Even those with a jaundiced view on matrimony still see the wedding night as something to look forward to. After months of planning and executing a wedding, you’re now alone with the spouse you vowed to spend the rest of your life with – starting with the wedding night. And sex, what else rears its interesting head.
But are things cut and dried? According to a recent study, more than half of couples don’t manage to consummate their marriage on their wedding night – with alcohol, stress, and exhaustion named as the top passion killers. Mercy, a polytechnic lecturer was 23 and a fresh graduate when she got married to Elijah some 30 years ago.
“He never actually proposed”, she explained, “so, I guess getting married was simply mutually agreed. My parents saw it as a social suicide to openly `live in sin’ as some of our mates did. “Planning the wedding just happened and my mother went into overdrive making plans for the wedding of her only child and the whole day was exhausting. It was a huge relief to arrive at a mutual friend’s family house in a nearby state for the only honeymoon we could afford.
“It was a huge company house and he and his wife had gone to a considerable extent to make the guest room very romantic. The clueless man had also arranged for a small welcoming party that night. “Not one to miss an opportunity for past time drinking with his friends, Elijah cajoled me into the party venue – not to the marriage bed.
Eventually, after much imbibing, we hit the sack. `Well’, he leered, `I suppose we’d better consummate this marriage’. “I told him, the room seemed to be spinning. I felt sick as I wasn’t used to drinking. The feeling overwhelmed me. The bathroom was down the corridor, I ran as fast as I could, but I missed. “I staggered back to the room, shaken and shame-faced.
`I’m sorry, I think I’ve messed up the corridor”, I told Elijah and passed out. He spent what was left of our wedding night clearing up the corridor and cleaning me up. No wonder it didn’t last – we were divorced nine years later!” Did we make love on our wedding night? “You bet we did!” hooted Ndidi cheekily. Married to David for 20 years with four children, she said: “I’d been counting off the minutes for months. We were born again Christians, so we were virgins and had been waiting for the night with the keenest expectation.
My husband is an evangelist, and when we went for counselling before we got married, the Reverend had asked us why the need for marriage. Apparently, he was expecting some pious answer such as `To help each other in Christian work’. We both immediately and unanimously replied,
`Sex’. Why else would you get married? “We were so excited about the prospect that wild horses wouldn’t have kept us away. But my mother unwillingly scuppered our sneaking off in the afternoon for sex. We were to remain in the family house, in our room, for the few hours in between the easy church wedding and the reception. “So she’d left us alone, hinting she fully expected my new husband to make the most of the time we had before the reception proper.
I was so embarrassed at her even having these thoughts that I made very sure we didn’t. Instead, I stayed in the living room with friends. “I made sure my hair remained up and tidy, leaving my mother in no doubt whatsoever that it hadn’t been rumpled and tussled. At close to midnight, with the party still in full swing, we retired, sober and excited to our hotel room and enjoyed a night of madly-looked forward to – and extremely inexpert – lovemaking.
It was worth the wait! Tunji and Kate had been living together for a couple of years before they got married 30 years ago. “But did we consummate our new married status on our wedding night at one of the poshest hotels in the city? We did not. In fact, to my enduring shame, we didn’t even retire to bed at the same time.
Kate was three months pregnant, her growing bump hidden by an empire line wedding dress. Half-way through the reception, when the dancing proper began, she made her excuses. But I was still in the mood to hang out with my friends, whooping it up until my new sister-in-law politely but firmly told me that my place was upstairs with my new bride – not downstairs twirling other women around the dance floor.
“When I got to our room, there was just far too much to talk about, from what friends and relatives had worn, to how one or two of them behaved, to an assessment of the food and the drinks, the speeches. We were so happy everything went according to plan we just collapsed on the bed and fell asleep”.