Will living together really make our wedding night less special?

Guest post by Tessa Bailey

Cross stitch from Naughty Needlepoint
Cross stitch from Naughty Needlepoint
Just like many, many, many men/women/unaligned-and-loving-it folks on Offbeat Bride, I've been living with my partner for several years now. We've been dating for four years, moved across the country together — hell, we've even adopted a one-eyed kitten together. We're so used to being together that when he went to SXSW for five days I literally couldn't get a night's sleep because the bed felt too weird without him.

Basically, issues of co-dependency aside, I think it's safe to say that we're living much more like a married couple already than most engaged people have throughout the vast majority of history. And possibly some married couples too — hey, I'm not here to judge.

Personally, I think this situation is awesome. I can go into my wedding day absolutely sure that this is a man that I'm not only head over heels for, but also a man that I can share a bathroom with without wanting to stab him. These things matter when you're 75, wearing dentures, and contemplating the slow but inevitable decline into wearing nothing but muumuus. (I plan to be as eccentric as possible in my elderly years.)

So it's been interesting to find out how many people think that living together pre-marriage seems to somehow make it “less special.”

The first indication I had was when my future husband looked at me whilst in post-coital bliss. “Should we, like, not have sex for two weeks before the wedding? You know, to make the wedding night special?”

Now, if self-denial turns you on then I'm all for this plan leading to stupid-hot sex, but I'm kind of a “more-is-more” girl myself. So I thought, if anything, we should be practicing pre-wedding — you know, to make sure we get it right.

He seemed relieved with my answer, but it didn't stop there. Since then my Mom has suggested that we “maybe hold off on some things to make it special,” (ew, Mooooooooom!) and I've read repeatedly about couples who even forgo kissing in order to make that First Kiss extra-special.

There's that word again. “Special.”

What's so un-special about the deep love we have? The commitment we're entering into? The fact that we know each other so well and are so happy to be spending the rest of our lives together?

Love is in the air © by Tobias FIdelis, used and remixed under Creative Commons license.
It's not that our sex life is unimportant, but damnit people: marriage isn't about sex in this day and age! We've become liberated! We've got The Pill! The majority of people don't enter into the Sacred Covenant Of Marriage without having been around the block a few times, if you know what I mean (go ask your mother).

Damnit, my wedding is going to be special because it's MINE. My whole marriage is going to be special, even on the boring days when we have to do our taxes, or the bad days when we get in a fight over what kind of milk to buy. For that matter, every time we have sex it's special, because it's us and it's an expression of love and because it's REALLY HOT. I don't need a wedding night to be turned on.

I don't believe you have to recreate some sort of pseudo-temporary virgin-hood in order for your wedding to be Special. I'm glad we're entering into this adventure with the knowledge and experience we have, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Comments on Will living together really make our wedding night less special?

  1. Thanks for posting this! My FH and I had not planned on living together before the wedding. I just had this romantic image in my head that the wedding is a major milestone and should be accompanied by a major life change- like moving in together! Living together, then getting married, then…. just going home like normal, felt anticlimactic to me somehow. BUT- I am also a very practical person. So, when FH’s lease was up we discussed how much rent would cost for the remainder of our engagement. Survey says…… He’s moving in in a couple weeks! I am excited about the move (and I think it will make things easier when things get crazier in a few months).

  2. Amen to that. We’re so busy with full time jobs/part time jobs/full time school that ANYTIME we get to “go around the block”, it;s really, really special.

    Yay for muumuus!

    • I believe in this context, go around the block meant “sleep with lots of different people.”
      Which could totally be what you mean, or not 😉

  3. Himself and I lived together before getting married, and the only thing that made the wedding night less sexytimes than it could have been was that I was exhausted. Once I had a good night’s sleep and we were on our honeymoon… Yeah, it’s still possible to enjoy having bought the cow even if you were getting the milk for free before.

    • Although I totally appreciate what I think is the intended sentiment of this comment (that the enjoyment of sex within marriage is not lessened somehow by pre-maritial sex), I’m uncomfortable with the cow/milk thing for a whole bunch of reasons.

      • Don’t worry, there is an equal opportunity saying for men – Why buy the pig, when all you want is a little sausage!

        • Except that if you get sausage from a pig, it is dead afterwards. We are not preying mantises. Maybe a bee/honey analogy would be better, oh except you’d have to buy the whole hive, and then that would imply that men have a hive mind…

          And the whole point of the saying boils down to the only reason for marriage being sex, which can be had extramaritally. Which is perfectly silly, since marriage is so much more than just sex.

          I think there is no good animal analogy for this situation.

          • I don’t think this expression actually *has* gender lines. It can be applied to both sexes equally–that is, when you are given something freely, not being willing to put in an investment for it. It’s still BS, but I don’t think it’s sexist BS. After all, it can’t be taken *literally*; men generally aren’t interested in women for their milk production (Oh, *there’s* a mental image for you) and it applies just as well in the opposite direction, and for same-sex couples as well. In the past it has been assumed (wrongly) by some that men are only interested in sex or more interested in sex than women, and so the expression has more commonly been applied to the context of a man seeking after a woman, but that’s more an issue of common use than the ability of application.

  4. We had sex the morning of our afternoon wedding, and I am glad we did because by that night we were to tired to do anything but sleep, shower eat and sleep some more. It wasn’t less special when on night two we got down to things. It was the first time I had sex with my husband which made it special- and it was AWESOME.

    • I’ve considered this. Our wedding is midday, we have a lot of out of town guests, and an after party at the beach then into the night until I most definitely crash out before the hubs is ready to stop partying.

      I think it’d be sexy to sneak in a little “us” time morning of before everything gets underway.

      Plus, morning nookie is ALWAYS a good way to start the day 🙂

    • Yeah, I’ve been married before, unlike my guy, he’s under the impression that we’re making love the night of our wedding, I’ve tried telling him we’ll be too tired, but he can’t fathom it – I’ve even had to alter the intended design of my wedding dress because he thinks it’ll take too long to get me out of! (I wish he’d said before, I spent ages on mock ups with calico and boning getting the lacing right).

  5. I thought the special thing about the wedding night these days was spending it in a fancy hotel/overnight accommodation of your choice, before going home again or on honeymoon! Mind you, I’ve never known anyone get married without living together first (even my parents back in ’78). It’s interesting to find out that this stuff still matters to some people. Great post, thank you.

    • A-freakin’-men.
      Because you KNOW you’ll never be satisfied with cereal full of 1%, because you KNOW you can’t stomach soy in your coffee, because you KNOW you hate whole milk with toast.
      It’s worth the extra cents to just buy two half gallons or a little jug of the other stuff.

      • I’ve learned to drink soy milk. But only with my cereal. It’s a sacrifice I make for him.

    • Haha Awesome! This keeps our house sane. We currently have 1/2 gallon of 2%, a 1/2 gallon of skim, and a carton of lactose free. We have a roommate, hence the 3rd type. No small resentment simmering while choking down my cereal in the morning!

    • It seems like such a small thing but ending up with someone who likes the same type of milk made my life so much easier!

      • Haha! There is a FANTASTIC book called “the Impoverished Student’s Book of Cookery, Drinkery, and Housekeepery” where the author states that he and his first wife both liked crunchy peanut butter, and that that was enough to keep them together for X number of years.

        Luckily my man and I like the same kind of milk and peanut butter.

    • Brilliant, it took us two years to realise ‘why not both!’ And so far I can report we have not been made bankrupt from the decision, nor has any milk ever been wasted.

      • True that! We are admittedly a little eccentric, but we use separate silverware and toothpaste too… No arguing, no resentment, just happy times!

  6. Thank you for this post! I think you made some valid points as this is something I always wonder too. I want to live with my man before agreeing to marry him so I know that we will get along for the next 60 years!! You are so right!

    • My dude is the same way! Living together is our test run! Only “problem” is that it drives my mom crazy. I call it a bonus! That will teach her to make me take naps!!!

    • My FH and I live together now. I have a 7 year old son (they ADORE each other) and there were definitely growing pains (parenting, co-parenting, step-parenting, house cleaning, cooking, personal space/time, etc). We’ve worked through so much in the time we’ve lived together.

      I strongly recommend it if it’s something you’re considering. In all honesty, it’s easier to find a new roommate than to realize the person you married is someone you can’t stand to live with.

      • I agree with this 1000000%!
        My fiancé’s parents were both formerly married to other people years ago & they didn’t realize under after the wedding that they were completely incompatible with these people. When they met each other, they did the test run, and loved it’s much they knew they couldn’t live without each other. When my fiancé (then boyfriend) & I started university, we couldn’t afford separate living spaces. A decision based on financial reasons suddenly became the best decision we’d ever made. 2 years of living together made us so happy that our friends used to joke that we made them sick from cute married couple syndrome. This year we had to move to different cities to finish school & we are counting down the days until we can move back in together (and not just for the nookie lol!) we miss it so much! Skyping every few hours, FaceTime when Skype is messing up, sending voice messages and pictures all day… We just want to get back to our tiny little room with the mattress on the floor where we have our soulmate to come home to every night.

    • My mother is the one who told me to always live with a man before you marry him- and she grew up in the 1930’s! She was definitely ahead of her time.

  7. Thank you for this! We caught a lot of crap for living together before we were married. Like you said, I wanted to know 150% that we would be compatible at all times, not just when we saw each other on dates. I would have hated to realize that we weren’t able to stand each other or something after we were married! We got over the initial humps early so that the start of our marriage wasn’t worrying about who gets to sleep on what side of the bed or who gets their toothpaste gunk all over the mirror and needs to clean it. It also really bothered me when people felt the need to comment on how we should conduct our relationship for the last few weeks. I’m sorry, but we had been sleeping together for years before the month leading up to our wedding so it’s not like we could take it back and make it “special”.

    • we too have been living together for the past year and I am so glad that we’ve gotten through those initial bumps & arguments; I think it would actually make marriage harder to move-in AND be married all within a day (or two).

  8. If ritual sex is your thing, or important to your religion, go for it. I know it’s really a big deal for some folks, and I support them.

    … but for me, without any need for religious de-virgining, I am here to say that it was PLENTY special/memorable even though we’d been with each other for years. Yay. 🙂

  9. We had been living together for 8 months before getting married. I don’t feel any less special. I think knowing how difficult my husband is to live with and STILL wanting to be with him forever made it even more significant when I repeated my vows.
    Besides, my sister wanted to hang out after the wedding (we live in different countries and rarely get to see each other), so no special time for the new hubby and I… We were super tired by 3am when we finally kicked them out.
    We still managed to get pregnant (we were trying) on our honeymoon, that’s pretty damned special if I do say so… 🙂

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