Religious institutions no longer rule most modern couples, and marriage is often thought of as a trap rather than a blessing. More partners are beginning to simply have a commitment ceremony rather than go through the legalities of a marriage. They see this as a way to cement their relationship, but they are avoiding the trappings of ancient traditions. Many of them no longer marry when they have children, and older relatives see this as a disturbing trend.
Couples today have taken a long look at the past, and they find many things about it are inconvenient. Marriage is just an institution to them, and they do not believe it enhances their relationship. A commitment ceremony contains their stated promises to each other, and these are often different from traditional wedding vows. Couples now see this as a way to maintain their relationship without damaging it, and they believe they will be able to respect their non-binding vows for the rest of their lives.