Commit. That is what you do. You commit to each other and to a beautiful promise. A commitment ceremony can either be a beautiful addition to your legal ceremony or it can be a stand alone event. Let me take you through it.
Legal ceremony: either performed by a minister or by an officiant. In Denmark it is always an officiant and most often it is done in the town hall. Depending on where in the country, you can also find a location somewhere else and have the officiant come there to perform the ceremony. A legal ceremony is always in the office hours, typically between 10 and 14.
Commitment ceremony: is performed without an officiant or minister. It is a ceremony between the couple themselves or conducted by a friend or family member. It has symbolic and emotional impact, but it is not legalised in the eyes of the law. A commitment ceremony can be held at all hours of the day.
A commitment ceremony is a beautiful way to dedicate yourself to each other without the official part of having to get legally married on the same day. But, I can hear you say to yourself, does it count then? Is it real? And yes, it is every bit as real as a legal ceremony. And the best thing about a commitment ceremony is that you can do it wherever, whenever and however you want. All you need for the perfect ceremony is your partner – you don’t need a priest, officiant or witnesses. This means that you can have a ceremony entirely on your terms, just the way you dreamt it.
Many couples see their commitment ceremony as the real marriage because this is where they decide to truly commit to each other for the rest of their lives, maybe on a remote mountain, a beach or a forest. Very often by writing and saying your own vows. You can also include any other rituals in your ceremony, such as lighting a unity candle or planting a tree together.
The legal ritual performed by a registrant is often short. Many registrant still manage to make it meaningful even if they do not have much time. But nevertheless it does not leave the couple the option to make it their own outside that frame. Now, don’t get me wrong here. Because maybe that short, but meaningful moment is exactly what you want. Awesome. But if you want to something even more personal and special: enter commitment ceremomies.
This is actually pretty connected with the point above. Getting married is a big deal and you want to have a day that reflects that. You want something that is unique for the two of you and does not not fit into office hours. Maybe you want to say your vows at sunrise at a beautiful location or maybe you want to make hiking to that location a part of your experience. Or you have something else in mind entirely.
You want a meaningful and private moment between just the two of you, with no one else around to hear your vows or what you have to say to each other. This is a moment that only you two will share.
When you get married in Denmark, you might not get to decide the exact time for the ceremony. You might get some dates to choose from, depending on where in the country and how busy they office is. So, maybe you want some of your friends and family to come, but they can’t make it on that date you get. Or the photographer you want to work with is not available on the day you get appointed.
As I mentioned, maybe you want something special that does not fit a town hall or has room for an officiant. This is the real superpower of a commitment ceremony. You can do anything. I’m not gonna tell you what to do, because the whole idea is: no rules. But I can give you a little inspiration. Maybe you;
have special friend or family member, who is is back home, who has taped some unique words for you to play back at your ceremony.
have a friend or family member perform the ritual.
want to marry on a roboat on a lake in the morning.
have a handfasting ritual.
like to hike somewhere special.
want to sail out on a boat and marry on the ocean.
Now you take it from here….
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to get married even if they want to. In some countries, same-sex marriage is still not legal, which can make it impossible for gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot. Luckily you can come to Denmark and get legally married. But maybe you want to wait until it is legal in your home country.
Or you might be going through a divorce but not yet legally single.
A commitment ceremony is a perfect way for you to show your partner that you’re committed to them, even if you can’t make it official just yet. You can always have a legal wedding later on, but a commitment ceremony is a beautiful way to celebrate your love in the meantime.
A commitment ceremony is a great way to renew your vows and remind each other of the reasons why you fell in love in the first place. It’s a chance to start fresh and recommit to your relationship, which can be incredibly powerful for couples who feel like they’ve lost their way. Or for any couple as a matter of fact.