Unmarried couple

Saying no to nuptials

Prince William and his now-princess Catherine were together nine years before finally tying the knot. Brad and Angelina plan to make it official after seven years (and six kids). Jon Hamm and his main squeeze Jennifer Westfeldt have made it 14 years without walking down the aisle.

If you’re currently worried about your lack of ring, don’t be. We’re sharing a few reasons it’s OK not to get hitched or to at least wait a while for the ring.

Weddings are expensive

Planning a wedding is not only time consuming and stressful, but it can also be very expensive. Caterers, venue, entertainment, photographers, dress -- and the list just keeps going. Even if you get help from family members, all of the components that go into pulling off your big day add up. And they add up a lot. Some couples choose not to tie the knot and instead put money toward other things like their first home, a big trip or renovations on a home they already own.

Real women speak: "My partner and I have been together for nine years. We live together. We have two dogs. I really see no need to spend all that money on one day. Sure, it would be fun, but I’d rather save for a house." Emma, 32 from Detroit

Love doesn’t mean a ring

If you love someone, it’s OK to let that stand alone without feeling the need for a ring or ceremony to solidify how you feel. More and more couples are opting out of a wedding, and they’re OK with that because they’re comfortable with how they feel about each other.

Real women speak: "Even though my mom really wants us to get married, my boyfriend and I don’t really feel like we have to make that step. We love each other and that’s really all that matters to us right now." Shawna, 28 from Tampa

Divorce happens

Marriage doesn’t always mean a happy ending. Divorce statistics continue to climb, which proves that a wedding isn’t everything and doesn’t necessarily solidify your union. We’re not saying that your marriage is doomed to fail, but there are a large number of people who make that commitment when they’re not ready.

Real women speak: "Three of my best friends are divorced and they’re all under 40. I think that’s crazy. I’m not saying I’ll get divorced, too, but it really scares me that it seems to be happening more and more. I’m really not sure if I’ll ever marry." Loren, 36 from Seattle

Tell us

Do you think marriage is necessary? Why or why not? Share in the comments below!

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Comments on "Wedding woes? Why it's OK not to get hitched"

Erin October 30, 2012 | 10:24 AM

I agree with Emma that it's about making a lifelong commitment to one another. I don't think you have to have a huge wedding by any means, but it's good to legally know that you are married.

Emma July 20, 2012 | 3:24 PM

I absolutely believe that marriage is a necessary to a relationship. It isn't about the wedding at all! It is a lifetime commitment to another person, a vow to share your life with them, and I find a huge value in that. I also think it is important for the family structure and a child's stability to know their parents are married.

Diane July 18, 2012 | 8:35 AM

Marriage isn't for everyone. Having been married twice, yes, the first ended in divorce, I too think the cost, stress and extravaganza that goes on to have that perfect wedding is unnecessary. My second wedding was a peaceful, unstressed moment in time that we captured at the clerk's office. I wouldn't suggest that for everyone if you are planning to marry, it just worked for us. So if you're going to marry, do it the way you want, it will set the threshold for your happy life together.

Hannah July 17, 2012 | 10:04 AM

When I was little I dreamed of getting married, that was before I understood what marriage really was. I come from a divorced family and have realized that marriage might not be for me. If you love that person why do you have to have a piece of paper that says so?

Erica July 17, 2012 | 9:19 AM

I'm not sure if marriage will be for me. There are so many things I want to learn and accomplish throughout my life and I feel like a marriage might get in the way of that, but who knows? I could meet my dream man next week and my opinion might change.

Julie July 16, 2012 | 3:45 PM

Rome. Remember the world empire that crumbled when basic family structure fell apart? We have a lot to learn from history.

Shannon July 13, 2012 | 3:30 PM

I don't think it matters if you're married or not unless you are religious. Now a days, almost all couples live together and even have kids together before getting married. I think that's fine; but if you do decide to get married why spend all that money??! I would much rather it go to a house or something!

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