Top 10 Worst Reasons to Get Married

When You Shouldn't Start Planning a Wedding

Bride standing alone overlooking field

Nerida McMurray Photography / Getty Images

Couples tie the knot for many different reasons, but sometimes what they think is sound judgment is really just a giant mistake. If you're having cold feet—or watching a friend make a giant mistake—know that there are good reasons to cancel a wedding and some very bad reasons for getting married.

  • 01 of 10

    To Have a Dream Wedding

    Romantic wedding ceremony
    kenzaza / Getty Images

    A wedding is an amazing, beautiful thing that can strengthen your relationship and improve your life. However, there's also a lot of hype around weddings that can make you really want one, even if you're not ready, or your sweetheart isn't marriage material. From the hyperbolic rhetoric of "the best day of your life" to shiny pictures in magazines, it's easy to be swept away by the fantasy of a wedding day.

    This can go to such an extreme that you might even find women who collect pictures of their dream wedding dress, cake, and venue. The problem is that they might not have a groom or even be dating anyone. If the planning is already in that stage, imagine the pressure on those future boyfriends!

    The truth is that your wedding is just one day and marriage is for the rest of your life. You can still have that dream wedding when you are truly ready for it. By not rushing your wedding, you can have a longer and more special engagement that will help prepare you for a long and special marriage.

  • 02 of 10

    To Get Presents

    Wedding gifts
    Buccina Studios/Getty Images

    Many brides and grooms eagerly look forward to the bevy of loot that awaits them when they get married. Yet, wedding presents aren't reason enough to get married. You can actually expect to spend more money on a wedding than you would have on just buying yourself the appliances, towels, and china you're dreaming of. And what no one tells you is that, while a wedding may be expensive, divorce is also expensive (and a lot less fun).

    Before you rush in, make sure that your beloved is really who you want to be sharing those towels with for the rest of your life.

  • 03 of 10


    Woman alone at home
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Being lonely is hard, and many people are afraid of being alone. When you get to a certain age, it might seem like a person is your "last good option." But you will meet other people to love, and if you settle, you might miss out on someone really amazing later on.

    Remember, there are plenty of powerful, successful people who have never married—Oprah, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Maher, and Al Pacino, to name just a few. A wedding is a great way to build on an already successful relationship, and it can be a transformative, self-esteem-building experience. However, it's not the secret to a happy life.​​

  • 04 of 10

    You're Feeling Pressure

    Engagement proposal rejection
    Vasyl Dolmatov / Getty Images

    This might be the most common reason people have a wedding before they're ready. There's intense pressure in a marriage proposal, and it's not easy to say, "I love you but I'm not ready yet."

    Even worse is when your partner issues an ultimatum: "Either we get married, or we break up." Though sometimes a person needs a strong nudge to get them over their fears, it can lead to ignoring your gut instincts and having to cancel the wedding later on.

    If you really love someone, you owe it to them to be honest. It's hard and painful, but it's a lot easier than living a lie or having to say that you never wanted to get married.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    All Your Friends Are Getting Married

    Chatting women ignoring upset friend on sofa
    JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

    You might feel left out if it seems like everyone but you is headed to the altar. It is nice to go through life's milestones on the same track as your friends. Then again, it's always better to be the last of your friends to get married than the first one to get divorced. As a bonus, if you wait, your friends will have better wedding advice and more time to help you with yours.

  • 06 of 10

    Your Ex Is Engaged

    Recently engaged couple
    PeopleImages / Getty Images

    There is a sick, delicious joy in telling an ex that you've found someone better. When an ex is engaged, it might feel like the shoe is on the other foot. Spite doesn't feed a relationship, though. There are many better ways to make an ex realize that you are the one who got away.

  • 07 of 10


    Couple in bed
    Ryan McVay/Getty Images

    If your religion asks you to wait for sex until marriage, you might be tempted to rush the wedding. Sure, it's hard to wait and not know what you're missing, but sex is just one way that you can make each other feel good. Give each other massages, have marathon makeout sessions, and express your love in different ways instead.

    Make sure that lust isn't the only thing pushing you down the aisle. Keep in mind that most religions that ask you to wait, also frown on divorce.

  • 08 of 10


    Pregnant woman cutting her wedding cake
    Kayla Ross/FOAP/Getty Images

    Some people get married only because they're pregnant. Others want kids so badly that they get married to someone who isn't really right for them. Both mistakes are based on the false idea that you can only have kids after you are married.

    There are studies from scientists and researchers on both sides of this issue arguing whether it's better for children to grow up with married parents or single parents. What's indisputable, though, is that there have always been single parents who have figured it out and made it work.

    If you or your girlfriend is pregnant, you might face extra pressure from your family to tie the knot. Please realize that there are many different options available to you, including having the child together but not getting married, raising the child alone, putting the baby up for adoption, and ending the pregnancy.

    If you want to get married because you're ready to start a family, but your sweetheart isn't the right person to marry, they probably won't be the right person to co-parent with either. The ticking of a biological clock or a pregnancy can be a powerful motivator, but shouldn’t land you in a loveless marriage.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10


    Wedding cake topper and cash
    Comstock/Getty Images

    Marrying for money is a tired cliché unless you're watching "How to Marry a Millionaire" with Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall. Money can make life easier, but it can also make life more complicated, and it's never as valuable as being loved.

    Remember, when you get legally married, you take on a person's debt along with their assets. Some people aren't as rich as they seem. Even if you have found someone who is truly wealthy, it might create a power imbalance that will prevent you from having a happy life together. Make sure that love is the main reason you're getting married, not money.

  • 10 of 10

    Guilt From Your Parents

    man scolding woman
    FPG/Getty Images

    Parents can be pretty good at sending their kids on ​all-expenses-paid guilt trips. You might have heard a speech that begins, "I just want to see you get married before I die. Is that too much to ask?" Or perhaps you've heard, "I'm the only one of my friends without grandchildren. When are you going to settle down, marry, and have kids?" Even the simple question of, "When are you getting married?" can become a guilt trip if asked enough times in the right way.

    Regardless of what form it takes, guilt is a terrible reason to get married. You need to live your life and do the best thing for you. Besides, if you give in to this kind of parent, they'll only find new subjects for future guilt trips.