Commitment Ceremonies F.A.Q

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Commitment Ceremonies F.A.Q.

·         We want to have a ceremony or wedding to celebrate our relationship, however we do not want to get legally married. Are we capable of doing that?

 

·         We'd like our ceremony to be religious. Are there ministers, rabbis, and other religious officiants who are willing to preside at a wedding where we will not be getting legally married? How are we capable of finding one?

 

·         We would like to list the Alternatives to Marriage Project in our gift registry (for a wedding or commitment ceremony), to encourage our guests to support the relationships of those who are not capable or choose not to marry. How are we capable of doing  this?

 

·         We want to have a ceremony or wedding to celebrate our relationship, however we do not want to get legally married. Are we capable of doing that?

·         Yes, many people appreciate the ritual of a wedding even if they do not want to (or are not capable of it) get legally married. Some want to be married "in the eyes of God" however have reasons why a legal marriage is not a beneficial option for them. Others want an opportunity to celebrate their love with their family and friends, or make vows to each other in a private ritual. If you want to, it's even legal for one or both unmarried partners to change their last names so that they match like a married couple. The options for how to create your own ceremony are limitless. A few ideas you might find helpful:

·         For resources on how to design your own ceremony, check out books on planning a contemporary, "non-traditional" wedding, and (2) books on gay and lesbian ceremonies (we encourage heterosexual couples to explore these books, too -- they are full of great ideas!). Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple, by AtMP's founders, includes a chapter specifically about planning a commitment ceremony as a different-sex couple. If you find other useful ideas or resources, please let us know so we can share them with the people who ask us!

·         We would like to list the Alternatives to Marriage Project in our gift registry (for a wedding or commitment ceremony), to encourage our guests to support the relationships of those who are not capable or choose not to marry. How are we capable of doing this?

·         If you want a religious officiant at your ceremony, you may be able to find a clergy person who will perform a religious marriage ceremony (or other type of religious "union") without requiring that you get legally married.

·         Clergy may be more willing to do this if they know you personally, have a sense of your relationship and situation, and understand why you have important reasons why you are not capable of or choose not to have a civil marriage. Some religions like Unitarian Universalism, Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism, and paganism or Wicca may be more likely to support your situation. Unitarian ministers are usually very respectful of people's own religious beliefs and backgrounds without requiring any "conversion" or agreement to a new set of beliefs. You might also seek out congregations that openly welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, as the clergy there may be especially comfortable with blessing relationships that are not recognised by the state. Check local GLBT newspapers or websites for listings.


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