Marriage as a Social Institution
The dictionary describes marriage as the consensual relation between two spouses, in a contract recognized by law.
For sociology marriage is one of the social institutions that helps control and regulate other institutions, as well as one of the social institutions that is transcendent to many cultures. Even though many cultures have different concepts, and different ways to celebrate a marriage they all have that structure present. Marriage is one of the social institutions that is closely associated with family, and one can say that they are interconnected (most times to have a family there will be a marriage). The purposes of marriage vary within cultures, but to all of them they have significance.
What is marriage for me?
For me marriage is about 3 things: Love, Union, and Partnership.
It is about love because it is celebrated between 2 people (or in places where polygamy is accepted by more than 2) people that love each other, and want to tell the world that they are together.
It is about Union, because it unites 2 people in law (they are now responsible for each other in the good and in the bad), and they begin a life together.
It is about Partnership, because it requires being equal partners in life with someone else. No one is above the other, and they are now partners. Celebrating their victories, and losses together.