Thursday by +Raven | You Don’t Have to Get Married

You don’t have to get married. Right now, or ever, if you don’t want to.

I know. Sounds like blasphemy coming from a wedding photographer. But it’s true.

There is no ticking clock, counting down until your expiration date. The time when you become unlovable, a spinster, destined to spend your life alone and lonely. That doesn’t exist.

It’s about to get real personal up in here.

I never thought I was the type of girl to get married. Maybe it was the low self-esteem growing up, or maybe it just seemed so “in the future” that it was hard to think about. But either way, I never really pictured the wedding or the dress or anything when I was younger. Since becoming completely and utterly saturated in wedding-ness since becoming a wedding photographer, I’ve become a little obsessed.

Not with the getting married part per-say, mostly just the part where you get to plan an AMAZING party for your closest 150. The part where my love of design and budgeting and planning all culminates in one big day. So, needless to say, I’ve gotten a little wedding crazy.

And then I had kind of a rude awakening. My partner and I are not ready to get married. At all. He has his reasons and I have mine, but basically, it’s not time for us. It may never be, I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter, because we need to learn how to live in the present. Stop worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow and just BE. BE with each other. BE who we want to


There’s definitely an amount of pressure from outside parties, wondering when, not if, he {the last in his family to be married} and I {the oldest of my siblings} will be engaged. Because apparently, I’m reaching my expiration date.

I’m not going to lie to you, a few weeks ago, I agreed with that sentiment. Everyone I know is either getting married or having babies, my clock was ticking, and looking at all of that with recently-turned 27 year old eyes was scary. Something just clicked inside me and I realized: I’m 3 years away from 30. That’s, like, OLD.

It was stupid, but I tried to put a time limit on myself and our relationship. I said I had to be married by 30, HAD TO. Or what? He asked. Or . . . I don’t know, I responded.

And I didn’t know. I have NO IDEA why I thought I had to be married by 30. 30 IS JUST A NUMBER. Just like 20 or 25 or 35 or 40 or 45 or 150! And getting married doesn’t magically change things. And wanting to get married simply because you’re starting to feel the pressure from other people is not a valid reason for marriage. Ever.

Girls {and boys, too, to a certain extent} are oh-so-subtly taught from VERY early on that marriage means someone loves you. That you’re loveable because this person picked you. That there’s not many other socially acceptable ways to publicly show your love and dedication to one another. But you know what? This isn’t the 1800’s. There is no such thing as a spinster, and even if there was, WHO CARES?!

You do what is right for you: in every single part of your life, in everything that you choose to do, including your decision to get married or not get married. There are tons of stories about people who simply do better in their relationship when it’s undefined, or laidback, without labels.

If you want to get married, please do. I love weddings, and I think they’re AWESOME. But more than that, I love happy couples.

If you don’t want to get married, yet or ever, you don’t have to. Ignore what other people are saying and do what speaks to you and your partner. And this applies even to the wedding planning itself, about making it your own, but that’s another post for another day. If you do decide that marriage just isn’t for you, YOU CAN STILL HAVE AN AWESOME PARTY!

Celebrate your love. Celebrate your choice together. Celebrate your life and each other. Celebrate your “you-ness.” Celebrate the fact that the people around you love and support you NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Because you’re awesome.

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  • Liz Mabry 26 Sep ’11 at 12:39 pm

    Yes. This is so true, and you are so fantastic.