Unless or until the law changes in Australia, same-sex couples do not have the right to legally register a marriage. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a full wedding experience – minus the legal paperwork. On the other hand, holding a commitment ceremony does not preclude the possibility of getting legally married at some future point. In this context it may be more akin to an engagement or betrothal ceremony, and it may be held very privately or shared with a wider community of friends and family.
At the heart of your commitment ceremony or wedding are the pledges or ‘vows’ that the two of you will make to each other. To pledge is ‘to make a solemn binding promise’. It is important that you and your beloved spend some time together getting very clear what it means to you to be making a commitment to the future of your relationship. It is entirely up to you to decide what it is that you wish to promise to each other. Is a lifelong union ‘to the exclusion of all others’ your intention? If not, how do you envision the commitment that you will be making?
Becoming a family
When two people commit to joining their lives, they effectively form a new family. If this is something which feels relevant and important, you may wish to consider how you would like to involve or acknowledge your parents, children and/or siblings in your union ceremony. For some couples, this can also offer a beautiful opportunity to affirm and acknowledge the bonds we share with our chosen family – our relatives by choice rather than by blood.
Part of what lends a commitment ceremony its power is that there are others present to witness these lovers’ pledges. In some instances it could be simply the presence of the celebrant which lends solemnity to a very private commitment ceremony. More commonly you will want to invite the important people in your life to witness and celebrate with you. When you imagine your commitment ceremony who do you picture gathered around you?
Is a commitment ceremony right for you?
If you are still trying to work out what happens at a commitment ceremony, and whether it could work for your relationship, you may like to read this article – Commitment ceremonies (Or ‘When is a wedding not a wedding?’)
Not all gay and lesbian couples are alike, so the ceremony we co-create will not necessarily look like this:
But then again, it could if you wanted it to!
I co-create all my ceremonies in consultation with my clients, so each one turns out a little bit different.
The usual process involves a couple of face to face meetings during which I learn a little more about you and you get to pick out the ideas you would like incorporated into your ceremony.
Call me, or use the contact form below to get in touch, to discuss how I could help you realise your dream.