I'm Christian, see if this logic makes sense.
If marriage is of people, a creation of people and which people have authority over, then God has no authority over marriage and marriage begins when people say marriage begins.
If marriage is of God, created by God and which God has authority over, then people have no authority over marriage and God has sole authority over marriage. Marriage begins and ends only when God decides it does.
Now, some people will claim that God gave the church authority over marriage, but, there are no scriptures that tell us this. That's just something people who want control tell other people.
Luke 16:13 KJV
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Now, many people translate "mammon" into "money", but, if we look at the Greek translation it actually translates as "personified riches", as in "rich personality", what we might think of as "charismatic people" or leaders.
"Origin: of Aramaic origin (confidence, i.e. wealth, personified)
TDNT entry: 10:28,6
Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine
Strong's Definition: Of Chaldee origin (confidence, that is, figuratively wealth, personified); mammonas, that is, avarice (deified): - mammon."
Okay, so we choose between two masters, people and God. Which has authority over your marriage?
Me, I'm a Christian so I believe God has authority over marriage. In my case, the Holy Ghost explained it to me and because I'm a person of reason the Holy Ghost used logic. It flew in the face of my personal beliefs, but, there was no denying the logic or the Holy Ghost.
Nothing wrong with ceremonies and traditions, as long as we remember who is in charge of marriage. I'm glad you honored your children's wishes. Your marriage didn't begin when people said it did though, it began when God decided. If you want to know when that is, pray and ask God. Believe you will receive and God will give you the answer.