Oh how I longed for that sort of wedding, honeymoon, etc as a young girl when those were the unquestioned assumptions that were spoonfed to my mind and swallowed blindly by me. Then I realized that sometimes indulging in irrational romantic notions isn't the best thing to do in reality.
My life partner had a job that would pay for his health insurance (I had none) and that of a spouse. We would also pay less taxes if we were married. So we got married. We had to pay for the bus fares, marriage license, etc, and it totaled about $40. No wedding, no dress, no ring, no wedding cake (although we love baking yummy vegan cakes at home), etc. That was a great investment! It paid for itself very quickly. If there's going to be discrimination for marriage and against people who aren't married, we should let everyone marry in any way they wish so everyone can pay fewer taxes and there's no one that's forced to be discriminated against.
My father disapproved of the way I married. He spent $10,000 or $20,000 on his second wedding. Ugh. Think of all the instant relief food that could buy for the hungry, all the education to better inform and empower people through various programs and campaigns, all the medical treatment and supplies, all the seeds and farming tools, etc etc which could have been funded by that amount of money. So many lives that could have been bettered and/or saved instead were considered less important than several hours of displaying wealth. To me, those weddings are no longer blissful events to be proud of--they are just another type of egotistic, arrogant waste. Perhaps a sign of how the marriage will be--thoughtless and all-show?
I have been told how important wedding rings, etc are. I reply that a ring, or lack of a ring, will not cause me to love my partner, cats, brothers, etc any less or more. (If I had a ring and I truly loved and valued someone, I would sell off objects such as rings to help them out when needed, eg to pay a cat's vet fees.) In fact, I feel sorry for people who base their love and relationships on those *things* rather than on *people*. What will they do if they lose the ring in an accident? Stop loving their husband/wife and divorce immediately? Geez.