It’s rather sad news to hear but according to new research, more than half of newlywed couples do not end up consummating their marriage on their wedding night. Top reasons for this include the groom or bride being too drunk, the couple being too tired, or the fact that the happy couple had argued during the reception. Awkward!

Depressing, much? For one, this is a classy event that is supposed to take your life in a new and exciting direction. The last thing you’d want is for your other half to be more focused on making use of the free drinks and acting like it’s any other Friday night on the town! Celebrating is great – but forgetting the fact that it’s your wedding, not so much.

A couple fighting during the reception is just as dismal a reason. Yes they are tired; it’s been a long and emotional day, and an even longer journey to get to this point. But I feel like if they have the right attitude, and are eager to start their lives together, no small thing is going to stop them from enjoying their day.  Maybe it’s the couples who focus on “The Day” rather than “The Marriage” who are going to find more to bicker about during their wedding.

Apart from this study though, a few more reasons come to mind to explain the lack of consummation. The most obvious would be that most couples have slept together long before they even think about marriage. Hence, the wedding night ends up being just another ordinary night.

The other reason would be the fact that weddings are so much more stressful than they used to be. Back in the day, it was a celebration of love, and a new beginning. These days, it’s a lot more about the dress and the cake and the table settings and the DJ and how your wedding compares to that of others. After a whole nerve-racking day of wondering whether everyone is enjoying what you’ve spent months (or years) meticulously planning, no wonder it would be tough to stay awake after the reception is done and dusted!

I think couples need to stop and examine the focus of their wedding: are they just throwing the biggest party of their lives? Or are they celebrating the fact that they’ve found a good person to love and accompany them as they walk through life?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.