Instead, their wedding night was spent with the bride’s mother helping her get out of her wedding dress after Mr. Sethi had fallen fast asleep. The couple, who are 30 and live in Harrisburg, Pa., consummated the next day. “We’re more morning sex people anyway,” Ms. Lewis said.
Planning can work even for couples who were already sexually active. “We were very strategic in how we wanted the night to go so that we could have sex,” said Ofelia Saba Ramírez of her wedding to Jessica Saba Ramírez, both graduate students, on March 25, 2022. They limited their alcohol and stayed hydrated on their wedding day, also consuming energy drinks to stay awake.
In the end, the couple, who are 41 and live in Los Angeles, had “not the most energetic, but incredibly memorable,” sex, according to Ofelia Saba Ramírez. They felt they were continuing the sexual connection they said is an important part of their relationship, and despite being exhausted, they felt proud of themselves for making it a priority.
“Mainstream forms of pop culture have infiltrated our minds and made us believe that wedding night sex is supposed to be a magical night of earth-shattering pleasure,” said Shavon Gaddy-Dalrymple, a psychotherapist in New York City specializing in couples. “Couples tend to not plan their wedding night sex,” she added, “but have the most expectation around its success.”
Ms. Gaddy-Darlrymple recommended designating a friend to be the wedding night planner, someone who could set up the room the couple will retreat to after the wedding, and help ensure the couple leaves the wedding reception early (and sober) enough that they are not completely exhausted.
However, regardless of the number of opportunities a couple has, they still might not be able to have sex on their wedding night.