How to keep the romance going when you finally get to be alone
PLAN AHEAD To keep the focus on the romance, get the logistics out of the way early. Many couples choose to stay at a hotel on their wedding night. Either you or your fiancé should check into the hotel prior to the wedding so you can head straight to your room after the reception.
If time allows, you may want to unpack your things so you are settled into the room and can keep the focus on each other. Also, be sure to arrange for transportation from the reception to the hotel if necessary.
Pack something a little more comfortable to slip into when you get to the room. Terry Levine, owner of Clair de Lune Lingerie boutique, says brides-to-be select a variety of different options depending on their age and tastes.
“Some brides still tend to favor the traditional long, white or ivory gown with a matching robe. But many, especially the younger brides, tend to prefer the shorter chemise or baby doll also with a matching robe or wrap,” she says.
Levine says many brides choose something they can wear on their honeymoon and after.
“Especially for destination weddings, the brides tend to choose something more beach oriented versus the more traditional lacy garment,” she says.
SET THE SCENE
To continue the essence of your wedding, bring some elements of the day to the hotel with you. Bring a bottle of wine from the reception to drink together while you enjoy a moment of peace and quiet to reflect on your day.
Josie Littlepage, owner of Cosmopolitan Events, sends a couple of pieces of wedding cake and champagne to the newlywed’s hotel room. “It’s a little taste of the wedding for them to share,” she says.
She also suggests taking some flowers from the reception to the hotel with you and placing them around the room or sprinkling rose petals over the bed. These simple touches will help create a serene, romantic setting after a busy day.
“So much of the reception is about surprises for the guests. Now the couple needs to pamper themselves and have some fun with it,” says Littlepage.
Music is another way to set the mood. Put together a wedding night playlist on your MP3 player and bring it to the hotel along with a speaker so you can listen to music that is meaningful to both of you as you relax.
HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
Whether you’ve had sexual experience prior to your wedding night or not, the expectations are the same. Everyone wants their wedding night to be a memorable, monumental experience that they can look back on with wonderful memories.
But weddings, while romantic and lovely, also cause a lot of factors that can interfere with a romantic evening. There is exhaustion, stress of interacting with family all day, alcohol consumption and even post-wedding letdown now that the big party you’ve been planning for months is over.
“Marriage is all about communicating, discussing expectations and compromising. Your wedding night is no exception,” says Heather Raznick, licensed clinical social worker and certified sex therapist. Wedding night sex can be a complicated mix of high expectations and the stress to perform to those expectations. But couples can avoid this dilemma with communication and preparation.
“There is a high probability that the sexual interaction, if not discussed beforehand, will be disappointing. But if couples discuss their expectations for the wedding night ahead of time and set expectations appropriately, it can be a wonderful experience,” says Raznick.
Being prepared for the wedding night experience goes beyond lingerie and setting the mood, especially for a couple that has waited until their wedding night to have sex. Raznick points out that things don’t always work the way they do in the movies. Preparations need to be made in advance to address issues such as birth control and lubrication. A visit to the gynecologist or a heart-to-heart with a trusted family member or close married friend may be necessary. On the big night, a romantic candlelit bath or giving each other massages may help both the bride and groom relax and prepare for the moment.
Couples who are sexually active already may want to discuss ways to spice up the wedding night and make it special. Some couples agree to a vow of celibacy for a certain time before the wedding to promote a feeling of eager anticipation for the wedding night. Or perhaps there is something new you both want to try that you can save for your wedding night.
AVOID HEALTH ISSUES
Scheduling a visit with your gynecologist may be beneficial prior to your wedding, especially if you haven’t been sexually active. Your doctor can help you determine the method of birth control that is best for you and discuss common issues that arise, such as honeymoon cystitis, a term used for a bladder infection.
“It is not uncommon for women to develop a bladder infection on her honeymoon when she is having sex for the first time, more frequent sex or more vigorous sex,” says Thomas Whalen, MD, an OB/GYN at Mercy Medical Center.
Honeymoon cystitis is caused when bacteria such as E. coli, which is found in the bowel, enters the urethra. During sex, penetration can cause bacteria to be pushed into the vagina and may lead to infection. Symptoms include a burning or painful sensation during urination, cloudy or blood-tinged urine and the urge to urinate frequently, none of which are welcome on a honeymoon.
Once diagnosed, a bladder infection can be treated with antibiotics. However, Whalen says there are some simple ways to prevent infections. Drinking cranberry juice acidifies the urine, making it less hospitable to bacteria. Emptying the bladder immediately after intercourse will help flush the bacteria from the urethra. Avoiding large amounts of caffeine and drinking plenty of water also help. There is a higher chance of infection if you have sex during your period or if you are susceptible to bladder infections. In either of these cases, you should ask your doctor about using an antibiotic to prevent infection.
Just like the ceremony and reception, your wedding night will be a success with a little planning, communication and creativity.