11 True Wedding-Night Confessions

Real brides share what actually happened when they and their grooms stole away for the wedding night.

Photo Credit: More Than An Image

The Big Day is over, and you and your new husband head up to your hotel suite for a romantic champagne toast, followed by an amazing romp in bed. Well, anyway, that’s what happens in Hollywood films. Since real life is often not so picture perfect, we asked some recent newlyweds to share what really happened.

“Before the wedding, my husband and I had separate hotel rooms, but we were planning to stay in my room on our wedding night. So after everything was over, I went upstairs, changed into my lingerie, filled two glasses with champagne and waited for my new husband. But he never came! It turns out I’d forgotten to give him a room key. And I was so tired after the long night that I fell completely asleep and didn’t hear either my cellphone or room phone. He waited for 30 minutes in his room and spent another 30 minutes begging the hotel staff to let him into mine. To verify that he was who he said he was, a hotel employee had to come in with him. And there I was, asleep in a chair, wearing my lingerie and still holding onto a full glass of champagne.”
—Bobbi, Richmond VA

“Right after the wedding we went up to our hotel room with a whole bunch of friends and relatives. My sister had gotten us a karaoke machine, so we sang with everyone until 4 a.m.—with me still in my wedding dress, eating chips and drinking wine. It was the best night of my life.”
—Nancy, New York City

“We got married in the morning on a beach in St. John in the U.S.V.I. After the wedding brunch, we all went for a sailboat ride. We had lots more planned, but I was so exhausted that when we returned from the ride, I passed out in a beach chair for the rest of the afternoon. That night, we went out to dinner and I could barely keep my eyes open. Needless to say, I went straight to sleep!”
—Mollie, San Francisco

“By the time we checked into the Ritz-Carlton hotel after the reception, it was very late. We stopped on the concierge level, which had a lounge that offers evening treats. I wanted chocolate-covered strawberries, but since it was sooooo late, the lounge was closed. Despite this, John begged the hotel staff to put together a huge platter of sweets. It was awesome!”
—Vicki, Atlanta, GA

“On our wedding night, we were back at our hotel room by 10 p.m. We hung out with friends in our suite until no one could keep their eyes open anymore—except me! I was far too excited to sleep, but my new husband had no problem at all passing out while I just stared at the ceiling for hours, going over the day. I bet most people have pretty low-key wedding nights and save the wild stuff for the honeymoon.”
—Dori, New York City

“My wife and I were so engrossed with the wedding that we never had a chance to eat. Our caterer gave us doggie bags. When we got back to our hotel room around midnight, all we could think about was food. But when we opened our bags, everything was cold and there were no utensils. We didn’t care; we sat on our bed shoveling handfuls of rice, asparagus, fish and fowl into our mouths. When we finally got between the sheets, there was rice pilaf everywhere.”
—Neil, Lexington, KY

“I drank a little too much at my wedding. When I was getting undressed, I broke the baby pearl bracelet that a friend had lent me. I was so upset at myself that there was no ‘consummation of the marriage.’ Worse, I woke up the next day, very hung over.”
—Vikki, Mill Valley, CA

“I was so tired after our wedding that I went to our room, took off my wedding dress and fell asleep. We both woke up starving in the middle of the night, so we drove to a 24-hour convenience store and loaded up on snacks.”
—Theresa, Reading, PA

“I woke up, went to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror, I was totally surprised to see that a small pillow was attached to my head as if it was glued there. I realized I’d forgotten to take out the hundred or so bobby pins in my hair, and some of them had gotten hooked on the pillow.”
—Jessica, Oakland, CA

“We planned to spend our wedding night at a hotel and to fly to Hawaii the next day. We’d barely eaten at our wedding, so we ordered pasta from room service. My husband got so ill he had to go to a hospital emergency room with what turned out to be an allergic reaction to the shellfish in the pasta. It goes without saying, we missed our flight to Hawaii.”
—Susan, Madison, WI

“I wanted to make sure our room would look completely different from the one in which I’d had my hair and makeup done earlier in the day (when I was still single!). So I asked my wedding planner to add vases of flowers and scented candles, dim the lights, put on music and put some small snacks on a tray on the bed. My husband loved it!”
—Patricia, Boston, MA

Experts Weigh In

From Janet Dunnington, owner of CEO Weddings & Events in Vermont:
“Cover your wedding bed in petals that are the same color as your bridal flowers. If you’re having a winter wedding, plan to have a fire crackling in the fireplace when you get up to your room. Then place throw pillows on the floor and sip champagne together. It’s great to surprise your partner by arranging to have food and drinks waiting in your room. One bride loved chocolate-chip cookies, so I made sure a homemade batch was there on a platter for her.”

From Xochitl Gonzalez of Always a Bridesmaid Wedding Consulting & Event Design, New York City:
“Be sure to spring for a hotel suite. I know it sounds obvious, but since so many couples live together today, they may decide just to head home and save some money. Don’t! You should go someplace special, if only to remind yourselves that this is your first night together MARRIED! Also, don’t forget the lingerie. Your moms and grandmas wore bridal peignoirs—the nightgowns that girls received for their wedding nights and honeymoons. It’s an old tradition, but it’s nice to have something new and sexy (not necessarily a nightgown!) to sleep in.”