The singer and his longtime boyfriend plan a "small family affair"

Elton John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, are planning a small civil ceremony to seal their union next month.

The couple said earlier this summer that they would marry after laws recognizing gay partnerships go into effect in Britain. The ceremony will be held Dec. 21, the date the legislation goes into effect.

“It’ll be a very small family affair and then in the evening there’ll be a soiree somewhere, which we have yet to work out,” John, 58, tells Attitude magazine, according to the Associated Press. “But the ceremony itself will be David’s parents and my parents and the two of us. They’ll be our witnesses. That’s the way we want to do it. They’ve been so fantastic to us and so supportive. Out of respect for their support, we want to just keep it small. Not to make a ballyhoo of the ceremony.”

Furnish, 43, a Canadian-born filmmaker, who made a documentary about John titled Tantrums & Tiaras in 1997, has been with the singer for 12 years.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always considered myself committed to Elton and he’s the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with,” Furnish was quoted as saying.