If you’re thinking about getting married or are engaged and planning your wedding dinner and reception menu, it’s not too late to consider why you chose to marry someone. Some believe God created marriage. Others consider it a binding contract requiring a prenuptial agreement to individual assets.
That’s why some choose to alternatively say Marriage means how to get married without a wedding. It can be either of these or something a loving couple doesn’t need to legitimize their relationship and lifelong commitment. Both types of couples may want children and think getting married is “the right thing to do” for them. A couple who has had children may feel obligated to marry to formalize their relationship and family. Despite their true desires, those with strong childbearing and marriage beliefs often feel obligated to follow this path. Two people can start a family without marrying. Other options may appeal to parents who aren’t religiously or socially obligated to marry.
Even though we live in turbulent and lenient times regarding the standard traditions of the decades, there are legal, viable, and far less stressful alternatives to traditional marriage than planning a wedding, the feast that goes with it, a highly anticipated reception to celebrate with friends and family, and (last but not least) an entire future together. Some people enjoy planning their dream wedding with a big party, but others don’t.
Marriage is legal. It doesn’t disappear when a couple splits or removes their rings. If the marriage ends, the courts (which seem far removed from the actual ceremony) will not acknowledge this without filing for a divorce, which is a much more complicated (and expensive) legal situation than the few minutes it took to get your marriage license. Divorces can take months or even years to finalize in any jurisdiction. You had to apply for that license to marry your partner. Divorcing is often harder than dissolving a business partnership because it involves bedroom emotions rather than boardroom ones, and passions can run high when the legal process drags out your unwanted relationship even longer. (Some states allow divorces for physical abandonment, but that’s a different topic.) If you’ve chosen to spend your life with someone but have grown unhappy and bitter, every asset in your home and life will have to be divided, and few couples have enough to split evenly. Many spouses go into a divorce feeling spiteful and causing more problems as a final act of revenge or punishment against the person they feel wronged them. As awful as it sounds, it happens often. If the fairy tale dream wasn’t real, you can save time, money, and frustration by divorcing without that legal binding.
Want a Home?
This is possible without a marriage contract or “until death we do part.” A non-married couple may worry about their relationship lasting as long as a thirty-year mortgage, but a hopeful married couple may not. Again, if things fall apart and the bridge of handling the home must be crossed, it may be less stressful to cross it without the court’s intervention and have someone else decide the outcome. If a couple wants to split, they can hire lawyers or mediators.
Women no longer need men to take care of them, and financial dependence should never be a reason to get married or live together. Before committing, each partner must be able to support themselves and their property. If so, the relationship is just the icing on a happy, stable life.
Not all couples agree to marry with a ceremony, bells, whistles, and a legal binding. They may merge their lives without marrying. Modern couples are happy to buy rings, have a small ceremony with their loved ones, and recite lifelong vows without legal involvement. Many couples follow tradition.