I’m looking into the technical details of the ceremony and almost can’t believe what we have to say. The “Arranging a marriage” section is all “we want this to be a day you’ll remember for the rest of your happily married lives etc etc”, the civil partnership section starts with “The Civil Partnership Act 2004 introduced a new legal relationship for same-sex couples wishing to make a formal, lifelong commitment to each other.” Gosh that’s so liberating. I feel just like this is nothing out of the ordinary…

Here is the actual wording from the section about the ceremony:

Your ceremony will begin with a welcome and introduction by the celebrant who explains that you will be making a formal and public declaration of your love, and a promise of lifelong dedication to each other.

I feel patronised already.

There is an opportunity at this point for a reading.

You will then be invited to make the declarations which you will later sign in your civil partnership schedule. Each of you will be asked to recite the following words:

  • In the presence of our family, friends and witnesses here today, I declare that I know of no legal reason why we may not register as each others civil partner. I understand that on signing the partnership schedule we will be forming a civil partnership with each other

So that doesn’t sound too bad.

You will each then be invited to make your second declaration as follows:

  • I…….promise you……to be loving, faithful, loyal and kind and to support you for as long as we live, whatever the future may bring. You are my partner, my friend and the one I love
Feeling a bit weird about saying this infront of people I don’t know.


  • I promise you that I will cherish our love and I will be faithful as your partner and your friend until my life ends

Your partner and your friend!? God what a strange thing to say. Maybe I’ll add “I promise this is not a phase”.

The moment will then arrive for the exchanging of rings (or gifts). If you are exchanging rings, you will each be asked to place your ring on your partner’s finger and say following words, which may be varied by prior arrangement:

  • I give you this ring, on this special day in our lives, as a symbol of my everlasting love and commitment to you. I hope that you will wear it with happiness and pride, now and always.

Well I just feel ill. I think it will be being varied, there’s no way I’m calling this our “special day” because I’m not one of Julia Roberts’ patronising friends in Runaway Bride.

There is an opportunity here for a further reading.

We’ll probably choose something from Harry Potter.

The Partnership Registrar will conclude the ceremony with the following form of words:

  • ……. and ……… you have made commitments to each other in the presence of your family, friends and witnesses and in so doing you have made a promises to live your lives together
  • I shall now invite ……. and …….. and the witnesses to sign the partnership schedule and then in a few moments you will be welcome to take some photographs
Please sign the contract confirming that you have read and understand the terms and conditions….
  • ……..and ………from this time on you are legally recognized as civil partners and we wish you success and happiness in your future life together
  • Optional kiss/hug
  • Applause

I hope whoever wrote “optional kiss/hug” felt as uncomfortable writing it as I do reading it.

You will then be presented with your certificate and receive the congratulations of your guests.

Well here’s hoping. I haven’t gotten a certificate for anything in ages so that should be fun.

So my next step is to email and find out exactly how flexible the wording of this is.

Damn right Joseph Gordon Levitt


3 thoughts on “Ceremonials

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