There has been a steady increase of couples having a civil wedding, but later decide they would like to dedicate their marriage to God in church soon afterwards.
Many couples are now choosing to have their marriage blessed in church, whether they got married in the UK or abroad. this could be for couples who marry abroad the best way of ensuring more family and friends can celebrate the marriage, especially if they were unable to travel to another country for the legal marriage.
In the Church of England this service is called a Service of Prayer and Dedication often referred to as a blessing.
- A Blessing is a simple service acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony, that asks for God’s blessing and guidance in your new life together.
- Because this is not a marriage service, banns are not required nor is there an exchange of rings or signing of the Register, as this has already taken place.
- Blessings can be designed to have a similar feel to a wedding with hymns, readings, flowers and even bells if that is what you choose, 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.
Here at Thorganby Hall we are pleased to be able to offer our guests this opportunity for a mid-week service (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). This is subject to the availability of the Parish Priest. We can offer accommodation for up to 24 guests in Marris Barn (sleeps 16), Marris Cottage (sleeps 4) and Little Walk Cottage (sleeps 4). Or alternatively any one of these properties, depending on the size of your group. Marris Barn has plenty of space for entertaining up to 24 guests after the ceremony. The church is walking distance from Marris Barn and is the ideal setting for such a special occasion.
Anybody wishing to hold a wedding blessing service should contact the Parish Priest of the Binbrook Group for his availability prior to booking. Please contact us for his details. You will then be put in touch with the Deanery Office in Louth for administration purposes and fees. Organists fees will normally be chargeable. You may be required to show evidence of your Marriage Certificate. Small Weddings in Thorganby Church are at the discretion of the Parish Priest.
Renewing Your Wedding Vows
There may be a time when you want to come to church and renew your vows. You can have this kind of service even if you weren’t originally married in church.
You can renew your wedding vows any time after your wedding day, regardless of whether you had a church wedding or not. A marriage refresher and is often used on special anniversaries, or after a period of difficulty in the marriage. The Church of England ceremony is referred to as a ‘Thanksgiving for marriage’.
Some couples have used it in other ways, an example of this is to have a low key civil wedding or a civil wedding abroad, but still want a significant church service for family and friends at home. It can be designed to be intimate or grand, or could even be part of one of the church’s usual Sunday services.
It’s possible to have this service in any church of your choice, providing the church and the vicar are free. It is also possible to have it in a venue other than a church building, providing the vicar taking the service is happy with that.
There is no required (statutory) legal fee for this ceremony, but it’s quite likely there will be some costs. The vicar may make a charge for the service itself, to cover use of the building etc, and if you have extras like the church organist, flowers or the help of a verger, then these will incur some cost at the church’s usual rate. Ask in advance to check if there are going to be any fees involved for the kind of service you want.
Rings can be blessed as part of this service too, either your existing wedding rings, or perhaps you have special rings, like eternity rings.