What is Commitment Ceremony: Tips for Couples

18.05.2020

All of us have probably seen the beautiful scenes of commitment ceremonies in American movies. When a girl in a gorgeous dress walks down the aisle with her father along the petal-strewn path to her only and beloved one. When the procession is accompanied by a touching play of a violin or even an entire orchestra - this is what we call a commitment ceremony today. It turns out that there is no single origination of this tradition, it is popular in many cultures even if each of them has their customs and traditions. Young people today become increasingly interested in arranging such a ceremony as a part of their wedding celebration.

Not all people know the difference between a real commitment ceremony for registering a family and a theatrical performance that only mimics a wedding. What is the difference between an outside commitment ceremony and the one which takes place at the registry office? These and many other issues we will describe below.

commitment ceremony for straight couples

What Is a Commitment Ceremony?

A commitment ceremony is a procedure of registering a family that is a traditional part of any wedding. It can be done in many ways and different places; it is up to the newlyweds to decide. If this ceremony is unofficial, it is suitable for people of all sexualities, ages, nations, and religions. In case people decide to officially sign the documents and create a family in a registry office, there are some legal restrictions to that. For example, in the USA, you have to be at least 16 years old to do this under the permission of parents. Besides, gay commitment ceremonies are allowed not in all American states. To answer the question, "What is a commitment ceremony?" let’s take a look at two main possible scenarios of it.

The first scenario is official

Even the commitment ceremony at the beach or in a forest can be official. This will serve as an alternative to the registration hall if the newlyweds have chosen the place where registration is officially permitted. The ceremony is conducted by a registry office employee. The cost of such a ceremony is paid according to the price list and depends on the package of services that the newlyweds will choose. Important: the official commitment ceremony has legal force, the newlyweds sign the documents and after such a ceremony, they officially become a family and receive the corresponding document.

The second scenario: unofficial or theatrical

Who can perform a commitment ceremony? Here the role of the registrar can be performed by hired artists or presenters, and therefore, such a ceremony has no legal force. But there are absolutely no restrictions on the place and time of the event! And this is the main advantage of this option. You can even arrange a ceremony in Las Vegas with one of those beautiful women online you have recently met. Advice: to give legal status to marital relationships, you can go to the registry office the day before, or on any weekday, and receive the necessary stamp in your documents. And then, on the wedding day itself, you can arrange a ceremony just for yourself, exchange the rings once again, and say the wedding wows.

Why Did Commitment Ceremonies Become So Popular?

In the past, people did not take the celebration of the wedding ceremony so serious, in fact, some people even created families to fix boring relationships. Today everyone wants a pretty movie-like picture when it comes to the most important day of their lives. Apart from choosing the place and the registrar yourself, there are various benefits of the commitment ceremonies. This is an unforgettable opportunity to celebrate your special holiday and arrange a whole performance for your guests. So that you have no doubts left why these ceremonies have become so popular, here are a few advantages.

The date. Wedding experts note that in the case of arranging your registration, you will be absolutely free to choose a date, you can take into account religious holidays, weather forecasts, even the predictions of astrologers. State institutions dictate their conditions: registrars have working hours, there are other ceremonies planned before and after you. In the case of official registrations in palaces and museums, the choice of dates is also small.

Flexibility. If circumstances arise that you will be late to the registry office, for example, due to traffic jams, then you will simply miss your opportunity to legally register your family at an office. In the case of commitment ceremony, you are not bound by a strict schedule, and no force majeure or misunderstanding can prevent the wedding.commitment ceremony

Choosing a registrar. Whoever you choose will connect your hands and hearts: it can be a man, a woman, a professional presenter, an actor, a celebrity. If you want a thematic celebration, then the registrar can wear a tailcoat, a Victorian gentleman costume, a superhero outfit, anything to match the theme.

Needless to say, you will be absolutely free to choose a place for registration and decor? Practice shows that such registration is a much more solemn and memorable event than the outdated one conducted at the registry office. These two events can be arranged on different days, today this is the most common practice.

How to Organize a Commitment Ceremony

When planning a future commitment ceremony script, the newlyweds must take into account all the details, be able to properly organize time and space, have a good taste. However, one of the most important decisions for lovers is to choose a style and type of ceremony. As we have mentioned, there are two possible options. And when you decide how your wedding will pass, you can think in detail what you expect from the ceremony.

The difference between the registration at the office and the commitment ceremony?

After the ceremony at the registry office, you will receive a document confirming your union. There are a lot of drawbacks to such registration, not only because it seems boring to many but because of some pragmatic reasons too. When deciding on such a ceremony, you should be prepared for a limited amount of time and a long line. Therefore, we advise you to book the time on weekdays or a few days before the celebration of the wedding. So you save your time and energy. Still, this event can be truly touching. The peak moment will be the exchange of marital vows that the newlyweds will pronounce before all the guests.

The place for the commitment ceremony

Any place that is dear to your heart or corresponds to the theme of the celebration can be chosen as the spot for your ceremony: a park, a lawn in the forest, a restaurant area where a banquet will take place, a beach or a steep bank of the river, or maybe even the sea. This list goes on and on. You must choose a cozy, beautiful, possibly significant place, in which something unforgettable happened to you. When choosing a place, if it is in the open air, you need to consider the case of rain, where to hide from the wind, set a big tent, prepare umbrellas. If the ceremony takes place in the summer, then look at where the sun is at that time not to be placed in the shade, etc.

Outside commitment ceremony

To conduct a classic commitment ceremony like the one seen in movies, you need to decorate the selected venue in the style of your wedding. As the main background behind the newlyweds, you can order an arch, statues, a stylized photo zone, a tree, a chandelier, in general, absolutely any object that fits into your wedding style. As for the seating for guests - you can use chairs, sofas, ottomans, benches, in a word, everything that you can sit on. There are many options for accommodating all participants at the exit ceremony. As the rule, the arch where you will pronounce the commitment ceremony vows and exchange the rings should be situated in the center of an area. An aisle that the newlyweds will walk down leads to the arch and divides the area in two. The guests invited from the side of each of the partners sit to the left and the right accordingly.commintment ceremonies

The wedding ceremony in the registry office

The future life partners, as well as everyone else (primarily witnesses), should come to the wedding palace a little earlier than the specified time - about 15 minutes. This is necessary to feel more relaxed and confident. After giving the documents to the registry office employee, the couple has to wait for the call for some time. The official registrar prepares the documents confirming the legal creating of a family. After the documents are ready, the young couple is invited to sign a special registration book. Upon completion of these paper issues, the most solemn moment of the wedding begins. A young couple enters the registry office to the magnificent music of the Mendelssohn march and stops right at the receptionist's desk. Typically, the registration room is a very large, spacious room, not cluttered with unnecessary items and decorated in a festive style.

Adjustments to the registry office ceremony

Often people planning a commitment ceremony at the official registry office want to hold the event according to their scenario. They think through every detail, wishing that this exciting and important day in their life would be remembered as an unusual event, not like the others. The registry office administration usually does not object to the adjustments. On the contrary, any changes, additions to the general scenario will be interesting for everyone, they will add a “twist” to the monotony of the run-in scenario plans, repeated in the registry office every day. Some people choose the registry office commitment ceremony instead of a wedding if they want to legally confirm their relationships but do not plan any celebrations. Others hold the ceremony in a church and then go to the registry office. The options are endless, and you can arrange this event how you want provided it will be within the law.

Commitment Ceremony Ideas: Trends of 2020

The wedding ceremony in the registry office will soon become something completely archaic since for modern couples, the auditorium of a state institution seems too boring, or they seek to save money, time and organize everything in one place. The formality of many traditions forces people to come up with interesting commitment ceremony ideas, sometimes turning it into a separate show. We have put together a few ideas that will help you diversify your wedding ceremony.

The appearance of the newlyweds

Many have goosebumps, imagining the classical compositions as the background for the moment when the young couple will go down the aisle. For many future life partners, the freedom of musical choice is what makes an independent commitment ceremony so attractive. Because it will be much more symbolic to make the appearance to the sound of the song that is near to your hears. For example, if the partners want to, they can appear in front of the guests to the main theme of Star Wars while Survivor - Eye of the Tiger will play. Guests will definitely remember such a detail. If you are ready for a small portion of experiments, you can seriously think about what song you would like to hear on the most special day of your life.

Wedding arch which is not arch

Whoever performs the role of the registrar, every detail from the commitment ceremony invitations to decorating the place should be made according to certain rules. People often imagine the wedding altar in the form of an arch, a path leading to it along which the newlyweds will go, and chairs for guests are placed on either side of it. In our realities, the role of the altar is most often performed by the arch, however, the modern trends tend to step aside this tradition from wedding to wedding, and decorators stick to other creative options. It is completely optional to use the arch as a decoration for registration, the ceremony can be held even near the fireplace (an allusion to the family hearth), under the tree (family tree), or in the gazebo.

The registrar of the ceremony

The key role in conducting a ceremony is assigned to the registrar or master of ceremonies. There are many opinions about who should lead the ceremony: a professional wedding receptionist, host of a wedding, a guest actor or a couple’s acquaintance who knows the couple well. Each of these options has its pros and cons, and ultimately it will be up to you to decide, however, the many wedding experts say that recently the trends have increasingly turned in the direction of actors. They differ from the masters of ceremonies because actors may present the text written by the organizers more sincerely and look natural in this role. The wedding presenter has a lot of functions, he or she should hold a ceremony and communicate with guests, create a special atmosphere, and feel the newlyweds and their audience. It is often the professional host that saves the wedding in case of unforeseen circumstances by maintaining positive vibes.

Let one of the guests hold the ceremony

A good way to make the ceremony more personal is to ask a person who knows you well to hold it. As a rule, when a commitment ceremony is unofficial, anyone can hold it, not just an employee of the registry office or a professional showman. The story of the meeting and the sincere congratulations sound unforgettable from a family friend or close relative, even traditional words about the union of two hearts will sound specially. The ceremony can be moderately amusing - if the host recalls a couple of funny moments from the relationships of the future life partners, or sentimental. Even one of the parents can perform this role, it is symbolic and very touching. And the advantage of this option is that you save money in any case.commitment ceremony vows

Involve your friends in the ceremony

If your friends have any talents, use them for your ceremony. Maybe among them, there are singers, artists, musicians, dancers who will be glad to perform a surprise for you and your guests. Inviting loved ones to become part of the commitment ceremony for straight couples is not just a way to save on invited specialists. They will help make the holiday more personal, emotional and will contribute to an important event for you. It also depends on the guests how unique your wedding will be. Of course, this idea will be successful only if there are real masters of their craft among your friends. Otherwise, you risk turning the wedding ceremony into a school talent show.

Come up with your ritual

You do not have to include in the script a traditional exchange of vows and kisses. Create your rituals, which will renew your consent to the celebration of anniversaries. It can be anything - letters to the future that you will open in 5-10 years, a memory node (instead of hanging locks on city bridges), joint mixing of the cocktail that you drank on your first date. The main thing is that it is not just another banal idea that wedding organizers offer in large numbers, but an action significant for both of you. Even if it seems a little strange to the rest.

Creative locations

In the search for a location, try not to start from the aesthetics of the place but from its significance to you. The ceremony itself can be a way to tell guests your story. Invite them to your favorite bar, a place in the city where you first met, or decided to create a family. Do not deprive yourself of the pleasure to choose the most unusual options: a library, a small inconspicuous square, a bus, or a cinema - almost any place can be adapted for the ceremony if you can agree with its owners.

Let’s sum up what you need to organize a commitment ceremony:

  • The most important thing when organizing a wedding ceremony is the place itself. Turn on your imagination and do not limit yourself to a banal restaurant and registry office. The ceremony can be held in the park, in the forest, on the beach, on the roof, in the sky, there are many other options. Focusing on the theme of the celebration and the type of guests you invite will help.
  • Find a good florist and decorator for the venue. All kinds of textures and fabrics, paper, and flowers will make your ceremony spot look unbelievable ad photogenic.
  • Choose an experienced organizer to help you. But when it comes to the host of the ceremony, you can save up by inviting one of your friends or relatives to do this. And do not hesitate to personalize the celebration by adding your small rituals to it.

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