Post # 1
I’m planning my own wedding, and my father-in-law-to-be and his long-time partner want me to plan their commitment ceremony as well! I’m new to this, and know nothing about gay commitment ceremonies…any help? Is there any difference at all between this and a traditional ceremony between a man and a woman? (For instance, how do you word that on an invitation? Do they need someone to officiant the ceremony? etc.)
All legal and moral issues aside please!
Post # 3
I think they are exactly the same. Maybe the wording could be something like
Have decided to join their lives together on such and such date and leave it at that.
Good for them!!
Post # 5
They are pretty much the same, I would just see what the legalities are in the state you live in. Is it just a ceremony, or will they be submitting civil union papers. For the ceremony, if they are not really religious. I wouldn’t go the route of traditional vows. I know of a beautiful reading, for gay-queer marriage rights that would be beautiful for their ceremony. If you would like the reading, just PM and I will shoot it over to you. Tell them congrats from me! I am sure it will be a beautiful ceremony!
Post # 6
There is exactly as much difference as the couple getting married/committed wants there to be, if that makes sense. Some people like a traditional event, others create a whole new set of traditions. Maybe you could ask them if they have any dreams/visions for the day, what their priorities are, what other ceremonies they’ve seen or heard about that they liked. If they don’t have any ideas, find some books or websites with pictures for them to look at to get an idea of their style. I’ve found with weddings that you never know what assumptions people have in their heads, no matter how well you know them, and having someplace to start might make it all easier. I wish I had some specific recommendations, sorry!
As for invitation wording, treat it like an older person’s marriage, where you don’t put the parents on the invite. Generally go for more contemporary language, and ask them if they want ‘commitment ceremony’ or ‘married’ or ‘partnership’ or ‘joining lives’. That part of the wording in particular evokes strong feelings in people. Like, one of my friends needs to use the word marriage whenever possible, while another avoids it like the plague.
Officiant – yes! usually. Even if you’re not religious, it helps to have someone up there who can remember what to do next. And lots of religious officiants will do same-sex ceremonies, you just have to find them, and sometimes they have certain things they can’t/won’t say.
Often men skip the walk-down-the-aisle stuff, and anything else that’s very bridal, obviously.
One other thing, is that for a lot of older gay couples it’s more about their friends than their families, which is often not the case for younger people. Not always true, of course, just putting it out there. Good luck! I think it’s a wonderful thing for you to do, as long as planning two at once doesn’t make you too crazy!
Post # 7
it depends on the couple – the last committment ceremony i went to took the vows from this site and tweaked them (the stephanie and dawn ones) but thats basically how it went.
and check with your state about what is required for civil unions.
Post # 8
I’m so spacey sometimes! I should have specified – it’s just a commitment ceremony, no paperwork.
Thats just what I needed to know girls! Wasn’t even sure if gay guys “walk down the aisle!” (Thanks hopewell!)
They’ve been together for like 10 years, so this is quite a long anticipated event!
Oh – one more question if anyone knows – I’ve seen the sand pouring thing and the unity candles, but is there any other cool unique way of physically showing your friends and family in a wedding ceremony that your “blending families”? (It doesn’t have to be specific to a gay ceremony, any general ceremony idea would help!)
Post # 9
family knots – ive been to a wedding where the two families tied knots together symbolizing the newly formed family….
Post # 10
Some gay guys walk down the aisle, others don’t. Or in some cases, one stands in front and one walks down the aisle. You just have to check with them on how they want to do it.
I think most commitment ceremonies start with a traditional marriage ceremony, and then figure out which parts of it should be ditched and what additional things might be added, to reflect not only the gender of the couple but their tastes, how traditional they are, etc.
We got married, so we did go through all the legalities. But our ceremony (which can be found here) would work for either. It was a Jewish ceremony, but you may find at least parts of it helpful.
Post # 11
I loved your wedding pics so much 2d! She had a gorgeous wedding. I think you’ve gotten great advice here. Just maybe the wording on the invite might be the only difference.
Love is love 🙂 Congrats to your dad!
Post # 12
I agree with most posters above, it really depends on them. My wedding in Texas, while not legal, it is just as much a wedding, with the officiant and cake and all that jazz, as if it was a regular ol’ straight wedding. 🙂 I think we used the word “joining” on our invites, instead of wedding, marriage, etc.
Post # 13
i think, just like any wedding, it depends on the couple. for me, some of the more traditional aspects of a wedding would be a bit embarrassing. for others, there is real value in tossing the bouquet, etc (and if nothing else, we gay folks deserve to have the option, just like everyone else)! different strokes!