Wedding Night Sex

Hello. I am getting married this upcoming July. My fiance and I have talked a lot about our expectations and desires for our physical relationship. We have not had intercourse, but do engage in physical activity. We are both finishing school and do not want to start a family for a few years. We are both catholic. We have talked about family planning and contraception. Although it is a hard decision to make and we both believe that contraception is not preferable, we decided that as of right now we will use birth control at least for our wedding night and the honeymoon. After that we plan to use NFP.

We have abstained from sex for nearly 6 years now and want to have sex on our wedding night, but do not want to get pregnant. Is it possible to do this without using contraception if NFP cycle doesn’t match up with our wedding night? Any advise/simalar experiances from married couples would be greatly appreciated. Don’t be afraid to be critical or voice your opinion. Thank you.

The way I read it, you are saying that you’ve waited 6 years to give yourselves fully to each other, but on your wedding night you are going to start out by not giving yourself fully to each other because of the date. Really what difference does it make if you wait another few days, or even a week after your wedding date? Believe me, there are worse situations in which couples are tempted to use ABC. Either you’re for it or against it.

Are you or have you taken NFP classes yet? If not, go to one now, so that you’ll be really good at charting and you’ll know your cycle in July. It may not even be an issue. If it is, the more you know about your cycle the less amount of time you’ll have to wait.

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Do it the right way, you’ll be happy you did.

If you’re thinking of not concemating the marriage on the wedding night, I would suggest not taking that course of action. Yeah, it’s a risk in terms of pregancy, but you’re not truely married (per God and Church) until the marriage is concemated. At least from my persective, it would seem fustrating to go through all that wedding ceramony stuff (mass wedding etc, and my fiance and I will be doing the same next October) to not actually seal the deal on that night.

BTW we’ve also agreed upon NFP. It’s very important to both of us to live a sacramental marriage. It’s great hearing other people are making the same choice we are.

It is not a “hard decision to make” at all when one is focused on holiness and pleasing God. Contraception is ALWAYS a gravely wrong act. It is a mortal sin. This has nothing to do with being “preferrable” or not. You are not free to choose contraception, ever. Authentic freedom comes from doing the will of God. Contraception violates God’s law. It is a sin.

You will have a decision to make on your wedding night-- engage in sexual intercourse or not. This decision will be made for a variety of reasons-- whether or not you are fertile during that time is one of them. Your level of exhaustion after a very full wedding day may be another. Illness or fatigue can be another. You don’t know what your wedding day will bring.

If, on your wedding night you find yourself to be fertile, and you have a serious reason to avoid pregancy, then you will need to wait to be intimate until you are past the fertile time. It’s as simple as that.

You describe your desire to have sex and not get pregnant as what you “want.” You need to always be mindful of what God wants. You must always align your own wants with the moral law. So, if you “want” to avoid pregnancy, then you may need to forego intercourse for a few days. If you “want” intercourse, you may need to decide that avoiding pregnancy isn’t that important. You may not be able to have “both” on the day you “want” to, you may have to subordinate your “wants.”

What you should not do is give in to your “wants” by contracepting. It is gravely wrong.

Tons of people have abstained on their wedding nights, or part of their honeymoon, due to a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. You cannot predict cycles far in advance. It is a sin to use contraception. So, don’t start your marriage off in grave offense of God. Instead, practice self control and self sacrifice if you feel called to avoid pregnancy.

You should start learning NFP and then if you are fertile on your wedding night you may abstain until you are infertile as long as you have good reason to do so. Take the classes as soon as possible so that you have several cycles under your belt. You will want to find a good teacher to check over your charts with you as a accuracy check.
You may certainly postpone consummating your marriage if you have good reason to do so. Just wait until your cycle works. You may show love and caring you each other in other non sexual ways until then.

You should probably get some advice from a priest on your reasons to postpone children. To discuss your reasons. Have you read Humanae Vitae?

You have a wonderful opportunity of living in the beautiful grace of the Sacrament of Marriage and you plan to dirty it with the sin of contraception. Please reconsider. Do some study on chastity to strengthen yourselves.

You might want to study Theology of the Body.Any of the studies that are out there may be helpful
Two other books that might help.–
The Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West
Holy Sex… by Greg Popcak

Please, prayerfully reconsider this plan of using contraception.Maybe go to the church with your fiance and sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a while.
Congratulations on your engagement !


This is absolutely false.

You might want to start learning NFP now so that you can develop confidence. This will help in two ways: 1) if it is a fertile night, you will know you only have to wait a few days (after six years, your relationship can survive a few more days) 2) you will be able to be confident about having sex when the time is right (instead of still worrying about not knowing NFP and your cycle well enough).

Just my two cents. Feel free to take or discard,

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So after abstaining all these years, instead of following God’s plan for your marriage, you are going to make a mortal sin out of every sexual act during your first week of marriage? What a horrific way to start your life together - by separating yourselves from God and putting yourselves in danger of hell on your wedding night.

Have you taken the NFP classes yet? If not, how will you know whether or not you’re fertile at that time? Instead of planning in advance to destroy your souls on the wedding night, why not educate yourselves instead, and if it turns out you’re fertile, either a.) abstain or b.) trust in God’s providence that He will not give you more than you can handle. (Personally I would choose option b.)

I think you need to educate yourselves on the Church’s teaching on contraception. (See the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and/or books by Christopher West such as Theology of the Body for Beginners and Good News About Sex and Marriage.)

I also recommend this blog post by Mark Mallett, “An Intimate Testimony”:

LIKE most Catholic newlyweds, neither my wife Lea nor I knew much about the Church’s teaching on birth control. It wasn’t mentioned in our “engagement encounter” course, nor at any other time during wedding preparations. We’d never heard a teaching from the pulpit on it, and it wasn’t something that we had thought to discuss much with our parents. And if our consciences were pricked, we were able to quickly dismiss it as an “unreasonable demand.”

So when our wedding day neared, my fiancée did what most women do: she started taking “the pill.”

About eight months into our marriage, we were reading a publication in which we discovered that the birth control pill can be an abortificant. We were horrified! Had we unknowingly ended the life of one—or several—of our own children? We quickly learned the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception and decided then and there that we were going to follow what Peter’s successor was telling us. After all, I was bothered by “cafeteria” Catholics who picked and chose whichever teachings of the Church they would follow and those they wouldn’t. And here I was doing the same thing!

We went to Confession shortly after and began to learn about the natural ways that a woman’s body signals the onset of fertility so that a couple can plan their family naturally, within God’s design. The next time we united as husband and wife, there was a powerful release of grace that left both of us weeping, immersed in a profound presence of the Lord. Suddenly, we remembered! This was the first time we united ourselves without birth control; the first time we truly gave of ourselves, one to the other fully, holding back nothing of ourselves, including the awesome power and privilege to procreate.


There is much talk these days about how contraception prevents pregnancy. But there is little discussion on what else it prevents—namely, the full union of husband and wife.

Contraception is like a condom over the heart. It says I am not fully open to the possibility of life. And didn’t Jesus say He was the way, the truth, and the life? Whenever we exclude or deter life, we exclude and deter the presence of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. For this reason alone, birth control has silently divided husbands and wives in ways they cannot comprehend. It has prevented the deepest unity of souls, and therefore, the deepest of unifying and sanctifying graces: life Himself, Jesus, who is the third partner of every sacramental marriage.

Is it any wonder that scientific surveys have found the following results among couples who do not use artificial contraception? They:

* have a dramatically low (0.2%) divorce rate (compared to 50% in the general public);
* experience happier marriages;
* are happier and more satisfied in their everyday lives;
* have considerably more marital relations;
* share a deeper intimacy with spouse than those who contracept;
* realize a deeper level of communication with spouse;

(To see the full results of Dr. Robert Lerner’s study, go to

. . .]


Above all, the friendship with my wife since that decisive day has only grown and our love deepened, despite the growing pains and difficult days which come to everyone. It’s hard to explain, but when you permit God to enter into your marriage, even in its most intimate details, there is always a newness, a freshness that keeps one falling in love all over again as the creative Spirit of God opens up new vistas of union.

Jesus said to the Apostles, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” I wish I had listened to the Holy Father sooner than I did.

If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32) 

I’ll do some more research here, I beleive that it is generally true though. I do know there are certain speacial cases where a lack of sexuality will not result in what I said. For instance Mary and Joseph had a valid marriage because they chose to fulfil Gods commands by giving birth to (Mary) and raising (both) our lord Jesus Christ. I believe also in the case of grave danger to one or both partners in the union extreme measures can be accepted (such as steralization, or no sexuality). But again if there is some emminent danger or other medical reasoning for it.

But I guess what I wonder and will research is what is the rule when no such speacial circomstance exists. I’m not saying that they would just never be married, but consemation is required to complete the marriage. From everything I’ve ever heard (ever) the marriage is not binding until it’s consemated.


Here’s what Fr. Serpa said in Ask An Apologist on that topic:

Q. We understand that only after a marriage is consummated does it become a valid marriage. If Mary is perpetually a virgin and did not have relations with Joseph, how could their marriage have then valid?

A. Your understanding is incorrect. The consumation of the marriage completes it. But the marriage is valid immediatey after the couple have pronouced their vows. Mary and Joseph were validly married.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Unconsummated marriage are VALID:

Can. 1061 §1. A valid marriage between the baptized is called ratum tantum if it has not been consummated; it is called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which the spouses become one flesh.

§2. After a marriage has been celebrated, if the spouses have lived together consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.

Can. 1141 A marriage that is ratum et consummatum can be dissolved by no human power and by no cause, except death.

Can. 1142 For a just cause, the Roman Pontiff can dissolve a non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and a non-baptized party at the request of both parties or of one of them, even if the other party is unwilling.

An unconsummated marriage can be *dissolved *by the Pope. This would mean the marriage is never consummated and they seek to dissolve the marriage (i.e. divorce and petition the Pope). An unlikely scenario in the case of two people merely postponing the act for a few days.

Could you quote where I said it’s invalid? I never said that. Perhaps that’s what you understood, and if I wasn’t clear I appologize. But I never said it was an invalid marriage. I said it was not a completed marraige.

You said, “but you’re not truely married (per God and Church)”

This is false. They are indeed “truly” married per God and the Church. A marriage that is ratum tantum is 100% valid. The couple is “truly” married.

This is why I feel sorry for young people these days. In reality, your situation should be every soon to be married couple’s situation. We are supposed to wait until we are married and not contracept. So that leaves us all in the same position - learn NFP, and if on the wedding night the couple is fertile, make a decision on whether or not they have reason to avoid a pregnancy, and wait, or not, based on that decision. But for some odd reason, you see yourselves as not the same as other couples. You see your situation as different, special, an odd problem. You are not wrong, just because you are not the norm. They are wrong! Don’t fall for it.

I am promising you that if you want to live a truly Catholic marriage, you will be faced with many, many more moral decisions in which it will be much easier to “do what everyone else is doing” - taking what seems to be the easy way out. And the easy way out will be much more inviting than just not having to wait a few days after your wedding night.

If you want the truly Catholic marriage, start now. Find some Catholics that are practicing their faith and hang with them. You are going to need a lot of support.


Waiting a few extra days won’t kill you. :slight_smile: My wife and I had to wait until half way through our honeymoon. We survived just fine.

Please do not start off your married life together by acting contrary to the natural moral law and Church teaching. Contraception is never okay.

I will pray for you and your fiance as you prepare for your marriage. Please pray for me, too.

I’ve known couples that have been fertile for their wedding night and honeymoon. One couple did not get pregnant, but consummated their marriage. Another couple got pregnant right away, even though they were thinking they wanted to wait a while. They are absolutely thrilled and don’t regret their decision. Why? Because they are following God’s plan for their lives, rather than disrupting His Will with contraceptives. There are two options, go for it and trust that God’s plan is awesome, or abstain until you are infertile. If you are in serious need of delaying pregnancy, then that is your only choice.

To the OP - you might check out the Couple to Couple League for guidance and encouragement.

Yes, don’t start your marriage out with Mortal sin. :frowning: Plus, if it’s ok to use contraception on your wedding night, what’s so wrong about using it in 6 months when you’re really in the mood, but you’re fertility requires you to abstain? And then the next month, and the next?

Really, if you have to abstain on your wedding night (and 6 months in advance, you have no idea if you will have to), you won’t regret waiting. But do you really want the memory of your first time to be one that is an ugly, selfish act (as contraceptive sex is), instead of a loving, giving act - even if it is a few days later than you’d hoped? And another thought - wedding days are EXHAUSTING! It may not be that big of a sacrifice not to do it that night. But if it is a sacrifice, you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that you are inviting God into your marriage by being obedient to Him, even when it’s difficult.

Maybe you’re not aware of why the Church teaches contaception is wrong. A good tape to listen to is Janet Smith’s “Contaception: Why Not?” (not sure where to get it). Also, Christopher West does talks and has written books about the Theology of the Body. Anything of his would be good because he can explain the Church’s understanding of sex in a way that you can really understand.

Also, I’d like to urge you to reconsider your physical relationship with each other as it stands now. Depending on how physical you are, you may be putting yourself in the position of very serious sin already. This is definitely not a good way to start a marriage. I say this as one who also “fooled around” but didn’t have “intercourse” prior to marriage. Like you, I wanted to save that for the wedding night. But I can tell you, many years later, I have many regrets about the way our pre-marrital relationship played out. I wish so much that I had had the courage to be truly chaste, instead of just drawing the line at intercourse, and accepting anything that didn’t cross over that line. I’m telling you now, if you do seek to follow the Church’s teaching, then you WILL grow as the years go by, and in 10 years, you WILL regret it. It’s hard to see now, because you have a different perspective, but it is true.

Thanks for the input. I have never posted on a forum anywhere and the response I got today was amazing. This is quite possibly one of the most neglected aspects of our catholic relationship together and we will address it. Thank you so much for your help. I rarely ask to be prayed for, but please consider praying for us. Thanks again.

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