21st century

I would encourage you to get married for the legal benefits. There is no need to have a huge wedding but go to the courthouse and make it legal. You’re already practically married since you’re living together and sharing finances. But having it legal could help if one of you were seriously injured and there are the tax and insurance benefits.

My partner and I have been together 11 years, lived together 9 years, have been engaged for 4 years, and have a 2 y/o and a 3 m/o!

Although we are engaged, marriage is not likely to happen anytime soon! We’ve just bought our first home and after that, I’d rather put any ‘spare’ money (ha! spare money, what a thought!), towards travel anyway. Its just not a priority for us.

Maybe we’ll just elope one day…perhaps during the travel that the “spare” money is going to buy us!

We had a 2-year-old, a 1-year-old, and another on the way when we got married. Laughed about how it was a shotgun wedding except that I was pregnant with #3 rather than our first.

Get married when it works for you and truly speaks to you. Nobody else can tell you when that is, not parents or strangers or grandparents or friends. Listen to your own gut, keep your de facto commitments to your significant other and little one, and ignore everybody else’s noise until it’s the best time for you to celebrate that commitment with others.

Best wishes to you.

I honestly don’t see a need to if you’ve already accomplished all of that. But unless you have doubt or a fear or a reason not to then don’t. But I think if you don’t your leaving the door open to walking away…and you have to think about how it’ll affect your child.

But the decision is yours

I believe that marriage is a celebration of your relationship with those you love: a quick, inexpensive civil ceremony creates a marriage just as strong and loving as a much grander, bigger ceremony one might create! It’s socially acceptable to live together without being married, of course. [name_m]Just[/name_m] not something that everybody necessarily wants to do, just like not everyone necessarily wants to actually get married. Good luck with trying for number two!

Obviously I am in the minority with this opinion, but I am all for marriage before children. It sounds like you and your fiance` are not ready for whatever reason. In my opinion, it is not going to make a difference what anyone here says or what your family says. You guys have to make that decision for yourselves and be honest with yourselves and each other about that topic. I personally do not think finances should get in your way unless you are wanting a big wedding. There are ways to have an inexpensive, beautiful ceremony with those closest to you.

My boyfriend and I actually had an interesting talk about this the other day. I thought sharing our conversation might help…

We are absolutely certain we want to spend our lives together and we plan to have children in a few years. To my boyfriend, the only prerequisite necessary to having a baby is having enough money to take care of our family. He wishes to get married eventually for the sake of love and what not, but he doesn’t see the practical reasons or care about the order of things. He sees marriage and having children together as two separate decisions entirely, especially because he feels that we are already committed to each other for all the reasons that matter.
I understood his points and agreed to an extent. I just figured that if we were going to get married eventually anyways, we might a well do it in the traditional order. For one, it is important for me to share a last name with my children. Another reason is that during the pregnancy, I really do want him to have legal rights about medical and monetary decisions for me if need be. Then of course there are the issues like joint taxes and health care. His job has really great benefits that I would probably need. And I am a bit of a traditionalist and want to have a “husband” to have a child with, not a “boyfriend”.

That being said, it is your life and if none of the reasons I mentioned apply to you, then you’re right, why bother? Families are so much more diverse than they used to be, and it really is just the amount of love in a family that matters, not what’s written down on paper. But, if you did want a “marriage” but not a “wedding” then just go sign the papers at city hall and forget the ceremony. Whatever you do, it should be your and your finance’s decision, not what you think other people want you to do.