• Missy Sheen

From the Theological to the Practical: Tips for Your Wedding Night


You said your vows, had a beautiful wedding, and now, it’s your wedding night.


While the Church may provide us with a spiritual and theological understanding of marriage, there are some, let’s say, more “practical” aspects of a couple’s first night together and subsequent attempts at “renewing their vows” that no one in the Church ever quite talks about.


Enter Hollywood, where “the deed” occurs seamlessly, effortlessly, and with a fantasy-like quality, whereas the actual, lived experience is far more raw, funny, and intimate than it ever appears on screen. In real life, there are no makeup artists, lighting and sound specialists, body doubles, or crews of people to assist the moment.


Fortunately, we do have grace, humor, and patience. I therefore suggest, with humility, the following seven tips for your real Catholic wedding night, which I will explain by way of the following metaphor:


In real life, there are no makeup artists, lighting and sound specialists, body doubles, or crews of people to assist the moment. Fortunately, we do have grace, humor, and patience.


The Scene

Someone has given you a car. You don’t know much about it or what’s really under the hood, but after learning the theory of how to “drive,” you and your spouse are now about to embark on your first road trip together. You are nervous and uncertain, and, while you have a solid knowledge of what this adventure will entail, the following “roadside” tips may still be of assistance.


1. Sometimes, cars don’t start.

Especially the first time you learn to drive, you may not leave the parking lot before burning through all of your fuel. It happens — especially when you are getting used to the car — so don’t worry. As the old saying goes, “Try, try, and try again.”


2. Sometimes, cars break down mid-trip.

Breakdowns can occur for a variety of reasons, including performance anxiety, fatigue, and stress. No need to panic; you can’t always reach your preferred destination when you plan to, but the journey is just as important as the destination, and mishaps are part of the adventure. You can always laugh, hug, and talk about the future.


3. You may need to adjust the front seats.

Yes, this tip is all about height, angles, and positioning the “seats” in order to get on the road. Trial and error might be involved, along with adjusting, readjusting, and sometimes resetting mid-trip. It’s human, it’s normal, and it’s nothing you can’t keep in perspective.


4. Sometimes, you need to oil the parts.

Just like a real car, sometimes, some parts need a little “greasing” to reduce friction. As couples familiar with NFP may be aware, the female body produces its own natural lubricant at certain times of the month to indicate fertility. What NFP doesn’t tell you is that, outside of that fertility window, a little lube can keep the road trip smooth.


5. You might be in different gears.

If one spouse is in fourth gear while the other spouse is still in second, the first spouse will arrive at his or her destination much more quickly than the other. Don’t worry; it takes time and practice for you both to reach the same destination at the same time.


6. Be OK with what’s under the hood.