It's it weird that marriage is this huge issue, but you can't easily look up if you're married or not? sure you can apply to the state for a copy of your document but you can't easily look up someone else. And beyond that, you can't easily look up what legal and social ramifications it has. Sure you kind of know from TV that you're allowed hospital access and in a lot of states there are laws about divorce and support, but what does it actually get you? Why do we know more about our cell phone contracts than we do about our marriage contract? It's one of those things that people just take for granted, so no one's really thought about it. Why don't get handed a handbook listing how this will change your life leagally? You get handed a basket with underarm deoderant samples and laundry detergant, but not a handbook?
Sure it means different things to different people. But that just means our clergy should have a handbook too, as well as the state.
It's really kind of weird how little we know about something that for many people is one of the most life changing moments of their life.