Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, the couple can have intercourse on the first night of their marriage if they want to. There is nothing in sharee’ah to indicate the number of times a couple may or should have intercourse, because this varies according to circumstances and personal preferences. As long as people vary in their abilities it is not possible for sharee’ah to impose a specific number in such cases. But intercourse is the right of the wife and is a duty on the husband. Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Intercourse is a duty on the man – i.e., the husband should have intercourse with his wife – so long as he has no excuse. This is also the opinion of Maalik.” (al-Mughni, 7/30)
Imaam al-Bukhaari reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘O ‘Abd-Allah, have I not heard that you fast all day and stand all night in prayer?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He said: ‘Do not do that. Fast and break your fast, stand in prayer and sleep. For your body has rights over you, your eyes have rights over you, and your wife has rights over you.’” In the commentary on this hadeeth, it says: “The husband should not exhaust himself in worship to the extent that he becomes too weak to fulfil her rights by having intercourse with her and by earning a living.”(Fath al-Bari)
It is also the wife’s right that her husband should spend his nights with her. Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali said: “If he has a wife, he should spend one night in four with her, so long as he has no excuse.”(Al-Mughni, 7/28; Kashf al-Qinaa’, 3/144).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “It is obligatory for the husband to have intercourse with his wife as much as is needed to satisfy her, so long as this does not exhaust him physically or keep him away from earning a living… If they dispute over this matter, the judge should prescribe more in the way of intercourse just as he may prescribe more in the way of spending.”(Al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah min Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, p. 246)
Sharee’ah also requires that a wife be protected from immorality by means of her husband having intercourse with her, as much as is needed to satisfy her and to provide this protection. But there is no way that this can be stated in terms of a specific period of time, such as four months, or more, or less. It should be defined according to the wife’s needs and her husband’s ability to fulfil her rights… All of this applies in normal circumstances, when the husband is present and living with his wife.
If the husband is absent from his wife because he is travelling for a legitimate purpose or other legitimate excuse, in this case the husband should try not to be absent from his wife for too long.
If he is absent because he is doing something for the benefit of the Muslims as a whole, such as participating in jihaad for the sake of Allaah or patrolling the borders of Islam, he should be permitted to go back to his family once every four months or less, so that he can spend time with them before returning to his duties in jihaad or border patrol. This was the policy of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him), who stipulated that soldiers and members of the border patrol should be absent from their wives for only four months, after which time they should be brought back and others sent to take their place…(Al-Mufassal fi Ahkaam al-Mar’ah by Zaydaan, 7/239).
And Allaah is the source of strength.