So, let me preface this by saying that I totally get the idea of not wanting to be legally married. My parents have been together for over 25 years, my entire life span and then some, without ever getting married. My father at one time proposed to my mother, but they both came from families with really terrible divorces and my mother really felt that she did not ever want to get married. Now that they are getting a little bit older and have had some health scares, my mom is considering getting married to assure that there are the proper legal protections in place. But their situation is a bit different from yours in that there are many immediate family members around to vouch that they should be able to see each other in the event of an emergency.
I guess what really throws me off about this is that my mom really was coming from a place of paranoia when she made this decision, and so there are legal reasons why she doesn’t really want to get married. For one, she was concerned about her children being taken away from her. My father is not on my birth certificate and has no legal rights over me or my siblings. However, in your situation, it seems like you are willing to go out of your way to have all of the legal rammifications of marriage without actually getting married.
I guess I’m just trying to understand, because from my perspective, I can totally understand that you don’t need a marriage license to have a committed, lifelong relationship. And I understand if you don’t want to get married because you are concerned about the legal rammifications of doing so. However, it seems the only reason you don’t want to get legally married is because of the potential situation of divorce.
What bothers me is this sense that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too, pardon the cliche. You are free to make your own choices, but unless you can’t legally enter into a marriage, which is not your situation, I just don’t really see the point of having a wedding that is not in any way legally or spiritually binding. If you don’t want to be married, then don’t be married. But if you want to be married, then be married. I also don’t see what having this big ceremony would change. You’ve said yourself that you’re living essentially as a married couple, so literally nothing will change by having this wedding.
I just really think you should save yourself the time and effort. I feel like a lot of guests, especially those who give gifts, might be really hurt and confused when you try to explain the situation to them. It’s kind of like if you were invited to a birthday party and you brought a really nice present, but then you find it out wasn’t even the person’s birthday, they just wanted to throw themselves a party.
So kind of working through my thoughts here, I guess that’s the conclusion that I come to. Without any legal, spiritual, or social change associated with getting married, I just kind of feel like this comes across as being kind of self-centered. “Well, we don’t really want to be married or have a legal commitment, because that might be inconvenient down the line, but it was a handy excuse to throw ourselves an extravagant party.”
I understand that this is totally unsolicited, but I just wanted to try to maybe provide perspective of how others might perceive this event. I thought it might be helpful to hear from someone who really has grown up with the perspective that marriage is not necessary for a long and lasting relationship. I don’t have the reaction of, “OMG why WOULDN’T you want to get MARRIED?!” But I still don’t really “get” your situation.