If I Get Married, I Don't Need An Offical Wedding

If I Get Married, I Don't Need An Offical Wedding

You can't run from the altar if you weren't at one to begin with.

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Last week, my mom got remarried. I'm super happy for her, and I know she's with a great guy, and all of my friends that knew were so excited. The one question I got asked the most was: when's the wedding? To which I responded: I have no clue. My mom has already had one wedding, and for her, that was more than enough. So, they went and got the documents signed (or whatever needs to be done) at the courthouse when they went on a super cool vacation to California, instead of paying for some big ceremony and/or a reception.

Honestly, I kind of see the appeal of it. As I've gotten older, I've definitely become less feminine, and if you don't see me wearing pants, I'm either at a swim meet or had to dress nicely for a banquet or presentation. Therefore, down the road, if I ever decide to get married, I don't think I'd want any sort of wedding.

My first issue would be the dress, of course. People on shows such as Say Yes to the Dress are willing to spend thousands of dollars for a dress that they wear for one day of their lives. Personally, I'd rather spend that kind of money going on a really dope vacation, or putting it towards saving up for a house, car, or some other expensive purchase.

Next issue: wedding receptions. I've only been to a couple weddings before, but it seems like it would be so stressful to try and plan how many of your close family and friends would be allowed to come to watch you get married, and then pay for a massive party to celebrate it. I know I would want a small group of people but at the same time I know I'd want as many of my friends there as possible. Why deal with the stress of seating arrangements and picking meals and deciding whether or not to have an open bar when you can just avoid the problem altogether?

Last major issue: I'm not really religious. None of my immediate family has ever been the type to go to church or be super involved in any specific religion, and so I've grown up not really having a church I attend, or any particular desire to start going to church. Since most weddings are in churches, I don't think I'd ever really feel right to have an important ceremony like that in a place that doesn't really have any significance to me when I could just go to a courthouse and save the time.

That being said if whoever I did decide to marry wanted a more official ceremony or to do it in a church, I would be open to reconsidering. Marriage and relationships and general work based on compromise, and I would like to believe I'd be willing to do some of these things if it truly made my significant other happier.

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I Married My High School Sweetheart, And In Hindsight, It Really Was The Best Decision

From graduation gown to wedding bands.

aasweeney
aasweeney
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I married my high school sweetheart when I was nineteen, going on twenty.

We had been out of high school for a year. And you probably think that's crazy, or as most people believe, we were too young to get married. While most of my friends from high school were getting alcohol poisoning from doing kegstands at a college frat party or picking out dorm room furniture, I was a newlywed. Everyone goes their different ways after high school, and so did I, mine was just different than most. I had decided to marry the guy who stole my heart throughout my last years of high school.

I met my husband when I was sixteen working my first job.

We went to homecoming, football games, and prom together. We walked across the same stage, the same day on graduation. And instead of going into adulthood alone, I got to give it a go with my best friend.

Many of my friends and family didn't understand us getting married so early.

They thought we were crazy, and maybe we were, but we had found something many people spend so much time looking for, and that was true love, as corny as it sounds. But as many people my age spend this time searching for someone to spend their life with, we had already achieved that part of our lives, and now planning a future together.

We've heard it all, the whole "you'll regret getting married young" speech, that I'm too young to know what love is or that I didn't give myself enough time outside of high school to meet other people. I'm a firm believer that if something or someone makes you happy, you seize that feeling. And I had found someone incredibly special who made me feel just as special.

Don't get me wrong, we've struggled, especially with a husband being active duty military.

You don't get married at twenty and not struggle learning the ways of becoming an adult. But every problem we have faced, we faced together as a team. We have got to witness each other do amazing things so far in life like promotions at jobs or ace projects in college, as well as watching each other grow as individuals and as a couple. As a young couple, we still chase our own dreams, we just support one another along the way.

I am now twenty-three, and I have been married to my best friend for three years.

We have a beautiful daughter who is eighteen months old. We are achieving so much more than we could imagine for ourselves and there is no one else I would rather be doing it with.

With high school in the past, and being married with our own little family forming, I don't regret one thing. If anything I wish I was still as gutsy as teenage me. It's been worth every up and down along our journey and I can't wait to see what the next fifty years hold.

aasweeney
aasweeney

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Yes, I'm Married, Yes, I'm In College But No, These 10 Myths Do Not Ring True

A good relationship makes any life stage better.

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I got engaged in the last month of high school and married two years later, just after my sophomore year of college. I didn't realize how much this would shock people. Quite often the assumptions people make about the hardships of combining undergraduate life and married life just aren't correct.

Here are the biggest myths about getting married in college that just aren't true:

1. It will be a financial strain.

I really don't know where this idea comes from. Unless you come from a wealthy family, college will always be a financial strain. Being married doesn't make that worse, rather, it can make it better. For one, your spouse is a built-in roommate, and you only need a one-bedroom for the two of you! Typically you'll have two incomes, even if they are only part-time college jobs. Not to mention, being married makes you legally independent when it comes to financial aid forms. Being married (and having good grades) is what paid for me to go to school. Both of us are graduating without any student loans!

2. Being married will be a distraction from your studies.

No. Just, no. Why do people think this? Having someone else to share the house chores with, to cook dinner for you when midterms have gotten you down, or rub your shoulders after a long day, this is a distraction? Not to mention that my husband is always there when I hand him a set of 200 Arabic flashcards and say "Quiz me." You know what is a distraction? Not being able to go 10 minutes into your study sesh without remembering that hottie at the bar and deciding if you were reading his signals right.

3. Being married in college means you'll miss out on the expected "sexual exploration" of your 20s.

Being in a committed relationship has certainly NOT tampered our exploration. The local sex shop knows us by name. I can almost guarantee you we've tried much more interesting things between the two of us then most people do with all their partners in college combined. I've tested more fantasies, scenarios, and toys than most people know to exist. When it comes to kinky sex, being so comfortable with each other allows us to push our boundaries much further. And if you ever get bored of each other, role play you're someone else. Not to mention I can enjoy my wild bedroom activity with just my contraception implant and have no need for the inconvenience of condoms.

4. Marrying early means you've settled.

No, it just means I snatched up one of the good guys as soon as I found him. While you should make sure you and your partner are compatible and committed before a marriage (at any age), leaving them for the possibility of there being "someone else better" is not a recipe for true love—it's a recipe for serial monogamy. When you get into your 40s and are wondering why all the good men are gone, come to talk to me. You can keep your "highbrow" principles and your once-daily inspirational "I'm single and I love myself" quotes. I'll take my early success.

5. You'll have fewer college experiences.

I mean, this one is really up to the individual. I'm not a big party person, but if I was, being married wouldn't stop me. I've still joined RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) on campus. I'm also considering a semester abroad. Being married makes the planning for that a little different, of course, but it won't keep me from going. In fact, having someone around to hold the fort down back home makes it even more likely I'll go.

6. You change too often in your 20s to get married.

Of course, you change. If I change from 21 to 30 even half as much as I changed from 15 to 21, you won't even recognize me. But if you think at 30-years0-old you suddenly become a static human being who lives the rest of their life without having personality or goal shifts, you're in for a surprise. It's very important to know you have a partner who can weather that change with you AND help make sure it is in a positive direction. You might not be able to tell that if you marry your freshman year boyfriend your sophomore year, but I could tell from dating my husband from age 15 to age 20 before we got married. Talk about change! Now we've changed and grown so much side by side that who we are we owe to each other, and I think we've become much better people.

7. I don't love myself yet. How can I love a spouse?

This myth is my least favorite. Sure, having an accurate perception of yourself and your own abilities is healthy, and many people struggle with that. But if you think that loving someone else has anything to do with how you feel about yourself, you're setting yourself up for failure. REAL love is selfLESS not selfISH. When I'm feeling too ugly or too dumb, it can be really helpful to stop asking "What can I do for me to make me feel better about myself?" and start asking "What can I do for my husband to help satisfy his needs and help build his self-concept?" Feminism doesn't like me saying this, because it makes it sound like the man is more important. I'm not saying that, because in a healthy relationship, selflessness goes BOTH ways—you take care of each other.

8. You won't have time for self-discovery.

Just like change, self-discovery is a process that happens over a lifetime. It seems one of the most pernicious myths about all relationships is that you need to be perfect and have your life completely figured out before one will work. Learning about yourself can be easier when you have a spouse to act as a mirror. While it's certainly important to try and pick someone who shares your values, it's even more important to pick someone who can deal with a change in values, because over a lifetime, your mind will change as you make new discoveries. My husband stayed with me through two changes in religion and a shift in political ideology. We learned from each other and about each other.

9. One of you will have to sacrifice your career/educational future in favor of your marriage.

This one I hear less often, but it's still common. While I did take off a year to help put my husband through school, he has put off graduate school and isn't going back until I'm done. I took a risk on` my education for him, and now he's taking a risk, depending on me to keep my end of the bargain, but this is just how we choose to do it. If we wanted to rack up loans, we could go back at the same time, but we decided to take advantage of our situation and take turns working full time and paying for each other's school. We may take a few more years to get all our degrees, but it's more likely we'll be able to afford to finish what we've started, not to mention we can both have grad degrees by 30 with no loans. That's a "sacrifice" I'll gladly volunteer for!

10. People who get married younger are more likely to get divorced.

Well, ok. This one isn't a myth. 60% of marriages before age 25 end in divorce. That's a slight majority. But these statistics are the overall, not each individual case. I don't want to live my life by a statistic. 67% of all first marriages will end in divorce within 40 years. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't get married *just* because of statistics. If you are ready and with the right person can only be determined by you and your partner. And please, if you have young married friends, don't point out this statistic. We already know. It only makes us more determined to succeed and prove the bastards wrong. Also, it's just rude!

Marriage isn't right for everyone, and for some, it's not right in college. But all the above negatives aren't some guaranteed ruination unique to young married folk. They can happen to anyone who is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, married or otherwise, at any age. If the relationship is healthy, marriage can be a boon in college in ways many people don't realize. My intention is not to convince you to marry someone when you're not ready or if they aren't right for you. If you read my list and laughed because you can't imagine a marriage right now to your current partner being healthy, then please trust your instincts, but try to remember that your friend's marriage is not your own. What is right for you may not be right for everyone. Love is love, after all, even at 21.

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