A commitment ceremony is a perfect alternative to a legal wedding ceremony.
If a legal marriage isn’t for you then you’ll enjoy this deep-dive article all about different commitment ceremony ideas to help you plan the perfect unifying experience.
What is a commitment ceremony?
- Commitment ceremony definition: A commitment ceremony is for couples that decide they are ready to commit the rest of their lives to one another, without the legally binding aspect.
- It can be nearly identical to any elopement or wedding ceremony, simply without the marriage license and certificate.
- After a commitment ceremony you’ll have transitioned from “dating” to “married” and be referring to your fiance now as your “husband”, “wife,” or “life partner.” Or in our case Dragon & Dragoness.
- Commitment ceremonies are just as legitimate as any wedding or elopement ceremony for representing the unity of your lives.
- Commitment ceremony synonyms: spiritual ceremony, symbolic ceremony, promise ceremony, unity ceremony
If you really want to be able to create an experience where no one is telling you what to do or how to do it, the commitment ceremony is probably a perfect choice. Especially an adventure commitment ceremony. Yeah it’s a thing, and we’re here for it with photo, video, and planning.
What is an adventure commitment ceremony?
An adventure commitment ceremony combines the unifying ritual of the ceremony with the awesome scenic landscape of national parks and other world wonders. Nature really does make the best wedding venues on the planet.
Adventure commitment ceremonies can include all kinds of epic activities before, during, and after the ceremony itself. Think in terms of multi-day commitment adventures.
Enjoying a hike to a gorgeous sunrise or sunset overlook then beginning your ceremony, followed by a bonfire reception back at camp or an airbnb.
It’s recommended you also combine an entire day or more of adventuring at your destination. 3 days is usually a minimum to be able to fully enjoy all that a national park has to offer. And even that’s a bold statement, because there are so many parks that just continually provide magical experiences day in day out.
3 days does typically allow you to at least experience the main features (attractions) of a national park. We recommend your ceremony and attached adventure on one day, then an all-day adventure the following day.
We provide multi-day adventure coverage so you can document all the highlights of this sacred experience.
Adventure commitment ceremony locations
This is where things get really exciting. Planning the perfect commitment ceremony location will lead you down Alice’s rabbit hole of pure wonder and awe. There are so many inspiring places to exchange your vows and enjoy your unification.
The most popular places and our top recommendations are usually National Parks. You’ll get to choose from epic scenic landscapes with snow peak mountains, volcanoes, canyons, slot canyons, cliffs, plateaus, rocky shores, white sand beaches, giant redwood forests, caves, ice caves, glaciers and more.
To help you in your commitment ceremony planning journey we’ve created a list and guide to the 217+ best places for adventurous lovers to get married. Whether you’re eloping, wedding, committing, proposing, or engaging, these locations will be your perfect venue.
How to plan an adventure commitment ceremony
Essentially, you’re going to dream up your favorite place in the world, choose your date, hire us as your photographer, videographer, and planner, and then embark on the greatest adventure of your life.
Oh and you’ll shop for an adventure dress that you’re excited to see dirty and torn.
Who knows, you might even fly highline in one…
You’ll find a lot of inspiration in our elopement guides below. They are all perfectly relevant for commitment ceremonies with only minor changes regarding the legal elements.
Commitment ceremony invitations
Like elopements and weddings, commitment ceremonies will often require invitations. This isn’t always the case however because a “just us” experience is a common theme too. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
But if you are inviting people, you may as well do it with style. Invitations can be a fun way to add your own creative element to inviting your loved ones to join you on your special day. You can also hire us to create some photo video magic to use for your invitations.
Photo and video make for the best invitations in my humble opinion. Especially video. We can film you in a beautiful place interview style where you can invite each person in their own personalized 30 second video or address them generally and set out a single video to everyone.
Sometimes our friends, often family, won’t quite understand or resonate with the idea of a commitment ceremony due to a long history of cultural conditionings. That’s neither here nor there, the point is that a personalized video or photo invitation can add the love and emotion that transcends tradition.
You can also choose to do a live invitation where you jump on a video call. You can even mix it up depending on which avenue of invitation you think will be most well received for each person. Maybe a recorded invitation for Harry, a letter for Ron, a photo with written message for Hermione, and a live video call for Dumbledore.
Whether we film or photograph with you or not, we’re still more than happy to help you with the planning for invitations. We could even potentially help you design invitations with our premium design software.
Commitment ceremony vows [spells]
The essence of any ceremony is really in the vows to one another, where your word is your truth is your bond. There is great power in the spoken word, and exchanging vows is a peak moment of this power. Your commitment ceremony vows will be some of the most important words you will ever speak.
Regardless of the type of ceremony, your vows will be a promise to your partner that you will remain faithful, and they’ll do the same. Your vows are also an important oath to yourself. An oath about how you’re going to live your life, your behavior, your virtue.
Commitment ceremony officiant or?
Since a commitment ceremony isn’t legally binding, anyone can marry you. It can be a friend, family member, religious figure, one of us, or your pet.
Now, it can still be a great idea to hire a proper officiant / celebrant for the ceremony because it can add a certain feeling of authenticity. Some officiants carry with them a magical unifying vibe that you just can’t quite find anywhere else.
That said, a family member or friend with a proper script or talent for speaking their heart and emotion of the moment can also elevate the experience to full wedding status.
If you’re going to have anyone marry you, just choose them mindfully. We’re also happy to help you find the best person / creature.
Commitment ceremony certificate
Even though a commitment ceremony isn’t legally binding, you can still enjoy owning a certificate to display and remember the experience.
A commitment ceremony certificate is another of the many ways to make things feel as much like a “real wedding” or elopement as possible. And because it’s not a legal document, you can be as creative as you’d like.
Consider a magical “Scroll of Binding.”
Commitment ceremony script
The typical ceremony script usually consists of 5 main parts. You are welcome to arrange or change these to best fit your specific commitment ceremony.
- Proclamation & Declaration
- Ring Exchange
Here’s an example of the commitment ceremony script with guests and officiant/celebrant:
- Introduction – Spoken by either you, or your partner, or an officiant / celebrant.
- Welcome your guests and thank them for joining you on your special day.
- If you’re religious, you can now recognize that aspect of the ceremony.
- If you’re not religious, you can speak about the significance of this moment however you’d like.
- This next step is perhaps most important, pause, and bring yourself into the present and savor this moment.
- We will help you to do this regularly throughout the day .
- Vows – Cast your spell and profess your love to your partner.
- Share your favorite funny or emotional memories, then speak your vows for the future.
- You can read or recite your vows (or a poem or passage) from memory.
- If you don’t have anything specifically chosen for this time your welcome to just tell your partner how you feel about them and how you are going to show up in their life moving forward.
- Proclamation & Declaration – This portion will satisfy the legal aspect of the ceremony.
- It’s time to make things “official!” You’ll now cast a spell like the one below;
- Proclamation: “Do you [your name] take [partner’s name] to be your wife/husband/life partner?”
- Declaration: “I do.” (or “Heavens yes!” / “Hell yes!” / “F*ck yes!”)
- Since you aren’t having a legal ceremony, you can “declare” your commitment to one another in your own words instead.
- It’s time to make things “official!” You’ll now cast a spell like the one below;
- Ring Exchange – It’s time for the ritual exchanging of the rings.
- If your child or pet is a ring bearer you can have them present it to you at this time.
- And if you aren’t using rings that’s totally fine too, you can consider exchanging anything you’d like that you feel is representative of your union.
- Pronouncement – The famous words, “I now pronounce you…“
- A first kiss moment has arrived! Or any other way you’d like to express your excitement and union, it could be a hug, raising hands together, dancing, acrobatics, BASE jumping, anything you want!
- Now is the time for your grand exit from the ceremony if you’re having one. You can walk under a tunnel of raised arms of the guests, or raised swords or staves, through sparklers, or an eco-friendly confetti like shredded local plant matter. You could also grand exit right off the cliff with a tandem BASE jump.
Commitment ceremonies are on the rise
We live in a time abundant with diversity, creativity and freedom of expression. It’s a beautiful thing to have so many choices in life. We can literally curate every experience of our life. Never before has such a level of personalization been possible with such ease.
Commitment ceremonies are just as beautiful as any traditional wedding or elopement. We encourage you to really let your imagination run wild. Tap into your inner-child and dream up the most magical day of your life.
We’re here to help you plan it, and capture it, all on photo and video.
Adventure Commitment Ceremony Packages
Adventure commitment ceremony packages will be almost identical in every regard to our adventure elopement packages.
We offer photo, video, and planning services.
[PHOTO VIDEO] Adventure COMMITMENT CEREMONY packages include:
- Photo and/or video with Samuel & Karly
- Hi-resolution images with print rights
- Professional online downloadable / shareable image gallery
- Drone aerial photo / video (location and weather permitting)
- Second photographer / videographer
- 17 day turnaround delivery of all media
- Planning resources and assistance
- Vendor / Venue / Location recommendations
- Highlight video with vows and/or music
- 1 minute social media video with vows and/or music
- GoPro POV video (adventure dependent)
- 1x large print sized for your living space (with 8+ hours)
- Tea ceremony
- Adventure equipment
PRICING: 4 Hours Photo + Video begins at $5117. Photo begins at $3417.
All packages are subject to sales tax.
Ask about our “Helicopter” or “Black Suit / Black Wedding Dress Discount”
Weekday experiences enjoy a lower total cost. Inquire for details.
You are a beautiful and magical human.