Wedding Night Ideas & Rituals from Around the World

Preparing for your wedding night can be so sexy – the delicious anticipation of celebrating your love and welcoming your new life together through passionate sensuality and wild abandon. 

The wedding night has always been a big deal, throughout history and time and across cultures and continents. Even picking the perfect wedding night outfit is something that people have always done, even back when our outfits were made of feathers, beads, and hides we’d tanned ourselves.

We may not think of them this way, but weddings – and wedding nights – are rituals. The wedding is a public ritual signifying your commitment to each other. The wedding night is a very private one – though it can seem public, with sexy gifts and dirty jokes from Grandma. (And believe it or not, the sexy gifts and dirty jokes are also a very old tradition.)

When you’re looking for wedding night ideas, we recommend centering yourselves in the idea that it IS a ritual. It’s an initiation, when you welcome the versions of yourselves who will be intimate with each other in the new world of marriage.

However, life can get a bit complicated. Weddings are especially complicated, and if you’ve just spent months coordinating with vendors, wrangling family drama, and stressing about whether to have orchids or lilies, planning for yet another event – even a sexy one – can start feeling like just another item to cross off the to-do list.

Expectations are high, and meeting those expectations can seem impossible. Fortunately, we’re here with a few tips and suggestions to make your wedding night every bit as sexy and intimate as you two deserve.

Nontraditional Wedding Night Ideas: A Case For The Second Night

For most of history, everyone got married in their hometowns (or villages). The community handled the preparations, and nobody had to fret about how they were going to pay for the extra plates when Aunt Sabrina showed up with a new boyfriend nobody had ever met plus four of his kids. 

Nobody’s wedding dress had a crinoline that could have doubled as a Harry Houdini escape contraption, and nobody had to get on an airplane at four the next morning to make the honeymoon cruise in time.

Many things have changed in the modern world, and today, many newlyweds report never getting around to having sex at all on their wedding night. After all the stress of planning and prep, being touched and hugged and talked to all day, and dealing with a million last-minute snafus, it may be that you two just aren’t in the mood.

And we’re a brand that makes sex stuff, so this might surprise you a bit, but…

We promise you don’t have to. You do not actually have to have sex on your wedding night. 

In fact, if you plan for a super-sexy second night, or even a third – when you’re both rested and de-stressed and ready to be fully present for each other – we think that ritual could summon some real magic.

If you reserve your wedding night for quiet canoodling, relaying all the hot gossip you heard, lounging in your PJs, picking six hundred bobby pins out of the bridal hairdo, eating and drinking something really special that you’ve ordered beforehand, backrubs, snuggles, snoozing and just being alone with your love, you may have given yourselves a truly unforgettable wedding night gift that you’ll treasure forever.

And our Sex Oil doubles as a massage oil, so if those backrubs turn into something else… well, we sure won’t stop you there.

Wedding Night Ideas from Wedding Traditions Around The World

Many traditional wedding night expectations are derived from times when newlyweds were likely very young, probably hadn’t had sex together before, and certainly hadn’t lived together. In days gone by, the wedding night really was a first time – not just symbolically.

But let’s be real, we’re grownups now. We’ve probably been sleeping in the same bed for ages; we know our new spouse’s ticklish spots and what their O-face looks like, and we’ve gotten way past that wide-eyed fumbling awkwardness.

We still think it’s worth making your wedding night (or second night!) a True First for the two of you – a special and unique ritual to treasure and remember.

Sexy lingerie, soft music and rose petals are all lovely things. And you can and should have those things all the days of your life together, if you so desire! But initiation rituals are too scarce in this day and age, and we think it’s worth putting in the effort to make your wedding night different.

For the following tips, we’ve taken inspiration from wedding traditions around the world – with suggestions about how to adapt those traditions to you. 

China: Wedding Night Love Letters.

Wedding traditions in China are all about bringing good luck and happiness to the newlyweds, and many of them are very formal and observed very seriously. (And some aren’t – bridal party pranks are huge in some regions, including a tradition known as fang niu, which involves the groom's friends locking the couple in their bedroom and demanding a ransom to release them.)

But once the bride and groom are alone, it’s time for a private exchange of special gifts and written words – a lovely idea that could be worth adapting in very sensual ways, no matter where you’re from.

Consider jotting down stray fantasies, sexy thoughts, hot memories, and loving secrets that occur to you during the runup to your wedding, when you may be too busy to think, much less have quality time together. (If you’re not a confident writer, try voice recordings.) Then, on the Night Of, read them out loud to each other and share some sexy inspiration.

India: Setting the Scene With Flowers and Sacred Fire.

India is a huge, diverse country with innumerable religious traditions, languages, and regional cultures dating back millennia, so there are many different wedding night traditions in India, depending on who the couple are and where they live.

One inspiring tradition from some regions of India is the “bedding ceremony”, when the newlywed couple sits on a specially decorated bed to be showered with gifts and flowers by family members. They may then wear special flower garlands and walk around a sacred fire.

Gifts, flowers, candlelight – all these things seem to be common to newlywed romance everywhere. But these Indian traditions remind us how important it is to set the scene.

Your wedding night is a ritual – so make your space a ritual space, whether it’s a hotel, vacation rental, or just your bedroom at home. And any ritual space must be carefully prepared and dedicated in an out-of-the-norm way. 

How you do that is up to you – with candles, incense, music, special props or talismans, or all of the above. Keep it special by collaborating on constructing your stage set of love.

Remember it’s about you two and only you, so make it as sexy, sultry, or even silly as you want it to be. (Another Indian wedding night tradition involves witty banter and exchanging jokes, to ease tension and de-stress – a lovely idea, because who couldn’t stand to unwind a little?)

Celtic Tradition: The Ties That Bind.

The term “handfasting” is very old, and originates with the Celtic peoples of the British Isles. The Celts were subjugated ethnic minorities for centuries, and they often had to perform their traditional marriage ceremonies “off the books” and outside the authority of the governing church.

So “handfasting” came to mean an “unofficial official” marriage, betrothal, or contract, where a couple declares their union to be true and real regardless of what the Authorities say; an act of defiance and transgression.

Beginning in the 1960s, Neopagan communities arose and claimed the term “handfasting” to mean an actual pagan marriage, with a ceremonial binding of the couple’s wrists during the ceremony to symbolize their union. 

Is this a “real” Celtic tradition? Unclear. It probably isn’t. In later years, wrist-binding has become a more mainstream component of some nontraditional wedding ceremonies even if the couple doesn’t identify as Celtic or Pagan at all. 

It sounds pretty kinky to us, though. Both the tying-up, and the older idea of transgression and rebellion.

On your wedding night, consider planning to indulge a kink that the two of you have never done together before. That could be bondage or anything else – and it will require that key element of all successful intimacy, communication. 

Discuss what you want to try beforehand – extensively. Discuss boundaries, safewords, and comfort levels out of the bedroom, and make sure that both of you are wildly excited about this new adventure before you embark upon it. 

You’ll learn more about yourselves and each other, and you’ll give yourselves the gift of something new on your wedding night – partially borrowed from something very old, and certainly not blue in the sense of being sad, melancholy or disappointed.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll find out that the color blue really turns you on.

Life together as a married couple is an endless process of learning, growth, and discovery, so get it started right – on your wedding night. (Or the next one, or the next…)

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