How To Deal With Wedding Night Pressure

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. Now, onto today’s topic: wedding night sex.

Q: My fiance and I are getting married next month. Amongst all of the other wedding day pressures, I’m also worrying about our wedding night. I want it to be perfect. Do you have any tips for soothing wedding night jitters? What should I expect? Is there any way I can make sure it's great and that we're not too tired? I want to start our married sex life out on the right foot!

A: First of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! This is an incredibly exciting time for the two of you. Unfortunately, it’s also a very stressful time for most couples! There are so many details to work out, including how to manage the infamous first night as a married couple. Here are six tips to get you started.

1. Reset Your Expectations

Just as you may be feeling pressured to have the perfect Pinterest-worthy centerpieces, you may also be feeling pressured to have absolutely incredible wedding night sex. Most couples have high expectations of their first night together. Maybe you’ve gotten swept up in fantasies about being carried through the hotel doorway and spending the entire night being romantically seduced in front of a fireplace. You didn’t say if you and your fiance are virgins, but that can create even more pressure for perfection.

Here’s the reality: You’re going to be nervous and jittery. You’re going to be hot from dancing all night. Your hair is going to be a tangled mess and your makeup is going to be sliding down your face. Your feet are going to be sore from your heels. You might be tipsy, or full-on drunk (more on that later). And you’re going to be more exhausted than you ever thought possible. These aren’t exactly the greatest circumstances for sex!

The best advice I can give you is to keep your expectations for your wedding night low. Of course you still want to have a great evening with each other, but try not to think about it as “the perfect night.” There will be plenty of other opportunities for sexy memory-making during your marriage!

2. Decide What Matters To You

You and your fiance have been having lots of wedding-planning conversations, right? Why not have a wedding-night-planning chat too? You want to make sure you’re both on the same page about what you want from your wedding night, so it’s helpful to talk about it beforehand. Ask them how they feel about having sex on your big day. Ask them, “what’s important to you about our first night as a married couple?” and “what do you think we should do that night?”

I would also try to talk about ways that you can make your wedding night feel personal. Just as you want your wedding to feel like a reflection of who you are as a couple, you want to feel like yourselves when you’re sleeping together. Are there any special rituals you guys have when it comes to your sex life? Maybe you’re bigger fans of quickies than you are of long, drawn-out sex. Maybe you feel more intimacy during oral sex. Maybe you feel most relaxed after watching a funny TV show together. Or maybe you want to skip the pressures of wedding night sex altogether, and create your own ritual around morning-after sex!

3. Consider F***ing First

My priority is always in helping people discover what works for them, but if there’s one piece of direct advice I could give you, it’s to consider having sex before your wedding. If you’re a fan of Dan Savage, you’ve probably heard of his advice to “f*** first” before big parties or dinners out. This is great advice for a wedding! You’ll have more time and energy in the morning before your wedding, so it can be a much better time for intimacy. Consider spending the night before the wedding together, and waking up to a quiet, romantic morning of connecting before your big bash.

4. Stick To What You Know

It’s hard not to feel pressure and expectation around wedding-night sex, so try go easy on yourselves by sticking with the basics during sex itself. This is not the night to attempt anal for the first time, or to try out a acrobatic sex position. Go for comfortable, bread-and-butter sex. For you, that might be plenty of making out, loads of cuddling, or good ol’ Missionary.

5. Don’t Drink Too Much

Here’s a practical tip — try not to get drunk during your own wedding! It seems like such obvious advice, but so many people get wrapped up in the celebrations and end up drinking way more than they realize. Others feel so nervous about wedding night sex that they try to have a few drinks to “calm their nerves,” and end up going overboard. Count how many drinks you’re downing, and trade off between alcoholic beverages and glasses of water.

6. Don’t Overanalyze It

There are so many people who don’t have great sex the night of their weddings. There are tons of people who don’t have sex on their wedding nights at all! It’s not an “omen,” or signs of bad things to come. It doesn’t mean your marriage is going to be sexless or passionless. It probably just means that you guys were exhausted and overwhelmed. Instead of stressing yourselves out, just go to bed and spend some quality time together the morning after your wedding.

Congratulations again!

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast,I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

Images: Barry Lenard/Flickr; Giphy