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UNMARRIED to each other                

Walking Down the Aisle:
Commitment Ceremonies and Rituals

Chapter Eight

Many partners who can't or choose not to get legally married still find it appealing to gather their friends and loved ones to celebrate their relationship, or like the idea of creating a ritual to mark their commitment. Unmarried to Each Other is the first book specifically to address commitment ceremonies for heterosexual people as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ones. The commitment ceremony chapter includes:

- Lots of stories about real couples' commitment ceremonies, what worked, and what kinds of reactions they got from their friends and relatives

- Key issues to consider when planning a ceremony, including ideas on how to plan it, what to call it, and how to explain it

- How it's possible to get married "in the eyes of God" without getting legally married

- How having a ceremony can strengthen the stepparent-stepparent bond, help children understand that "we're a family now," and create a sense of "legitimacy" for unmarried partners planning to have kids

- Ideas you can use for elements of your ceremony, and tips on where to find readings and vows that aren't focused on marriage.

Go back to the full chapter list, or chose from the chapter topics below:

Considering Cohabitation | Why Aren't You Married? | Pressure and Discrimination | Staying Together | Naming Each Other | Legal and Financial Protections | Domestic Partner Benefits | Commitment Ceremonies | Unmarried With Children | To Marry or Not? | Cohabitation's Past and Future


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My partner's parents loved [our commmitment ceremony]. They thought it was great. I think the most ecstatic person was Alison's mom. She thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Alison's dad was fine with it, too. It was really touching, at the ceremony he got up and said he'd rather see commitment without marriage than marriage without commitment.
      - Charley, quoted in Unmarried to Each Other