I’m not the girl who has kept a wedding scrapbook. I don’t have a list of vendors, bridesmaids or any remote vision of what “my wedding” day will look like. There’s not a single color scheme, flower arrangement or style of dress in my mind. I’ve never been much for ceremonies so perhaps that’s the reason I don’t have that big day all mapped out in my mind.

My current relationship has lasted a while and while we’ve had the marriage conversation, now the questions have started to creep in from the outside. His family, my family, church members. Everyone wants to know when we’re getting married and it’s made me start to consider how external expectations and pressure can affect a relationship. It doesn’t seem enough to anyone that we are in love. What seems to matter is when and how we will prove that love to them in the form of a wedding ceremony.

I understand the religious aspect, I do. And I want a relationship that is filled with the grace and love of God but I can’t help but wonder if we could have a permanent relationship without making it legal? What about standing at an altar in a white dress and reciting my vows to my man makes it real if I’ve already shared that vow with him and God?

To make it plain, I’m not, in any way, questioning the sanctity of marriage. I’m just wondering why it is anyone’s business but mine, his and God’s.