The Reason Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Got Married After Eight Years and Six Children Together

Jolie and Pitt previously told PEOPLE multiple times that their decision to get married was heavily influenced by their six children

Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt never rushed into getting married. Yes, they loved each other, but getting hitched wasn’t a priority – until their kids made it one.

At the center of their romance that began in 2003 after meeting on the set of their film Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the couple’s top – and constant – priority have been their six children:Maddox, 15, Pax, 12,Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.

So after eight years and six children together, why the decision to get engaged? The Jolie-Pitt kids urged their famous parents to tie the knot.

“The kids ask about marriage. It’s meaning more and more to them. So it’s something we’ve got to look at,” Pitt, 52, said in a May 2011 interview. The actor then revealed that he and Jolie had been “getting a lot of heat from the kids” in a January 2012 interview.

The pair eventually celebrated their love by getting engaged in November 2012, at the urging of their brood.

“We’ve had a family, we’ve raised the kids. I’m surprised how much [marriage] meant to me once you had that,” Pitt told PEOPLE following their engagement.

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Jolie then revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy in February 2013. Pitt was right by her side for every surgery and for every difficult moment.

“We’ve been through so much. We’ve gotten a lot closer, which I think naturally happens with raising a family together. You have history. You have so many memories,” Jolie told PEOPLE in May 2014 on life with her longtime partner Pitt. “You have this person you live with who really knows you, and you know them so well. You’re not lovers or boyfriend and girlfriend as much as you are a family.”

And on the possibilities of ever walking down the aisle, Jolie explained it was all about timing. “We will get married, and we’re not really in a rush, so we’re just waiting for it to be the right time with the kids, with work, when it feels right,” she shared with PEOPLE in May 2014.

She continued, “We haven’t made any definite plans. But we are discussing it with the children and how they imagine it might be. They will in a way be the wedding planners. When we do it, it will feel like a great day for our family.”

Three months after that interview, Jolie and Pitt finally said their “I do”‘s in August 2014 at their Château Miraval estate in the south of France.

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And of course, their six children were heavily involved in the nuptials. They famously provided one-of-a-kind drawings for Luigi Massi, master tailor at Atelier Versace, to incorporate into their mother’s custom wedding gown.

Each child had a key role to play: Maddox and Pax walked their mom down the aisle; flower girls Zahara and Vivienne tossed petals gathered from the garden; and Shiloh and Knox served as ring bearers. The kids even helped write their parents’ vows. And Pax baked the cake.

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“It was such a special day to share with our children and a very happy time for our family,” the newlyweds told PEOPLE.

Then in 2015, Mr. and Mrs. Pitt would film and star in their first movie together, By The Sea, 10 years after Mr. & Mrs. Smith was released.

But their highly publicized romance would ultimately come to an end. On Monday, Jolie filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, after two years of marriage and 12 years together.

She has asked for physical custody of the couple’s six children, and for Pitt to be granted visitation. Jolie did not request child or spousal support.

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