Well, it's weird, because many states allow common-law marriages, my own state included. My wife and I claimed ourselves as married even though we never went through an official ceremony. You do this by any number of simple things, e.g., filing joint tax returns, or, believe it or not, simply by agreeing to say that you are married. Sometimes a bank or HR dept will ask for a signed affadavit, but that's the only hassle.
Ever notice how this place just basically, well, sucks.