When two people fall in love and build a romantic relationship, sooner or later, they want to become more than just romantic partners. Some people also want to use the benefits of official marriages because married people have a few different rights and responsibilities by law. However, marriage is not about the law since the majority of people mostly focuses on the moral, and emotional aspect of marriages. You see, there is no better way to prove your love to your romantic partner and guarantee that your intentions are serious than to marry him or her. Additionally, a nice wedding celebration is a way to let other people know how strongly you love each other.
Unfortunately, even at the beginning of the 21st century, conventional weddings are not available for some people. Surely, this sounds pretty strange, but let’s not forget that even in the USA, same-sex marriages expanded to all states only in 2015. Plus, marriage is a very personal thing, and not everyone wants or likes to get married in an old-fashion way. This explains why commitment ceremony officiants are so busy nowadays, and why people so often search for guides on how to plan a commitment ceremony.
What Is a Commitment Ceremony?
In simple terms, a commitment ceremony is a very convenient way to celebrate your romantic relationship, love, union, and publicly demonstrate your loyalty for each other. So, generally, both conventional marriage and a commitment ceremony mean the same thing. But in the case of the commitment ceremony, you won’t have a connection to any religion because it doesn’t involve any paperwork at all. People can write their vows by themselves. Thus, in some cases, the commitment ceremony, from the emotional perspective, can be more connecting and consolidating than a conventional marriage.
When partners belong to different social, cultural, or national groups, they may encounter many problems when trying to arrange a conventional marriage. Plus, more and more often, people want to have something special that perfectly suits their ethical or religious beliefs, and personalities. This is how the first commitment ceremonies appeared. Usually, a commitment ceremony follows the same order of events fully resembling a traditional marriage. However, its main peculiarity is that it is very customizable. Consequently, in your commitment ceremony, you and your partner can reflect all your cultural background, views, moral values, and even your plans for the future.
In the majority of cases, commitment ceremonies are chosen by those couples who, for whatever reason, can’t marry by law. Sometimes, people prefer commitment ceremonies over traditional marriages because of some religious aspects or even just because, in the first case, they have more space for making their ceremony special and unique. Sometimes, people even plan special religious commitment ceremonies, which fully resemble their religious views both on life and marriage. Unfortunately, we can’t say that it is very common to have a commitment ceremony for straight couples. Most frequently, straight couples prefer traditional weddings.
Commitment Ceremony vs Marriage: What Is the Difference?
We already know that a traditional wedding and a commitment ceremony are very similar. In fact, the only real and noticeable difference between these two is that a traditional wedding is legally binding, and a commitment ceremony is not. Surely, both types of ceremonies stand as a public affirmation of a partner’s commitment to each other. Nevertheless, a commitment ceremony is not recognized by law. Just like a wedding, a commitment ceremony is performed by a special person. In this case, it is a celebrant. Also, it includes the exchanging of rings and vows. However, a couple may decide to exclude some elements from their ceremony or add new ones. So, commitment ceremony vs wedding. What aspects should you consider before making the final decision?
Love is for everyone, but marriage is an institution
It is obvious that everyone can fall in love. Unfortunately, due to a number of serious reasons, not everyone can officially get married. Plus, for someone, traditional wedding ceremonies just don’t feel like their things. Thus, the non-religions commitment ceremony looks like a great thing.
The initial meaning of marriage
While marriage more and more often is considered as a tool for achieving some social or financial goas, people see a commitment ceremony only as a perfect opportunity to have a special celebration of one of the most important moments in their lives. Furthermore, in many aspects, it provides a stronger sense of participation, belonging, and union.
Commitment ceremonies become more and more popular
Not without a good reason, more and more couples from all around the world arrange commitment ceremonies instead of marriages. After all, it is a perfect alternative to a church wedding or civil union. As you know, these are also very popular, but commitment ceremonies offer way more freedom when it comes to planning and arranging.
A partnership is about love and not about papers
When two loving souls desire to be together, they definitely don’t want to deal with official papers to confirm their relationship. In fact, a commitment ceremony doesn’t require any official papers. Plus, some people value their freedom more than anything else. So, for them, a commitment ceremony is the only option.
A celebration for everyone
Unfortunately, even though a commitment ceremony is aimed to be inclusive and available for everyone, we can’t forget about parents, grandparents, and other relatives, who may still believe that traditional marriage is compulsory. Thus, they may not understand your desire to have a commitment ceremony instead of a traditional wedding.
A perfect mix of celebrations
What if you have some unconventional and non-standard wishes for your celebration but still want to have the benefits of legal marriage? You can arrange a small wedding for your conservative relatives to legalize your marriage, and then arrange a huge commitment ceremony in your desired style for everyone else. This is a very convenient way to make sure that everyone is happy.
Commitment Ceremony Ideas
One of the main benefits of commitment ceremonies is that they can be whatever you like. You see, everyone puts different meanings in these ceremonies. Therefore, it is absolutely okay to make it look like a traditional wedding with hundreds of guests, a white dress, and so on. Or you may decide to have a huge pool party to celebrate your commitment to your partner. This flexibility is precious because you can realize even the wildest dreams. Furthermore, you can call this ceremony whatever you want! Here are some interesting examples and ideas for commitment ceremonies.
1. Vampire party
Everyone likes vampires, right? Old-fashioned ceremonies always look awesome, and the gothic style with vampires is just perfect for a non-standard commitment ceremony.
I can assure you that your children will enjoy it. Just don’t forget to plan entertainments, and avoid people in leather, only classical suits and dresses are allowed.
2. Beach party
Now, you have a nice opportunity to change the location of your ceremony. Instead of saying your vows in a church and celebrating in your local restaurant, you can bring your party to a beach, where you will say your vows will sound in front of a huge bonfire surrounded by your happy guests.
3. Cosplay party
Have you ever wanted to marry some characters from your favorite comics or books? Now you have a chance to do this. Surely, this is not for everyone, but this is a very nice way to make your commitment ceremony look unique. Plus, your guests who also enjoy pop-culture and cosplay, will remember it forever.
Commitment Ceremony Vows
Even at the beginning of the 21st century, it is extremely hard to overestimate the importance of rituals and ceremonies in our lives, especially when it comes to a romantic relationship. In commitment ceremonies, just like in traditional weddings, there is a part when partners declare their intention to be together as a couple. Both partners make promises on what commitment means for them. In fact, as we have already said, the main feature of commitment ceremonies is that you can say literary whatever you want. Commitment ceremony vows are completely up to you and your partner. Thus, you can make those truly special and personal for you.
Is a Commitment Ceremony Legally Binding?
It is crucial to understand that when talking about a commitment ceremony, we are talking about an event that in no way is connected to government agencies or law. Even if you create your own commitment ceremony certificate or order it from some agency, it will not possess any legal power, and your legal status won’t change. This ceremony is only about your commitment to your partner. Thus, your vows hold the same weight for both of you as they do in a traditional marriage. However, if you decide to break up, you won’t need to bother with a divorce because you have never been officially married.
Who Can Perform a Commitment Ceremony?
Usually, people try to find professional Celebrants to conduct their ceremonies. This is because even though a commitment ceremony is not legally binding, it is still an important step in partners’ lives, plus their vows are real. Consequently, people want to ensure that their ceremonies will be perfect. However, some people like to do everything by themselves and try to conduct their ceremonies without professional help. In some cases, it is wise to combine your efforts with professional Celebrants. For example, you can write a commitment ceremony script together with your romantic partner and hire a Celebrant to conduct it to you.
How to Have a Commitment Ceremony?
Even though a commitment ceremony is very flexible, and you can arrange it the way you want, you still may face some complications, especially if you are planning something huge. You see, the more interesting things and entertaining you have in mind, the harder it will be to plan, arrange, and conduct your commitment ceremony. Remember, your main goal is to make sure that your ceremony runs smoothly and if you believe that your friends can conduct it for you, then you can freely ask them to help you. Here, we are going to share with you a couple of tips on how to how to have a commitment ceremony.
1. Carefully plan everything
To begin with, you need to clearly see the picture of your future celebration in your head. Then, create a plan according to your desires. After that, analyze it and compare it to the resources you have. Make necessary adjustments, and if you and your partner are satisfied with the results of your planning, you can begin first arrangements.
2. Take as much time as you need
Remember, when it comes to celebrations, rushing things is a very big mistake. Take as much time as you need to make sure that everything is ready for the beginning of your celebration. Thus, your ceremony will be very smooth and pleasant.
3. Consider hiring a professional
You see, you and your partner can be a celebrant because you will be busy with other tasks. Finding a good celebrant is the most important task for you because your ceremony will fully depend on this person. Thus, if you are not sure whether your friends or relatives are up to a challenge, hiring a professional celebrant may be a very good idea.
Commitment Ceremony vs Marriage: What to Prefer?
This is a very personal aspect, and this is why we advise you to consult with your partner. Of course, if a commitment ceremony is the only option for you, then the answer is obvious. However, if you have both options to choose from, we still recommend marrying because in this case, you will have a new status officially. Plus, you can combine these two by officially concluding your marriage and then having a huge commitment ceremony on the next day.