A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Consummation

As to cases involving another ceremony in addition to the Bahá’í one, the friends should bear in mind that according to Bahá’í Law the consummation of the marriage must take place within twenty-four hours of the Bahá’í marriage ceremony. If other marriage ceremonies are to be held in addition to the Bahá’í one, all the ceremonies must precede consummation of the marriage and, together with the consummation fall within one twenty-four hour period. Naturally any requirements of civil law as to the order in which the ceremonies should be held must be observed.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 389-390)


The consummation of marriage by a couple is, as you aptly state, an intimate and private matter outside the scrutiny of others. While consummation normally implies a sexual relationship, the Bahá’í Law requiring consummation to take place within twenty-four hours of the ceremony can be considered as fulfilled if the couple has commenced co-habitation with the intention of setting up the family relationship.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 389-390)