Nowadays, when two people in love want to prove their love to each other and stay together forever, they have more than one option to do this. The first option is a standard marriage, and the second option is a commitment ceremony. Dating and relationships are among the most desired things in this world. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to date someone, and building a healthy relationship requires efforts, especially if you are a gay couple. In some countries, gay couples still can't get married. Of course, the legality of gay marriages spreads around the world, but this process is too slow. Plus, commitment ceremonies are more than just a nice alternative to conventional marriages.
It is obvious that not only gay couples can have commitment ceremonies. For example, when you finally find someone on some nice single ladies dating site, you can offer her to have a commitment ceremony. However, even though that commitment ceremony vows are no different from vows in a conventional marriage (unless you want them to be very different), you can't expect her to be satisfied with a commitment ceremony if she is a very traditional person. At the same time, you can include any religious rituals in your commitment ceremony. As you can see, it is much more flexible than a conventional marriage.
Commitment Ceremony Definition
Even though commitment ceremonies often are very similar to other kinds of weddings, there are still differences. So, what is a commitment ceremony? It is a formal ceremony arranged for adult couples who want to declare their love for each other publicly. Partners can be of any gender. Their mutual love is the most important aspect of a commitment ceremony. The main difference between a conventional marriage and a commitment ceremony is that marriage is legally binding, and a commitment ceremony is not. This actually explains why gay couples often choose commitment ceremonies. After all, there are still places where gay couples can't get married officially.
Another interesting thing about a commitment ceremony is that it can be very flexible. For example, you can even write your commitment ceremony script. Your ceremony may be secular or religious, unstructured or formal, traditional or unconventional. Long story short, you can make it the way you want according to your elements. However, your commitment ceremony is expected to have the following key elements: greeting, vows, exchange of rings, a pronouncement of marriage, and reception. The greeting is when you officially welcome your guests and say a few words about your ceremony in general. When it comes to vows, you can find something on the Internet, or even create your own ones. There are no strict rules concerning your vows.
A commitment ceremony also requires you to exchange rings. Of course, you don't have to if you don't want to, but exchanging rings is a symbol of your love. So, it is better not to avoid this part. Also, often people say a few words to express what these rings mean to them. Then, the officiant must announce to your guests that now, you are a married/united/joined/wed couple (you can choose the word you like). After that, he or she invites a couple to kiss. And again, you decide whether you want to kiss each other or avoid this part at all if you are not used to kissing in public. A ceremony ends with reception, when a young couple has the first dance, cuts the cake for guests or you can choose anything else.
The last but not the least important question sounds like, "Who can perform a commitment ceremony?" When it comes to conventional marriage, you can rely only on officials with licenses. But what about a commitment ceremony? And again, you will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that you can choose just anyone. Even your closest friend can perform a commitment ceremony for you. Note, your commitment ceremony officiant must possess certain qualities, or your ceremony will turn into a mess. For example, he or she shouldn't fear giving public speeches and must know how to control and entertain the audience. So, we still recommend you to hire a professional commitment ceremony officiant.
Commitment Ceremony Instead of a Wedding: When and Why to Arrange?
According to all the above mentioned, in the majority of cases, commitment ceremonies are arranged for gay couples. You see, when partners, due to some reasons, can't officially marry, they search for other ways to prove and reinforce their feelings. This is how they come up with commitment ceremonies. Does it mean that it is not okay to arrange a commitment ceremony for straight couples? Of course not! Remember, a commitment ceremony is all about freedom. This is why there is no limitation whatsoever on who can arrange commitment ceremonies. However, you need to understand that our society is not used to cases when straight couples have a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding. So, a commitment ceremony vs marriage: when and why you may want to arrange one?
Those couples who are not into religious often prefer to have commitment ceremonies instead of conventional marriages. The main reason for this is that marriages are based on religion. Consequently, those religious people choose whether they want to have a marriage or a commitment ceremony according to their religious views. In turn, those who don't believe in any religion choose what they like more.
Even though there are certain legal benefits of being officially married, some couples still want to avoid the legal obligations of marriage. For example, you and your partner don't want to share everything, even if you already share everything in practice. Or if you want to spend your life together without any contracts and government authorities. In this case, a commitment ceremony is the best option for you.
3. It is funny
There is another interesting reason why couples prefer to have a commitment ceremony instead of a marriage, even if they are legally allowed to marry. Earlier, we have already mentioned that you can make your commitment ceremony whatever you want. There are no strict rules on how to arrange a commitment ceremony. Consequently, it will be just way funnier than a conventional marriage. Plus, you will have a unique and more personal experience.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why couples choose not to get legally married. Some prefer to have commitment ceremonies even because they are daunted by the divorce rate, or just don't feel that they actually need any certificates and don't want to prove anything to anyone. So, this is a very personal decision, and you should carefully evaluate your and your partner's desires and wishes to make the right decisions.
Ideas for a Commitment Ceremony
Even though arranging a commitment ceremony, you are not limited by anything, quite often, people worry because they can't find any good and suitable commitment ceremony ideas. This is a very famous problem when people who have complete freedom don't know what to do with it. If this is the case, and you suffer from this problem, you should know that you are not alone in this. So, relax, and take as much time as you need to find something interesting. To help you with this truly hardcore task, we are going to share with you the top 7 ideas for your commitment ceremony.
1.Work on the color scheme
Before anything else, especially if you don't have any ideas in mind, you need to pick a color scheme. Without this, you won't be able to pick the right cake, flowers, dresses and everything else. Pay attention to the current season. For example, spring colors are much brighter and lighter than winter ones. Also, you may pick more than one color scheme. However, make sure that your color schemes match each other. Otherwise, you won't achieve the desired effect. To begin with, you may choose poppy, magenta, and yellow. Those are very vibrant spring colors. Plus, you can have a very colorful wedding cake to complement your general color scheme.
It is hard to imagine a wedding ceremony without flowers. Of course, today we are talking about commitment ceremonies, flowers still play a huge role. Even if you love flowers, it is better to avoid scattering them around your location. Instead, focus on the main bouquet. Nowadays, you have a huge variety of flowers for your bouquet. It would be preferable if you choose only 3 or 4 types. Also, don't forget to pay attention to their color. It must match the main color scheme for your ceremony.
When it comes to choosing a future location for your wedding ceremony, your budget is the only limiting factor. Also, you can't forget about logistics. After all, you will have fewer guests if you choose a very remote location. To choose a perfect location, you must analyze your preferences. Feel free to choose literary anything. Thus, some couples arrange their commitment ceremonies in castles, beaches, and resorts. However, if you are rather low on a budget, you can arrange it right in your house. The most important thing is to make it feel pleasant for everyone.
4.Involve guests in the ceremony
To make your guests truly feel a part of your significant day, you can involve them in your ceremony. This is a very nice way to entertain your guests. Even if you have already planned interesting games and events for your guests, by involving them in your ceremony, you will give them a more personal experience. To begin with, you can ask your guests to share with you their favorite books, poems, or even songs (just warn them, so they have enough time to get prepared). Also, don't insist if someone doesn't want to participate, maybe they are very shy. In this case, by insisting, you will create unnecessary tension.
5. Make an interesting photo booth
At one point, people started to have too many photo booths on their wedding or commitment ceremonies. Today, it is hard to impress anyone with those standard photo booths. However, the situation drastically changes if you manage to create a unique and funny photo booth. The latest modern trend completely agrees with us. Thus, you can create a unique portrait-style photo booth for your guest. Don't worry because this won't look tasteless or old-fashioned. Just make sure that it matches the main color scheme of your ceremony.
Of course, it is important to make your guests feel wonderful, but you should never forget about yourselves. Plus, you may simply feel too shy to publicly share your vows. In this case, sharing your vows in private is a perfect solution. Also, you may exchange traditional vows during your ceremony, and then, exchange more personal ones in private. Additionally, this approach allows you to stay more focused on your partner. After all, nothing will destruct you from your loved one. Generally, when it comes to the commitment ceremony, you can choose whatever vows you want. The main idea is that your vows should be meaningful for you.
7.Arrange a themed ceremony
As you remember, a commitment ceremony is about freedom. Thus, you literary have no limits. Consequently, one of the funniest ideas is to arrange a huge theme party. It can be just anything. For example, you can have a costume party inspired by your favorite books or movies. It doesn't matter what idea you choose for your commitment ceremony, make sure that your decorations and costumes match. Also, if your friends don't like classic style, by arranging a theme ceremony with decorations and costumes, you will make them feel more comfortable and excited.
Since commitment ceremonies are very flexible, you can arrange something that suits your budget and wildest desires. Remember, this is your high day, and if you choose to have a commitment ceremony, you should fully use all possibilities that it provides you with. Also, don't forget about the commitment ceremony invitations. Rest assured, your guests will be very happy if you invite them by official invitations. Don't hurry when arranging a commitment ceremony because you need a lot of time to plan and arrange a truly nice one.