Many couples who have had a civil wedding decide they would like to dedicate their marriage to God in church soon afterwards.
A husband and wife can have their marriage blessed in church, whether they got married in the UK or abroad. For couples who marry abroad, it can be a way of ensuring more family and friends can celebrate the marriage if they were unable to travel to another country for the legal marriage.
The Church of England service is called a Service of Prayer and Dedication, which is often known as ‘a blessing’.
- It is a simple service acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony and asks for God’s blessing and guidance in your new life together.
- Because it is not a marriage service, banns are not required, there is no exchange of rings and there is no signing of the official marriage paperwork during the service.
- It can be designed to have a similar feel to a wedding with hymns, readings, flowers and even bells if you would like that, or it can be an intimate, low key service. The service itself has no statutory fee (because it is not a legal service) but there may be some costs, such as flowers, bells and use of an organist. These would be charged at the church’s local rate.
- You can have a blessing in any church of your choice, so long as the church and the vicar are free on your preferred date.
- Many couples have opted for this service where one or both of them is remarrying after divorce. If this is your situation, talk things through with your vicar who can offer guidance on remarrying in church or having a blessing.