I have been married for 17 years. I got married when I was 17 years old (and Paul was 19) and we've been together ever since. Not because of the unwritten rules of marriage being for life, but instead because we love each other very much.
I think in this day & age, people don't take marriage seriously though. Most people see marriage as a reason to dress up like a princess and spend insane amounts of money on the big day - each seemingly trying to outdo someone or everyone by having a more expensive dress, a bigger party, more vintage wedding cars or whatever and that's just not what marriage is about.
I've heard that a lot of people who get married in such a way, end up arguing lots about the money troubles they find themselves in from the cost of the wedding and it ends in divorce - wow, that seems worth it.
If you're happy and in love, you should marry that person because you love them and you want to show commitment to them. And that should be your only motivation.
It most definitely shouldn't be about other people - of course you want the people you care about to be there and share your special day with you, but haven't you gone a bit far when you're inviting your neighbours or friends of friends' friends?!
Our wedding was a simple, unflashy affair in a registry office on Valentine's Day in 2000. A small group of people who were important to us attended. We had a small (buy your own drinks) after party in an hired room in our local pub. We didn't have enough money for a honeymoon, but you know what? It didn't matter.
In hindsight, I guess at least a night away would have been nice, but we had each other, we had committed to each other, and at the end of the day, that was all that mattered.
If back then I entered competitions like I do know, I would have loved to win a "white wedding" - but only because it would be paid for and it's traditional - but neither of us would have ever wanted the expense and worry of a great big unnecessary affair of a wedding.
I would renew our vows "white wedding" style, but again only if I won it or we won the lottery and could afford it with ease (i.e. no borrowing). And the main reason I would like to do that, is simply so that our boys could be there and we could have some lovely family photo's to treasure. We didn't have children when we got married, but now that we do, it would be amazing to renew our vows with them at our sides.
I wish more people would respect marriage for what it is instead of turning it into some fairytale affair.
And don't even get me started on celebrities and rich people... If you need to have a pre-nuptial agreement, you shouldn't be getting married. Marriage is about commitment - if you have a pre-nuptial agreement, from the offset that means you're not sure it's going to last, and if that's the case, why get married? Why not just wait and see how it goes and only get married when you're SURE it's going to last and there's no need for the pre-nuptials?!