With each generation, married couples get less likely to have sex on their wedding night - although most couples still manage it
Spending on weddings is higher than ever – now averaging £21,000 – but consummation on wedding night is a ritual in decline.
New YouGov research reveals over one in five (22%) of current married couples did not have sex on their wedding night. Among under 40s, this rises to 32% of couples who did not consummate the marriage on their wedding night. The figure is smallest for the over 60s - of whom only 16% say they did not have sex on their wedding night.
8% of under-40s say they can't remember if they had sex on their wedding night.
Older people are more likely to not have had sex before marriage (15% of over 60s compared to 5% of under 40s). But this difference is only half as big as the difference between older and younger married couples who did not consummate their wedding, and cannot fully explain why many British people don't have sex on their special day.
The chief reason seems to be exhaustion. 48% say they were too tired after their wedding – perhaps a consequence of over-planning and high expectations. 21% say it's because they drank too much, while periods, pregnancy and arguments are cited less often (3% each).
Research by YouGov in Germany has found sex on the wedding night is even less common there – 58% of German married couples did and 32% did not, compared to 70% and 22% respectively in Britain.