I didn't wait until I was married to have sex. I did wait until I was sure I was in love, and until I was with somebody who wanted the same things from having sex - on the same page as me relationship wise. I could have slept with a guy I thought I loved but who I knew didn't really love me, but who I hoped might - Im thankful I didn't because it would have scarred me deeply. I made the right decison under my particular circumstances.
I didn't have alot of thoughts about being a virgin until marriage - I don't remember thinking it was much of a big deal actually. What concerned me the most was that I was completly inexperienced while my boyfriend had slept with a few people - girls I had met and didn't think much of if Im honest. I also was worried that he didn't really want me all that much, that he respected me TOO much in a way - because we had been best friends before we got together - I wanted to know that he lusted for me just as much as he loved, respected and cared for me etc etc.
I think sexual compatibility is an incredibly important part of a relationship - if you hope to get married and to have a marriage that lasts then your understanding (or lack thereof) of the sexual needs of your partner can contribute to your life long happiness (or unhappiness). We take cars for test drives, we have 30day money back offers on home exercise equipment - things far less important than marriage. It just makes good sense to try before you buy when it comes to sex.
In favour of waiting however is the risks you take every time you sleep with some one. Condoms, the pill - all have failure rates. Its important, I think, to consider the risks before you go there - thats why the older you are I think the better - a young adult of 16 might be physically mature, but not emotional mature to deal with the potential results. Even a one night stand, at least get a name and number - what if he's the father of your child? What if she has herpes but doesn't know it just yet? Maybe the answer isn't waiting until marriage - but waiting until you have the maturity to keep your head in control of your hormones might be - in the event of a little surprise.