Commitment Ceremonies

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Commitment ceremonies are commonly confused with weddings. However, there is a difference between the two; once every wedding is a commitment ceremony, not every commitment ceremony is a wedding. The discrepancy is in the legal aspect of the event. A commitment ceremony is a public declaration of a couple’s life-long dedication to one another. Often this kind of ceremony is conducted when the two people are unwilling or unable to get married in a traditional way. This may apply to gay and lesbian weddings and to those cases when one person is legally married to someone else and under some circumstances can’t get divorced or simply doesn’t want to wait.

Another purpose of a commitment ceremony might be a wedding repetition when a couple wishes to renew their vows after a certain period of time. It might be handled in a traditional or informal way, in presence of a family and guests or in private; and most commonly a commitment ceremony venue will be same as the initial wedding venue.

Some of the common elements of the ceremony are greetings, vows, ring exchange and the pronouncement of marriage (union, alliance etc.). Among the additional elements are readings, speeches, music, reception or dinner. Every commitment ceremony is unique, and it’s up to the couple to decide whether it is going to be a fancy event on a private yacht charter[1] with a cake cutting, bride’s maids and flowers, a costume party or just a simple picnic. The exchange of rings might be substituted with the exchange of any other items such as bracelets, necklaces or earrings; dress code might be anything from evening gowns to beachwear to pajamas; and the ceremony might be conducted by a professional or a friend. There are no canons or regulations whatsoever.

There is a wide range of commitment ceremony venues: parks, hotels, restaurants, boats or yacht charters[2] or simply at home. Religious or gay weddings can also take place at community halls or register offices.

A commitment ceremony is a very personal and meaningful event for an adult couple. Even though it doesn’t provide the partners with any legal rights or responsibilities, this is a very delicate celebration of a lifetime devotion that requires to be performed in a unique personalized manner.

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