My two cents...
Marriage has meaning to the various individuals involved in that marriage... state laws, benefits etc aside...
for me... it is a commitment, showing the world how deeply I feel about someone else - in a way the world recognises, it shows my partner that my commitment is for life, It shows me that my partner is committed to me... it is a tangible gesture of faith in each other.
I would prefer to be handfasted, as does my partner, however in order to have the life we wish for... legal marriage may assist that. To me a handfasting is more important, more deep and more personal to us than a marriage would be, so we plan to have both, by having a handfasting presided over by a legal celebrant.
The shape of our marriage is unimportant - except to us, the people it actually affects. Or at least that is the way it should be (IMO).
Unfortunately, a legal marriage does need to follow state/federal laws... therefore is restricted by those laws.
Marriage was once thought too sinful to be consecrated by the church and all marriages were common law, not sanctified by church or state.
What happened to allow our governments, our churches, and society in general to dictate to us how we may love and show that commitment, and also who to, and how?
Smile! It makes people wonder what you've been up to
Engaged to my sweetheart, WaterWolf