This is a question I was asked recently, and I’ve decided to post the answer that I gave.
I don’t think marriage is for me, mostly because if you take away the religious aspect of it, all you’re really doing is making your relationship legally complicated. A lot of people think of it as this grand gesture that will make everything better in a struggling relationship, but for a relationship to be successful, it has to seem like you’re already married. It has to be so perfectly balanced and accepted with both good and bad points, that writing it down on a piece of legally binding paper is incapable of improving it. If people marry because they think it will improve their relationship, then when they realise that it doesn’t, they’ll regret it. However, if people do it as simply a respectful acknowledgement of the public declaration of their companionship, then yeah, sure. I suppose I can’t find fault in that reasoning. I’d love to be able to call Becky ‘my wife’, as opposed to the childish ‘girlfriend’ or the gender ambiguous ‘partner’, but throwing away thousands of pounds on a celebration that’s more for everyone else than it would be for us, followed by a mandatory honeymoon, just seems daft. I’d rather keep all of that money and buy her a decade’s worth of flowers and presents and random holidays when we feel like it, and not concern ourselves with how our relationship is legally and publicly viewed.
SO! To answer the question: Yes and no. It is antiquated in people thinking of it as a fundamental part of a healthy relationship; but also, it’s a fair tradition, and if you’re feeling like putting on a huge, overblown, romantic gesture to cement your love for someone to whom it is already rock solid, then sure, why not.