Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Separation before the wedding

So, FI & I live together (and have for a couple years). My parents tell me that it is traditionally that the couple be apart for about a week or so before the wedding and are expecting that I'm going to go stay at their house for a week.

Has anyone here heard of such a tradition?

On one hand, it might make it extra exciting to see FI on the wedding day after not seeing him for a whole week and we have out-of-town family at my parents house who it would be really nice to spend the extra time with.

But, on the other hand, I don't know if FI & I can handle any extra excitement.  There are last minute wedding things to do (which I guess could be done from mom's house), packing for the HM (and staying at mom's means an extra suitcase for the week there, and probably a load of laundry the day after the wedding before we head off on the HM).  And mom is even more anxious/worked up about wedding stuff than I am and seems to try to find extra things that I should worry about. Also, while I am working (full-time) the week before the wedding, she is not and will probably want to stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking (of course as a grown woman I should be able to say "right work in 6 hours so I'm going to bed", but it will be tough if "bed" is a pull out couch in the middle of the house; and also tough because I do like long conversations with my mom). I'm also worried that FI will go stir crazy being at home all by himself for a week.

Re: Separation before the wedding

  • I haven't heard of that tradition before, seems like it would add a lot of additional stress to you that you certainly wouldn't need at the time. I've heard of the bride and groom spending the night before the wedding apart ie) the bride and her girls sleep at one house, and the groom and his guys sleep at another house, then you don't see each other until the ceremony etc. Judging by everything you've explained it seems like spending a week apart right before the wedding wouldn't be a great idea. Like, it's totally a personal choice and whatever works best for you guys. It's not like there's a rule somewhere saying "you must spend a week apart before the wedding...or else", you know? Good luck with everything :)
  • There are different traditions for different regions and cultures. I might try to compromise with them and offer to stay 2 nights, which would work out because the day before the wedding you're pampering yourself and tying up loose ends anyway, then the next day is the wedding!
  • The longest I've heard of is separating overnight.  We didn't even do that; we got ready separately, but the rest of the wedding day we spent together.
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    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Two of my friends (two different couples) planned to go without sex before the marriage.  One couple abstained for about a week I think and the other didn't make it!!  I don't remember how long they were going for.  Not sure if they slept in different hosues, but prob not.
  • edited July 2010
    Never heard of this.  And frankly, I wouldn't want to be staying away from my own home for a week.  I think a lot of people (parents included) mistake 'tradition' for something they want or see as a good idea. 

    Especially if you all have been living together, why do it?  Does it really matter whether your parents expect it?  You're an adult.
  • I've heard of this and wanted to spend a week apart from my fiancee since we currently live together. (or should I say not wanted to be apart for a week , but wanted out wedding day to be extra special since we were apart for a week). We both have to work before the wedding plus I have school. It is not easily possible for either of us to spend a week away from home. Since I would hate to see myfiancee tired, frustrated, and over all out of sorts from having to spend a week away from home before a super stressful, but wonderful, wedding day; I told him that spending the night before apart would be fine. In the end it is your day and you have to think about what is best for you and your fiancee. 
  • Won't you see him at the rehearsal?  In which case the wedding won't be the big reunion after a separation.

    I've only heard of being apart the night before and always thought it went back to the tradition of not seeing each other on the day of the wedding so you would part ways the night before to go to your respective homes (going back to when people didn't live together before marriage) to sleep and then see each other at the ceremony the next day.
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  • we're going to be apart for two weeks before the wedding... His family has rented the house next door, and although we've lived together for about 4 years, my mom and dad don't believe in living together before marriage.  So, while I'm staying with them, we thought we'd respect their beliefs and sleep in separate beds.  We'll be on vacation for those two weeks, showing his parents around where I grew up and whatnot, so we'll be spending heaps of time together, but staying in separate houses. 

    I think it'll make the honeymoon that much more special, but their is certainly no requirement that you stay apart for any set period of time. Do what feels right for you!
  • One question that comes to mind when you say this is, How will you do your rehearsal for your ceremony if you are apart for so long before the wedding?

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  • I don't think she's saying don't see each other for a week... that'd be crazy.  But, sleep in separate beds/rooms/houses for a week.  You can still have a rehearsal dinner.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
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    I've always heard of the tradition where the couple parts at the rehearsal dinner and doesn't see each other until the ceremony.  

    Spending the week apart sounds like a giant pain, and it doesn't make much sense.  You'll have a lot to do and relatives will be coming in town, and you'll want to introduce each other to people and you'll need to get some things done.
  • Not to mention that abstaining for a week is a surefire way to make the wedding night less than spectacular.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Yep, I'm on the I've-never-hear-of-this-tradition train as well.  Do whatever you want.  But, I don't think what your parents are describing is a "tradition."
  • I've always thought it was just the night before the wedding, not the entire week.
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  • Yes, I've heard of this tradition.  My parents have told me of a similar tradition, and instead of a week, two weeks of separation.  Our religious traditions and my parents beliefs contribute to this.  My parents don't believe that we should live together before our marriage, so right now, my fiance and I live in separate places.

    It is my understanding that this time is not complete separation, just sleeping in separate places.  Technically, you could still see your fiance, just not sleep in the same house. I agree with many who have already posted, that it will make the wedding day, and night, more special because of the time spent apart.  But I also agree that this will add extra stress and cause a fiance to go 'stir-crazy.'    Truthfully, this should be your decision and you and your fiance should weigh the pros and cons.

     When making my decision, I spoke at length with my parents about their opinions and decided that I wanted to respect their beliefs that "absence makes the heart grow fonder."
  • How much of a "tradition" could it be when it didn't become common to live together before marriage till sometime in the '80s?

    Personally I think the idea is silly -- stay where you're both comfortable and can get the most done. If you want to separate maybe the night before, do it; if not, just keep living in your own house.
  • I agree with didn't become common for couples to live together before marriage until the last 2-3 decades. How your mother can be claiming this "tradition" is beyond me. My fiance and I aren't going to live together before we're married, but we'll probably both be staying at his parent's house before the wedding (getting married in his hometown, not where we live) and sleeping in separate rooms.

     I think your mom just wants to spend time with you :) Do your best to indulge her in your evenings/free time, but otherwise, spend time where you're most comfortable!
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