Commitment Ceremony

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Pointer Posts : 8 Registered: 3/22/08
Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 8:19 PM

This is my first time on here, and after reading throughout here, I feel confident writing this. Ok here is what has happened. I am officially engaged, we have set a date,and we are planning a wedding however, we do not feel the need to sign a legal document, to say we are married. (We have both been married before, we are older, and there are no legal reasons for not getting the document signed) I am changing my last name to his, and we have talked to our attorney about all the legal aspects. Our wills are done, so it protects us from all the negative stuff that can happen. We have told our children exactly what are plans are, and they are very excited for us. Our families, and friends as well. However, this is my problem, I know it is not traditionally done this way, but there are a few people,(such as his aunt) that are making a big fuss over that this not a wedding, it is a commitment, and that is it. Yet when I asked the minister that is performing the ceremony, he told me a commitment ceremony is the same as a wedding.The only difference for him is he is not signing a legal document, so it will not be recongnized through the goverment. How do I handle his aunt that I truly no longer want at my wedding?


Live life like there is no tomorrow, and love like you never have before.

Edited by: Pointer on Jan 7, 2009 8:20 PM

Edited by: Pointer on Jan 7, 2009 8:22 PM

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bride4life Posts : 499 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 8:30 PM Go to message in response to: Pointer

If you do not want a wedding than I don't think that your full head, heart, body, and spirit is in it. I don't understand why you want just a commitment ceremony with no legal aspect. Why not? There must be trust issues. I agree with the aunt. It is just going to be a lot of money spent for nothing. Why not just have people go out to dinner and be happy for your relationship. Other wise it is just a selfish act of wanting a dress and presents. I understand a commitment ceremony for a gay couple, but not a straight couple. I agree with the aunt.

Why not take a fabulous vacation and celebrate your commitment to each other every day in little romantic ways?

Edited by: bride4life on Jan 7, 2009 8:41 PM

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 8:54 PM Go to message in response to: Pointer

Dear Pointer,

If you do not want the aunt at the ceremony, then don't invite her.

If she does not want to attend, she can decline the invitation, should it arrive.

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Pointer Posts : 8 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 8:59 PM Go to message in response to: bride4life

First off, im sorry that you feel that someone should be gay to have a commitment ceremony, and that is the only way you understand it. As far as having our heart, and soul into it, we would not want to make this commitment in front of all of our friends and family, if this was not the case. As far as trust that is not an issue with either of us, he has been a police officer for way to long.There was nothing said about presents, because we have not registered for any. If I were gay im sure you would say that everything I am doing was ok. I guess I am different and choose to accept people for who they are, and support them in what makes them happy.


Live life like there is no tomorrow, and love like you never have before.


Edited by: Pointer on Jan 7, 2009 9:12 PM

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bride4life Posts : 499 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 9:12 PM Go to message in response to: Pointer

I stand by what I say.


The gay community has to have com. ceremonys because they are binded by law. You are not. So don't "I'm sorry" me. That was rude.

Edited by: bride4life on Jan 7, 2009 9:12 PM

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Pointer Posts : 8 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 9:44 PM Go to message in response to: bride4life

It was not rude to say what I said. By saying im sorry you do not feel that way is never rude. You do not have to accept what I am saying, and I have responded to what you have said. As a person that has a minor in law, I know what the laws are, as far as people of the same sex. To be rude is to make assumptions such as you have about our intentions.

Live life like there is no tomorrow, and love like you never have before.

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Carmona2009 Posts : 1 Registered: 1/7/09
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 10:27 PM Go to message in response to: Pointer

I think his aunt has the right to say what she feels, and you have the right to excuse her from your wedding. However, at the same time, if it is family it may cause some tension. On a lighter note, what you are doing is done all over this country, more often than not.However, people do not talk as open about it as you are. There are many people that choose to not sign a marriage license for many different reasons. This does not mean that they are not married, it just means you have no legal rights to claim each other on taxes, social security, etc:( I noticed you said you had a will, and talked to an attorney)
As far as the other post goes. People are entitled to their own opions, and leave it at that. (I did not find anywhere where you were rude) Personally, if your children, family, and friends are happy for you, it should not matter what anyone thinks.
I wish you and your fiance all the best, and send her an invite, it is up to her to accept, or decline.
(By the way I looked up commitment ceremony before posting this.I did not want to post something I had no clue about, and it does not say anywhere about only Gay, and or Lesbians for this type of ceremony/wedding)

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 10:50 PM Go to message in response to: bride4life

Dear Bride4 life,

I agree with you, more or less.

A committment ceremony is pointless. You walk in as two single people and walk out as two single people.

So? What's the big whoop-de-do?

(I fully understand and respect the fact that this might be the only alternative for same-sex couples.)

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bride4life Posts : 499 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 11:56 PM Go to message in response to: Pointer

I actually have a couple of questions for you:

(You are the first person I have heard of who is having a wedding with no legal papers)

1. Why not a pre-nup?

2. Are you getting married in a church? or with a priest, paster, rabbi, etc?

(I got married in a Catholic church and they needed to see the legal paper
in order to marry us. I choose to get married by a deacon since he was
my youth paster growing up. I had to give him my legal court paper
and he was required to mail it himself to the county. He would not of
preformed the ceremony and the church would not let us use their free
facilities without it.) (Not sure what other churches do-I am just familiar
with the Catholic Church)

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 1:00 AM Go to message in response to: bride4life

Meh, I would ignore the aunt's comment.

I hope this isn't rude, but I do want to ask: what would be the negative aspect of having the legal aspect of marriage as well? (ie the legal papers). In other words, what is making you not want that? If you are very committed to each other (which you seem to be, given that you have done a lot of looking into other paperworks to protect each other, wills, etc) then what would be the downside to being legally married as well?
(Honest questions, no judgement)

That said...even if you see this ceremony as a marriage, it really isn't. Marriage IS a legal contract (I know, I know, that is so unromantic) so I guess you have to be prepared for all sorts of reactions. But, for those who respond really rudely to it, well, you can choose to try not to care :)

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 7:40 AM Go to message in response to: Pointer

I just have a question too if you choose not to sign the legal documents what happens if one of you get sick? Will the other have the right to make decisions for you? If you are not married who is your next of kin? I am curious to know the answers to these questions.

Aside from being legally commited to the man I love, (it is a second marriage for me and we were older) one of the other reasons we got married is it was important to my husband that I be able to speak for him if he couldn't do it himself. Who better than the person closet to him to speak on his behalf. If I were not married to him that would not be an option.

Kenny and Me Perfect Together,  10 years and counting.

  wedding ticker

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Pointer Posts : 8 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 8:03 AM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

With our wills, his daughter is the next of kin. However, I am the only person that is on the will to have the legal right to say what happens to him, if he is no longer able to, Personally, I just dont see the need to sign a paper that says that I legally love someone, when in reality it is between a man and a woman how they feel. There is no benefits to either of us signing a paper, except to be recognized that we are legally married. I do truly understand that for many this is not the way to go, and for some like me it is. I have many friends that have the same sex relationship, and have said that for them they are fighting to be recongnized, and get all the benefits. For me I am doing the opposite, I don't have to be recognized, and do not need the benefits that go with it. Yet, at the same time they are the ones that are so supportive of me. I do not take offense to anyones opions, everyone is intitled to it, and I respect that.


Live life like there is no tomorrow, and love like you never have before.


Edited by: Pointer on Jan 8, 2009 8:04 AM

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FutureLeoBride Posts : 63 Registered: 9/24/08
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 8:42 AM Go to message in response to: Pointer

Just like some of the PPs, I have some more questions for you. I agree that you don't have to have a piece of paper to "prove" that your in love and celebrate your relationship, but then why do you feel the need to have a ceremony at all? Lots of couples live together for their entire lives (unmarried) without the party, and they do just fine.

Will you call him your husband? Will you tell people you are married? You mentioned changing your name, so you are basically doing all the things a marriage license would do without getting the license. I guess I am just confused why you are taking the more indirect and difficult route. What is the reason for avoiding a marriage license?
Marriage works because they had a shared sense of humor, mutual respect of an awesome
depth, faith that they were brought together by a force greater than themselves and
a love so unwavering and pure that it is sacred.
- Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 8:59 AM Go to message in response to: Pointer

Go for it, if that's what you want to do. Personally, I also don't really understand the decision, but I'm sure you have good reasons. I guess my question is this: If you're ready to make a lifelong commitment, why not get married rather than going through the trouble of trying to create all the legal rights of marriage without being married? It seems like getting married would be an easier way to achieve the same result.

Personally, I don't care what you do. I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions, simply out of curiosity, but at the end of the day, I think you should do what you think is best. That said, I'm curious. When you're done with all your legal paperwork, what differences will there be between your relationship and a legal marriage? If there will be a big difference and you have a reason for wanting that difference, I understand...but if it will be exactly the same as a marriage, except that you're legally single, I don't really get it.

About the aunt, it's fine to not invite her for whatever reason. It's also fine for her to decline, if you do invite her. I suspect that you might not get as big of a turnout (especially if you're inviting OOT family and friends) as you would for a traditional wedding, but I'm sure your closest family and friends will want to support you regardless. I'd just ignore people's comments, if they're negative. As our questions have demonstrated, many people probably just won't get it. As long as you're fine with that, I see no reason to change your plans.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Commitment Ceremony
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 10:10 AM Go to message in response to: bride4life

Dear B4L,

"(You are the first person I have heard of who is having a wedding with no legal papers)"

I've heard of others. There was a lady on this message board, some months back, who had planned a huge wedding, put down deposits, sent out invitations, then discovered that she and her boyfriend would pay higher income taxes as a married couple. She wanted to avoid the additional tax, so they went through with the ceremony, but without the legal marriage license. In cahoots with the officiant, she kept the secret from her family and friends. They all think she's married. They witnessed marriage vows in a church.

I, personally, have a fairly low opinion of that person's character. She's a liar and a cheat.

In the case of this message, the OP will not be lying. She's open about the fact they are not getting legally married. My question is what do they intend to do in the future. She's going to court for a legal name change. As time goes on, and they meet new people, will they tell them they are not actually married, or will just let people assume that "Mr and Mrs Simpson" are legally married.

I actually know, in real life, some people who did just that. The girlfriend changed her last name. They lived together, bought a house and had three children. Long story short, they ended up in legal hot water because the boyfriend, an elected city official, had taken the girlfriend on some city-paid travel. The rules are that a "spouse" could accompany the official. When it came out that the girlfriend was not a legal "spouse", the city sued the public official for the cost of her travel.

The OP absolutely has the right to do whatever she wants. She can have whatever kind of ceremony she likes, and invite or not invite who she wants, and wear whatever she likes. So long as the couple are honest, they can do what they like. Not my business.

As I've said in the Vow Renewal threads, it becomes my business when I am invited. When the invitation hits my mailbox, that is when I have a choice of either politely accepting or politely declining the invitation. Just as in the case of a wedding-like fake wedding vow renewal, I would politely decline a wedding-like non-wedding for an opposite sex couple who have the legal option of legal marriage.

I would gladly accept a committment ceremony invitation for a same-sex couple who do not have the legal option of legal marriage.

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