One is not exclusive of the other. It is nice, but not necessary.
**** you , zipperhead
Isn't that a bit backwards? Plan on the wedding and the kids will come later. Hopefully. Maybe. Depends on if the parents are arseholes or not.<br />
Screw it, dump the idea of having kids!
No, especially if you are an atheist/agnostic. Then marriage is just a piece of paper and an excuse for a party.
Then what is it?
Well if you don't want to say, fine. But it's pretty hard to see another viewpoint in that case.
I'm not looking to be convinced but I am open-minded, I'm curious as to what other people think. If you think marriage is special, then that's your prerogative. I don't understand it but I can accept it. I personally don't see how undergoing, what to me, is meaningless a ceremony would change how I feel about a person or make them more special.
If the feelings are already there and you know yourself that the person is special, then what's the need for the ceremony?
Well I suppose the difference is that I don't see what makes marriage special.