Random thoughts from an unusual company

Civil Partnership Ceremony - Not Quite There

Gabriella Davis  29 July 2008 12:27:59
I had the pleasure of going to the wedding of 2 friends of mine who were finally able to get married after 13 years together thanks to the new Civil Partnerhsip laws in the UK.  The whole ceremony was lovely despite the actual wording the registrar himself has to use which is all a bit bloodless and un-romantic

I declare that I know of no legal reason why we may not register as each others civil partner. I understand that upon signing the document we will be forming a
civil partnership with each other.

Compare to the wording for a civil ceremony for a wedding which starts

I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment   why I ..................... may not be joined in matrimony to
 ................... and  I call upon these persons here present  to witness that I  ................. do take you  ...............to be my lawful wedded wife  /  husband

You can only register a civil partnership if you are in a same-sex relationship and it's not permitted for friends who are living together to do so but the word 'wedding' is not allowed either (I assume because someone would have to re-define the meaning of 'wedding' 'husband' and 'wife' in countless laws and no-one wants to do that) but surely we can come up with suitable wording that can be used in both cases.

Highlight of the evening was the first dance - the theme tune from Minder (a british TV series from the 80s).

1Kerr  29/07/2008 13:45:39  Civil Partnership Ceremony - Not Quite There

LOL, write the teem toon, sing the teem toon...

2Jason  29/07/2008 13:50:10  Civil Partnership Ceremony - Not Quite There

It could start "I could be so good for you....."

3Jerry Carter  29/07/2008 15:44:52  Civil Partnership Ceremony - Not Quite There

Keep in mind the cultural trappings around traditional marriage have developed over millennia. Culturally, there is a long rooted expectation and hence the wording reflects. A civil union is, so far, just a legal contract, which on the whole are pretty bloodless and unromantic to begin with. In that light, it's going the extra mile to even have an oration rather than a simple signing.

I expect that if the fad continues, you'll hear more romantic wording creep into these ceremonies. I'm not sure the actual law in the UK, but many people from foreign cultures that come to the US have two weddings, a traditional ceremony back home and then the civil ceremony in the US. Probably no reason people choosing to have a civil union with the same sex couldn't have two ceremonies - a civil and legal one and one made up from their own cultural ideals or faith traditions.