You’d be hard-pressed finding anyone who doesn’t know that same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Australia. We say yet, because the overwhelming tide of public opinion in Australia and the rest of the developed world now support marriage equality.
But that hasn’t stopped many Aussie couples from celebrating their love and commitment. More than a dozen countries around the world – including New Zealand, Canada and many countries in Western Europe – offer marriage equality, and extend their invitation to marry to Australian (and other foreign) visitors.
For many couples though, marrying abroad isn’t right for them. So just what are the benefits of having a commitment ceremony on home soil? Here’s a quick round-up:
· Keep it familiar: Hold your special day at your favourite picnic spot or a place that has sentimental value to you as a couple, such as where you first met.
· Loved ones: Invite as many people as you like (budget willing, of course) knowing that most if not all will be able to attend.
· Defiance: For some couples, affirming their love publicly here in Australia is an act of defiance against the current legislative setting, and something they are keen to demonstrate.
· Choice: There are a lot of socially expected traditions in weddings but also some legalities which must be adhered to, such as the actual wording of the ceremony and who can be the celebrant. A commitment ceremony though allows you to do everything your own way, giving you complete freedom over your special day.
· Costs: We all know that weddings are expensive and generally command a huge price premium over other types of functions. However as a commitment ceremony is not a wedding, you are perfectly entitled to receive quotes for a “private party”, and you may be surprised just how much this will save you on the venue hire, catering, florists, cakes and so on.
· Embassy/consulate ceremonies: For anyone with a citizenship in a country which allows same-sex marriage or civil unions, you can apply to have your ceremony conducted at the embassy or consulate. For many this is an ideal scenario, as you get to have a legally recognised ceremony without having to leave Australia. Better still, your new spouse may then be eligible to apply for citizenship in that country as well if they don’t already have it.
· Love: Above all, your special day is about love. Having a ceremony at home rather than going abroad, even though it may not be recognised legally, allows you to share your love for one another amongst family and friends while on home soil.
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(Image Source: Etsy.com & Muchpics.com)