Commitment ceremonies

'Commitment' in relation to ceremonies has been used to describe a ceremony in which a couple pledge their life-long love and support to another person. 

In other words, a ceremony usually with similar intention and components as a marriage ceremony, without the legal recognition by the state or the country wherein it is performed.

The need for such ceremonies may be due to the couple involved not being free to marry because

  • one or both parties do not wish to formalise their relationship legally 
  • one or both parties are not legally free to marry. ie too young, already married to someone else.

LGBTIQ couples are the people who have most often used Commitment ceremonies as a way of celebrating their love and life long commitment to one another when Australia would not marry all straight and LGBTIQ couples. 

The word 'commitment' has three basic meanings*:

  • a state of being bound to an ideal, person/s, place, organisation or course of action
  • a pledge to do something
  • a legal act

It is in the first two two meanings that the word "commitment" has been used in relation to ceremonies.

However there are those who find the connotations related to the "legal act" and other common usage of the word 'commitment' not totally suitable.

For example, a person can be 'committed' for a crime and 'committed' to prison; or 'committed' to mental health facility; or their remains or ashes 'committed' to the earth as part of a funeral ceremony.

For this reason, the 'Partnership' Ceremonies, or 'Celebration of Union' Ceremonies, or in some contexts, "Civil Union" Ceremonies may be preferred titles for these ceremonies.

'Civil union' has developed as terminology for situations where legal rights similar or the same as marriage, have been conferred on a relationship.

Such new laws aim to grant people in a mutual supportive relationship the right to protection under law, for the financial, physical, emotional and social contributions they are making and/or have made in the relationship.

In some countries, civil unions are only open to same-sex couples, in others to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Please contact us if you need assistance locating a celebrant.

* The word 'commitment' n.
1. The act or an instance of committing, especially:
    a. The act of referring a legislative bill to committee.
    b. Official consignment, as to a prison or mental health facility.
    c. A court order authorizing consignment to a prison.
2. a. A pledge to do.
    b. Something pledged, especially an engagement by contract involving financial obligation.
3. The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons: a deep commitment to liberal policies; a profound commitment to the family.


Last modified on Sunday, 10 December 2017 17:07
More in this category: « Celebration of marriage