As a bride, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about the big day, but what about the big night AFTER the big day: the wedding night? Though there’s considerably less emphasis placed on the wedding night nowadays (with many couples living together before getting hitched), historically and in many cultures, the wedding night has interesting, fun and sometimes a little bizarre customs.
Let’s look at some of the traditional, strange, and modern wedding night traditions, and end with some suggestions of what you can do to make yours extra special.
Do the Cheesy Stuff
Believe it or not, all that silly stuff people do on and before their honeymoons has a place in history. For example, the tradition of escaping the wedding by stealing away in a car and keeping the honeymoon destination a secret came from Ireland. The fun-loving Gaels would play pranks on the newlyweds during their first night together, often keeping them apart (or just awake) until dawn. Couples would often run away secretly to avoid this annoyance. The tradition of messing with the getaway car is the modern equivalent of the all-night pranking. Also, carrying the bride over the threshold comes from a Roman belief that it’s incredibly bad luck if the bride stumbles when entering her new home. It’s so nice when superstition leads to romance!
Share a Bottle of Wine
The word “Honeymoon” is another gift to us from the Gaels. In Gaelic, “honeymoon” translates to “mi na meala” which literally means “the month of honey.” Newlyweds would drink mead, or honeyed wine, at their wedding and for a month after. Another culture that encourages drinking on the wedding night is Chinese. Their tradition is for a couple to drink from two goblets tied together with a red string. This would bring the couple good luck. Though you could get honeyed wine if you want, simply sharing a bottle of wine is the perfect way to pay homage to these traditions.
Letting Superstitions Run Rampant
For all the beliefs that lead to nice traditions, there are ten times as many superstitions that would make for a strange wedding night. One says that pound of Limburger cheese placed under the pillows of the newlyweds on their wedding night will bring lots of children. It’s hard to imagine that smelly cheese could be that much of an aphrodisiac! There’s another great one that says the first person to go to sleep on your wedding night will be the first to die. Just what everyone wants to think about on the happiest day of their lives: their own death! It’s
definitely fun to read about these things, but it’s probably best not to put any stock into them.
Getting the Whole Family (or Neighborhood) Involved
Even better, there are traditions that focus on the bride and groom’s family getting all up into the couple’s business. Going even further than playing pranks all night long, in France and Germany they might mess up the honeymoon suite by filling it with balloons, spreading food all over the bed, and hiding alarm clocks everywhere. Even worse is a tradition from Benin, where virginity of the bride was extremely important. The bride’s mother looked for bloodstains in the sheets that the couples used – some even fly them out of the window! Not to be outdone, Marquesasian (in Polynesia) brides were expected to have sex with all the male guests of the wedding, with the groom at the end! A little over-the-top, no?
Do Something Personalized
Traditions are great, but it’s also nice to do something to remember who you are as individuals and a couple. A great way to celebrate this is to surprise your partner with personalized panties. It’s cute, fun, and quite sexy. You could also plan a scavenger hunt through the house or hotel room, comprised of chocolates, flowers, sexy items like lingerie or toys, and you as a prize at the end. There’s also a tradition in Germany for the family to make scrapbooks of the bride and groom. If you got or made a scrapbook, look at it together, or put on a slideshow with music and reminisce on your past and look forward to your future.
Relax as Much as Possible
While you might feel pressure to do something (scandalous or otherwise) on your wedding night, it might be better to just relax instead. With evening weddings becoming more and more popular, your party might be going on long into the night. Have a glass of wine, soak in a hot tub or bath together, and plan to do something more taxing in the morning. Remember, you’re married now, and you have the whole rest of your lives together for adventure. Take a time out, reflect on how the day went, and process the fact that you just started the greatest adventure of your lives together!
Share some old, oddball or modern wedding traditions!
Image sources & references:
Personalized Panties: http://lingeriemodelsblog.com/
Carrying Over the Threshold: http://cdn.lightgalleries.net/4bd5ec0ba76f5/images/groom-carrying-bride-over-threshhold-2.jpg
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