A commitment ceremony is for people who are either unable to marry according to law or for people who are against the idea of legalized marriage. Either way this type of ceremony is not very different from a traditional wedding. Therefore there are many things that need to be considered before having such a ceremony. Here are some of them.
Planning – Planning the ceremony will allow you to handle all the details so you are able to have the perfect ceremony. Before planning you need to decide on the budget so that you can keep to it as you plan everything else. When deciding the budget you need to consider expenses for the venue, invitations, entertainment, decorations, catering, photographer, etc. When planning you need to discuss it with your partner so that both of you can come to an agreeable decision.
Guests – A commitment ceremony should be shared with your closest friends and family. Therefore you should limit your guest list to only those who are closest to you. This way you are able to have a more intimate, meaningful ceremony. Once you decide on the guest list you can easily pick out the venue. For invitations you can arrange for simple ones to be made or else you can make handmade cards for a more personal touch. Invitations should be send several weeks before the ceremony so that the guests have plenty of notice. Make sure that you guests are aware of what type of ceremony it is so as to avoid confusion.
Marriage Officiant & Vows – Even though this type of ceremony is not a legal form of marriage you are still able to have vows. Your vows can either be the custom ones with a few changes or you can opt for self-written vows. Whatever you choose, you and your partner should be comfortable with the decision. As this is a commitment ceremony you are able to have a friend or family member conduct it. Or else if you want you can have a traditional marriage officiate. For a more traditional ceremony there can be a priest or minister to conduct the ceremony. A civil marriage celebrant would be a better option if you want a flexible ceremony where you able to make most of the decisions.
For a same sex ceremony there are many websites that allow you to hire a same sex marriage celebrant.
Venue & Food – As this is not a traditional wedding ceremony there are more choices when it comes to the venue. You need to make sure the venue allows such ceremonies to be held there before choosing it. You can have the ceremony in a hotel function room or for a smaller ceremony you can have it at your house. Since a commitment ceremony is all about the declaration of a lifelong commitment in front of close friends and family the venue does not have to be very flashy.