Elizabeth Gilbert and girlfriend Rayya Elias hold 'ceremony of love'

PHOTO: Author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks onstage during Creative Living Beyond Fear: Traveling with Curiosity at The Orpheum Theatre during Airbnb Open LA - Day 2, on Nov. 18, 2016, in Los Angeles.PlayStefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Airbnb
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"Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert and her girlfriend, Rayya Elias, held a "simple and spontaneous ceremony of love" on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old author made the announcement on Instagram alongside a picture of the two of them looking lovingly at each other while surrounded by flowers.

"Today was precious and perfect. A simple and spontaneous ceremony of love, surrounded by a small handful of friends and family," Gilbert wrote.

"Our ceremony was nothing legally binding (no need to alert the authorities, folks!)...just a quiet and private celebration of what we have long known to be true: We belong to each other," she explained.

Gilbert, 47, acknowledged that the couple has some difficult days ahead. Elias is battling both pancreatic and liver cancer.

"It doesn't get easier from here. Her illness is grave. But our love is strong. We will walk together as far as we can go together. After that, it all gets turned over to God," Gilbert wrote.

Last September, Gilbert announced that she was ending her nine-year marriage to Jose Nunes after realizing her "true feelings" for Elias, an author, musician and hairstylist and her best friend for 15 years.