It was almost 7 pm and my feet were tired. The hairpins were digging into my head, my make-up was gone, the wedding dress was uncomfortably tight around the waist (note to bride —any snug fit around the waist will feel tighter after a meal!).
And our best friend had driven off with our honeymoon luggage.
One of my girlfriends offered to help out. Go to her house and have a quick change of clothes. My brand new husband gave me that look that I’ve come to understand to mean “Not gonna happen.” Starting our first night at a girlfriend’s house instead of a honeymoon suite was not the plan.
And so it was, after a long event-filled happy day, that we finally walked into our honeymoon hotel. Finally. Just the two of us. The start of our marriage.
The wedding night
Most of you reading this are past your first wedding night. But many others are planning for their first wedding night (one of my friends is getting married this week!). Here are:
10 things every bride should know before (and about) her wedding night
1. Take it slow.
It’s been a long tiring journey, planning for your wedding. The running around, the planning, the actual wedding day, it will all take a toll on you and your beloved —mentally, emotionally and physically. By the end of your wedding day, you’ll be tired though chances are you might not even feel it (that adrenaline thing can lie).
My husband and I knew we were tired. Plus I was recovering from chicken pox so my tiredness was on the double.
Our plan for the honeymoon night was dinner, lots of cuddles, massage, plenty of rest and sleep. But things didn’t’ go according to plan! The saving grace was that we’d talked about slowing down so we were able to extend a lot grace to ourselves later.
“Slowing down” is easy to say, but not so easy to follow through when you feel like you’ve been waiting forever!
So you’ll need to discuss with your husband-to-be and be on the same page. Don’t get into intimate details but have a rough idea how the evening will play out.
For example a typical Kenyan wedding ceremony might last the whole day. Afterwards a couple will have a long drive —or flight —to their honeymoon destination. There’s only so much you can do after being awake and active for almost twenty four hours.
There’s no hard and fast rule but if you can plan to ease into intimacy, the better the evening/night will be.
2. You won’t know everything.
You might have read that and thought “I have some sexual experience, you know.” Well, here’s some truth you want to consider —sex within marriage is completely different from sex outside of marriage. Past sexual experience will not make you a “pro” on your wedding night. If anything you have a lot to unlearn and lots to learn (See # 3)
Also on this first night you’ll want to err on the side of less “wow.” Most grooms want to wow their brides on the wedding night, many brides want the night to be memorable and intimate and scoring a 10 out of 10.
I am not trying to be a wet blanket because there’s nothing wrong with planning to wow each other. But sometimes super high expectations can set you up for serious disappointment when things don’t go according to plan.
It’s so much easier when you come to your wedding night wearing a learner’s hat. Because learners don’t have anything to lose but everything to gain. So prepare to become a student of your spouse, not just on the wedding night, but for the rest of your married life.