There are many reasons a couple may choose
to have a Commitment Ceremony instead of a marriage:
The couple are of the same sex (in Australia,
same sex marriages are not legal)
The couple do not wish to comply with the legal requirements
of marriage(there is no legal paperwork with a commitment)
The couple have a pressing need to hold their ceremony as
soon as possible(eg. family moving away) and have not allowed
for the month and a day waiting period of a legal marriage
The couple object to the concept of marriage or the terminology
of husband and wife.
The Commitment ceremony, although it is not
legally recognised as a marriage, can still be very similar
to an actual wedding service. The asking, vows and readings
etc can be included, but there is no need for the Monitum
to be recited or for other specific phrases which are legally
required at a wedding.
Commitment ceremonies can be as moving and
as significant as any wedding ceremony – they are a
celebration of the couple’s love for each other, a public
recognition of their commitment to share their lives together
and a fulfilment of the couple’s desire to unite through
the powerful process of ceremony.