This thread has made it blatantly obvious that this is a Star Wars forum. So blatantly obvious.
Party? Extravagance? Glam?
Some of you are obviously missing the point if the party is the first thing to comes to mind. You can get married for cheap in someones backyard, or even just sign the papers and leave it at that.
No, there are 2 reasons you get married:
1) It is sort of a cultural symbol of union. You are respected more as a couple for being married if you actually love each other.
2) The bling. The serious political bling that marriage offers.
Some of you may not realize this, but being married gives you a ton of toys. Like joint custody of children. Hospital visitation and second of kin. Tax breaks. Higher work Pay. The list goes ever on.
If you feel as if you can stay with someone for years, get married for the reason of it just makes your life even better and easier.
It is far more than just a document that says you live together. There is good reason why homosexuals have been trying to get access to marriage: It offers more than civil unions, gives some pretty needed privileges, etc.
You do not get married to lock a relationship. You do not get married to prove you love someone. You do not get married to do anything other than get the papers that say you are. If you aren't willing to stay together before hand, then marriage is not going to help you.
Which brings us to the divorce part of this thread. "Don't get married or you'll get divorced!" Seriously? I'm sorry if your parents broke up or something, but that is not the systems fault. It lies on the shoulders of the people that locked rings. If they can't hold a marriage together or marry the wrong person and become the 50% of people who divorce, then quite frankly that is there own fault for the short sightedness.
Dude, marry her if you think you can spend the rest of your life with her. If you want my advise, don't even propose. Proposing is, in my opinion, a good part of the reason why marriage's end in flames so often. You both should reflect and talk on how you feel about each other and your situation. While it may be difficult right now, try to rationally think out the next few years and consider that she will be there at all times.
If you both can cope with being with each other for a long time, then take your relationship up a notch and live together, eat together, breath together, etc for awhile.
If all ends well and you both find peace with each other, THEN go get the marriage papers and sign them.
In the end, it is not a religious document no matter what people tell you. It is not a religious ceremony. It is nothing but a legally binding document that gives you a large amount of very good and very important rights that will simply make certain aspects of your union move smoother.
In summary, don't ever think of proposing. Think about and focus on becoming -friends- with your girlfriend. Because, if you honestly cannot see her as a friend then it isn't going to go anywhere. Propose when you can both come to an agreement and a peace together.
Personally I never got the whole man on his knee proposing thing. Sure, it is dramatic and such but what does it accomplish? Spring the question and get an answer in the heat of the moment? It should be mutual, and it should be planned. It should be agreed upon and more thought should go into it than "what type of ring do I buy?"
That is the best I can give. Don't pay attention to all of this teenage angst "don't do it!" BS, because only you know if you fit into that 50% of people. The choice is yours on which 50% you will be in.