been on ‘hag’ and ‘sten’ dos, where both the hen and stag parties celebrate together. Group anniversary celebrations (22 per cent) and ‘friendgagements’, where those getting down on one knee invite their friends along to experience it (16 per cent), have also become popular with those aged 18-35 living in Belfast.

With a honeymoon costing an average of £3,630**, it’s no wonder some millennials are choosing to splash out with their squad to stretch every penny – regardless of the occasion. A canny three in 10 (29 per cent) believe they save money with a group booking and 16 per cent thinks bill splitting means they can order more and the cost is divided fairly. 18 per cent of those aged 18-35 in Belfast also recognise that a group celebration may give them the chance to experience more expensive activities like renting a boat for the day.

Pingit released the findings to highlight the ways the app, with bill-splitting capabilities for up to 20 people, can help make group experiences even better, meaning that fun-seekers can concentrate on what matters – good times with their nearest and dearest.

The data revealed, for example, that letting loose with loved ones creates a special dynamic: 29 per cent state they have more of a laugh in a bigger group and nearly two in 10 (19 per cent) says the conversation flows better than with just their partner. A fifth (21 per cent) indicate that group experiences helps keep their relationship fresh and exciting.

Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Pingit, said: “From buddymoons to friendgagements, the way we’re celebrating big occasions is starting to change. Group activities are more popular than ever and with everyone leading busy lives, it’s often hard to get everyone together. When we do, however, no one wants to focus on the logistics and who’s paying for what. With Pingit offering a simple and easy way to split the bill, we can spend less time worrying about the budget and more time on making lasting memories.”


  • Buddymoons – a honeymoon with friends and family invited
  • Friendgagement  a proposal with friends and family invited
  • Sten/Hag do – a combined hen and stag party

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