Commitment Ceremonies and Renewal of Vows

Commitment Ceremonies and Renewal of Vows Ceremonies are very similar in many ways,
because they tend to follow the structure of a Wedding Ceremony.


The Ceremony Itself

Commitment Ceremonies and Renewal of Vows Ceremonies tend to follow the general structure of Wedding Ceremonies. Most weddings will have a Preliminary Section which includes greetings and introduction, perhaps a reading or two, and the presentation of the couple if desired. Following this comes the main part, where the couple exchange promises and (usually) rings. The conclusion normally consists of another reading or two, followed by a formal declaration of the commitment or renewal. Then a certificate acknowledging what has taken place is signed by the couple and a couple of witnesses.


Legal Considerations

As part of my other ceremonies repertoire, I am more than happy to conduct same-sex Commitment Ceremonies

I am more than happy to conduct
same-sex Commitment Ceremonies

The major difference between these other ceremonies and a wedding ceremony is that these other ceremonies carry no legal status. The relationship established by the ceremony (in the case of commitment) is not registered with the Registrar-General in each state.

In the case of a renewal of vows, because the couple are already married and this cannot be repeated, there are also no legalities involved.

Commitment Ceremonies are usually performed for same-sex couples, because in Australia at this time there is no legal provision for same-sex couples to marry. So such a ceremony declares to the family and friends the serious intent of those making their commitment.

It is not always same-sex couples who ask for Commitment Ceremonies. I recall not so long ago a Commitment Ceremony for life made by a man and woman. They simply did not want to be involved in the legalities of a wedding.


When might we have such a ceremony?

Renewals of Vows tend to occur on special anniversaries – anniversaries such as 10, 15, 20, etc. years.

One of the very special ones that I remember was a 50th wedding anniversary, at which the couple were surrounded by their children, grandchildren, and even a couple of great grandchildren. But they can be done at any time desired.

Commitment Ceremonies can take place at any time that suits the couple. As with weddings, these ceremonies are usually quite emotional occasions and quite special, as people acknowledge and celebrate their relationships.


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