Commitment Ceremony | Top Tips for Your Alternative Wedding

commitment ceremony

Marriage is an institution and love is universal. So, a commitment ceremony without the legal requirements, trappings and paperwork is a great alternative. It is similar to a non-religious humanistic wedding. So, how do you plan an authentic wedding of your dreams?

Well, you and your partner have “carte blanche” to create something that identifies you both as individuals. It is non-legally binding, personal and beautiful and far outstrips a traditional matrimony.

But, how does it work? Basically, a commitment ceremony is similar to a traditional white wedding. It follows the same order of events as a marriage service but without religious wording and the legal side of things.

On top of that it sets you apart from other couples. By sharing your love with family and friends during a joyous celebratory ceremony, you take your relationship to the next level. With a modern day commitment ceremony, you have the freedom of choice. So, make your big day memorable. Find below tips to help you start planning…

Afro-Caribbean wedding  

Photo credit: Krista Guenin: “Typically held during or after a legal marriage service a commitment ceremony gives you the freedom to celebrate your love with family and friends. Source:

1. Marriage is an institution

Let’s start at the very beginning, desiring a stylish unconventional wedding with substance can be a great option if you are non-religious. Or if you don’t like the sound of “Marriage” you can opt for a commitment ceremony. To slavishly follow typical marriage traditions might not be your thing.

2. Bring back humanness to the meaning of marriage

Secondly, a commitment ceremony offers a unique opportunity to create a special celebration. Furthermore, it gives everyone attending your unity celebration a strong sense of belonging, inclusion and participation. Also known as symbolic ceremonies they are personal and non-legally binding.

3. Commitment ceremonies outstripping marriage ceremonies

With the above in mind a commitment ceremony is the perfect alternative to a civil union or church wedding. And look at it this way, it’s outstripping the classic marriage ceremony because there are no restrictions. So, choosing such an arrangement with your partner gives you plenty of scope to create something uniquely yours.

4. Partnership in life ceremony

Secondly, two soul companions, such as you and your partner wish to make your long-term relationship official. So, instead of marriage, you’re settling on an alternative commitment ceremony. Perhaps, you could hold a belief in the supernatural. And feel a partnership in life ceremony, spiritual union or a humanist wedding speaks more to your heart and mind. Do whatever you think is right, it’s your celebration of love.

5. Deal with the paperwork and the legalities of marriage

Another thing to consider, you might be an atheist. Having a dogmatic belief to hold a a commitment ceremony is simply your relationship confirmation without registering a civil partnership. And with your non-standard and unconventional wishes a celebration of love is perfect. So, deal with the paperwork and the legalities of marriage (if you desire) before your big moment. Moreover, find out more at your local town hall.

6. Alternative wedding day will not coincide with a major event

And there’s more…stated by, a promise of commitment ceremony or ritual symbolises unity. It is held to mark the union between two individuals in love. Another thing, you’re uncomfortable with the concept or the term of marriage. So,  breaking free from the traditional legacy of weddings ensures something unique. And your alternative nuptials will not coincide with another major event.

7. Confirm your union of love publicly 

Although an alternative partnership ceremony is similar to a classic wedding. In a word it’s a symbolic, small private celebration for 2 (or more guests). And the best thing is the short and sweet unconventional wedding allows you to make the rules. You set the tone and scene. Plus, you choose your own words representative of your relationship. And as two soul companions you promise to  share your lives together, by writing your own personal vows.

8. Let your creativity echo your personal needs 

What’s more exciting than celebrating your love the way you want? And guess what, you can, use creativity to echo your special needs, ideas and music tastes. This is superb if you don’t desire a proclamation of banns or traditional marriage service. Basically, a celebrant can have your intention for a long-term relationship read out during a commitment ceremony.

9. Grant of approval to hold a life partner ceremony

So, be totally self-indulgent and plan a non-legal, non-binding or spiritual wedding. Or include your children in the celebration. Like it or not, a small and intimate civil wedding is merely a formal proceeding. And represents the legal status of  your long-standing harmonious connection.

Bonus tips

two men in colourful red and blue jackets during a commitment ceremony

Non-believers push for legal recognition of humanist weddings. The government is due to respond to call for non-religious marriages to be enforceable in law, ending the need for second, civil ceremony. Source:

Foto met dank aan: Krista Guenin

10. Commitment ceremony – design a heartwarming script 

In addition focus on your lifestyle, cultural heritage and personality. And share your hopes, dreams and happiness with loved ones. Hire a celebrant to re-enact the wedding proceedings. Be different. Opt for a close friend to perform as your officiant for the day. Craft your own unique declaratory and contracting words. Personalize your day and include your unique commitment ceremony script.

11. Swap rings, a gift of love and sign a symbolic partnership certificate 

By all means, present one another with a token of your loving union. A traditional wedding ring symbolizes eternity and is a perfect gift. Otherwise, exchange an engraved bracelet or necklace. Another idea is to give a meaningful symbol of your love and unity. And following this you kiss and embrace your partner. Next sign your symbolic partnership certificate or a contract of love. Whichever you prefer, it’s the ultimate pledge of lifelong devotion. Moreover, a confirmation and testimony will affirm your solid bond.

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About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a specialist celebrant | marriage officiant | wedding ceremonies MC with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are fine dining, travel hotspots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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