Wedding nights are supposedly for consummating a marriage. The joining of two families in this manner was once an occasion that required witnesses, especially a politically-arranged marriage. Outside of such unpleasant requirements, wedding nights have their own customs in various parts of the world that have been handed down over the centuries. They include games, pranks, superstitions, and fun.
In Korea, sometimes the groom’s friends get together to lend him a helping hand in case he’s worried about not performing on the wedding night. In the book Wedding Bells and Chimney Sweeps, Bruce Montague describes a post-wedding ceremony game in which the groom’s friends remove the newly married man’s socks, tie his ankles together, and beat the soles of his feet with fish. Specifically, with dried corvina fish, a yellow species that can grow up to three feet in length.
During the game, the groom is subject to interrogation, and should his answers be unsatisfactory, the beating with the fish becomes more severe. Though Montague writes that the game is meant to “acclimatize the new husband to his first night of matrimony,” other sources are more explicit and say that the process is thought to act like Viagra, to ensure that the groom doesn’t disappoint on his wedding night.
Read about more of these wedding night rituals and traditions at Atlas Obscura.