Andy Rash / The New York Times
Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Zachary Lamberg, who works in finance in New York, almost didn’t go on an annual golf trip because it coincided with his wife’s seventh month of pregnancy.
Usually, he and three buddies play links somewhere not far from the city. This time, they had planned to go to Scotland, having won a five-night trip at a charity auction. “The main reservation was going a six-hour flight away,” said Lamberg, 31. “God forbid if something happens, can I get home quickly?”
But his wife, Danielle Labadorf, 31, reassured him that she would be taken care of by her parents and sister, who live on Long Island. Perhaps realizing his life would soon be incredibly different, Lamberg went ahead and maxed out on golf, playing a round at Royal Troon Golf Club and watching the Women’s British Open. “It turned into my unofficial daddymoon,” he said.
Coed baby showers are common. And the so-called babymoon — a last-chance vacation embarked upon by a couple before they expand to a party of three — has become increasingly popular, with celebrities going to places like St. Barts (Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and Bora Bora (Jay-Z and Beyoncé).
But a sequel to the bachelor party whose star is an expectant father? A “dad-chelor” party?
Melissa Biggs Bradley, the founder of Indagare, a luxury-vacation-booking service, has been hearing more about such gatherings. “There have been a bunch of guy friends who said, ‘We want to do something that is typically not your family-friendly type of vacation,’” Bradley said. “‘Once we have kids, I know there are trips that my wife doesn’t want to take and there are trips that my young kids don’t want to take.’ Trips that have an adventurous, exploring quality to them: Iceland, Cuba, the desert in Morocco.”
Then there is the classic, Las Vegas, where Abhas Gupta, 36, founder and chief executive of a health care company, celebrated his impending fatherhood a year and a half ago at the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino, with bottles of iced vodka fueling a night under the neon lights of Marquee, a brunch at Lavo (the Italian restaurant at in the Venetian) and a trip down the Strip in a party bus with 30 newfound female friends.
“We just got bottles of Champagne, magnums of vodka, people were ordering steaks, we had oysters everywhere,” Gupta said.
He found out about the concept from his buddy, J.C. Simbana, who went on his own daddymoon in Las Vegas before the birth of his son.
“Obviously baby showers are something that are in place and have been done for a while,” Simbana, 41, said. “I was looking for a way to celebrate with my friends, this transition in my life.”
Simbana’s trip consisted of five fellows playing poker. Gupta, who had three bachelor parties before his 2009 wedding, one-upped him. At Marquee, the DJ put “Abha’s Babymoon” on the big screen behind his booth. Someone brought along a baby doll for the occasion, and the crew carried it with them everywhere, snapping photos of the onesie-clad toy on top of a bottle of Grey Goose vodka.
“It was partly inspired by ‘The Hangover,’” Gupta said.
Ryan Conroy, 35, a Los Angeles film producer, also went on a daddymoon in Las Vegas (on a Valentine’s Day weekend, no less), where he’d had his bachelor party. But this trip, which involved five other men, one of whom was also celebrating fatherhood, was “significantly tamer than my bachelor party,” Conroy said.
“It was way more low-key and relaxed,” he said. “There wasn’t that feeling of pressure to make it something bigger, the way there is on a bachelor party.”
The men stayed downtown rather than at a glitzy property on the Strip, played in poker tournaments and “stayed up drinking and gambling until the wee hours of the night,” Conroy said. “But that was it.” His wife, Jennifer Betts, 40,president of Innovative Public Relations, was, by his estimation, “pretty cool about it.”
“She was definitely, you know, very supportive,” he said, “but it was also like: ‘This isn’t your bachelor party. You already had a bachelor party. Let’s not go crazy.’”
Not to be outdone by Gupta’s daddymoon, his wife, Shaily Kapur Gupta, decided to rent a house in Napa Valley, California, where she hosted a dozen friends and indulged in food (a lot) and wine (minimally).
But “it wasn’t the wild and crazy version Abhas had,” said Kapur Gupta, 35, who works in advertising. “I was eight months pregnant and couldn’t do much.”