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Commitment Ceremony FAQs

Commitment ceremonies are intended for adult couples, of any gender, who wish to celebrate their commitment to each other without undergoing a marriage. It is ideal for couples who cannot marry for legal reasons or for those who simply do not wish to marry. Commitment ceremonies carry no legal status.

You can have a commitment ceremony before a legal marriage if you wish to, but you cannot have one after it. You must be ‘free’ to commit to your partner.

The purpose of the ceremony is to make a public declaration of life-long commitment to each other. The ceremony will be a dignified and meaningful occasion and should be taken seriously.

We offer two different types of commitment ceremony: a ‘Classic’ and a ‘Bespoke’.

With the Classic Commitment ceremony we send you an information pack that includes a ceremony booklet and booking form. The booklet leads you through the ceremony structure and offers you a series of choices and readings and contains the following sections:

Introduction and Welcome
Reading
Statement of Free Will
Promise of Commitment
Personal Pledges
Giving of Ring(s) or Gift(s)
Speech
Further Reading
Closing Words
Signing of the Certificate
Commitment
Ceremonies
Frequently Asked Questions

The Bespoke Commitment ceremony is tailor-made to your own requirements. Arranging a Bespoke ceremony will ensure that you get exactly the ceremony you want and you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish. You can decide to add your own words to the many choices in our comprehensive ceremony pack.

Often the bespoke ceremonies include:

Introduction and Welcome
Readings by yourselves or friends and family
Personal Vows to each other
Giving of Rings
Participation of any Children
Signing and Presentation of Certificate
Closing Words

There are many other options to add, such as:
Symbolic actions like joining of hands, tree planting, lighting a candle
In Memory (to remember deceased family or friends)
Referral to absent guests
Religious, spiritual or cultural words or symbolic actions
Giving of gifts to each other

No – these ceremonies have no legal effect and are not legally binding on those who participate in any way. They are something that many adult couples simply choose to do.

No, you do need to be free to commit to your new partner. The exception to this is where divorce proceedings have been started or paperwork has been held up and the booked legal marriage needs to be turned into a Commitment Ceremony. Note: Guests will be aware they are not attending a legal marriage ceremony.

You can arrange for a ceremony to be held in any venue such as a hall, club or hotel that is available for public use. Ceremonies can also be held in your own home or garden if suitable. Your Celebrant is required to visit you at home or at your venue beforehand to comply with Health and Safety requirements. We recommend that if you are thinking of having your ceremony outside you need to also plan for shelter if the weather conditions are bad. Also bear in mind locations like pubs or beaches are open to the public and can therefore be disruptive and noisy. Please note that we are not involved in organising ceremony venues – they will have their own charges for room hire, catering etc.

No, and nor does it have to be local to you. If you choose to hold your ceremony outside, be it at home, or at a friend or relative’s house, we would require you to have an inside room or some form of cover available in case of bad weather.

Yes you can hold your ceremony at home. The celebrant will need to meet with you at home as we have to adhere to certain health and safety regulations.

Take a look at our ‘Guidelines for Ceremonies at Home‘ policy, this will give you an idea of the sort of things you need to consider.

Most of our ceremonies are conducted on either Saturdays or Sundays but they can be conducted on any day of the week. The ceremony fee is the same whether the ceremony is on a weekday or a weekend.

This is your choice. One of our fully trained professional Celebrants can conduct the ceremony for you. Alternatively you can purchase the ‘Script Only’ option from us and arrange for someone you know to conduct the ceremony for you. We have Celebrants in most areas of the UK but not all, so the Script Only option is ideal on the very rare occasion we could not provide a Celebrant.

A Classic Commitment ceremony usually takes from between 15 to 30 minutes and a Bespoke Ceremony usually takes longer, depending on the number of options included in the ceremony and the number of readings chosen.

Usually the answer is to this is yes, but it is dependent on the availability of your venue and our Celebrant. Unfortunately our Bespoke ceremony cannot be arranged at short notice. We need a minimum of six weeks notice to arrange a Bespoke ceremony, however our Classic ceremony can be arranged with shorter notice so call us as soon as you can to discuss your needs.

Yes you can in the Bespoke Ceremony option. (Within reason!!) Our Bespoke Ceremony co-ordinator will contact you to ensure the ceremony is exactly as you wish.  In our Classic Ceremony there are also several sections where you can add your own wording.

If there are religious/spiritual readings or references that have special meaning for you, you may include them at any point in the Bespoke Ceremony. In the Classic Ceremony, there is an opportunity to include any religious/spiritual content in the speeches or readings that you choose.

Yes, you can wear whatever you want to!

Yes! In the Classic ceremony this is provided in PDF format on our online system. For the Bespoke we email you a copy and also provide you with a hard copy. Your script will be forwarded to your Celebrant on approval.

Yes, we include a commemorative certificate that you will sign during the ceremony.

Any other questions?

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01480 276080 or email us at info@civilceremonies.co.uk

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