When two people get married it is a social union or legal contract between two people, in legal terms the relationship forms a kinship. Numerous different cultures and countries view what the term married actually means. In general terms married mean there becomes a legal partnership between two people, it is often an institution in which interpersonal relationships occur. These interpersonal relationships usually include intimate and sexual relationships; although this does depend upon the culture. Whilst in the UK people have the right to choose who they get married to, in some countries arranged marriages are in place; this is where an individuals parents will arrange a wedding for them. There many different reasons why people choose to get married, these include: legal, social, emotional, libidinal, economic, religious and spiritual.
In the majority of cases when two people enter a marriage it creates normative or legal obligations that are abided by both people. Outside of the UK in some countries the obligations stretch to other people other than the two who have married. Whilst many people live happily married, there are some marriages that break down and consequently the two people choose to separate. There is a legal form of separation which releases each person from the legal marriage; this is known as a divorce or annulment. Whilst divorces are recognised in the UK in some cultures they are not allowed. In the majority of cultures marriage is recognised by the state, a religious body or in some cases both. When two heterosexual people with to marry this is known as a marriage. If two homosexual people wish to marry this is known as a civil partnership.
Getting married is a rather big event for many people and different cultures view the actual marriage in different ways. In the UK people have mixed sizes marriages, with some people having exceptionally large weddings and some people choose to have a small wedding. No matter the size of the wedding the end result is the same, two people enter into a legally binding contract. When two people do enter a marriage contract they make certain commitments to each other. For example they agree to be faithful and to be present within the marriage regardless of the situation, for example in sickness and in health. In the UK the legal age to marry is sixteen with parental consent and eighteen without parental consent.
When a person is married they will usually wear a wedding ring; some people also wear an engagement ring and this is presented when one person asks the other to marry them. A marriage contract that is entered lasts until it is broken through divorce or until one half of the relationship is deceased.