Marriage blessings

Last week we told you about getting married abroad. Many of you might do this, but would like to have your marriage blessed in a religious or humanist ceremony when you get back home. As well as sealing your union through a religious or humanist ceremony, a marriage blessing is a good way to celebrate your new status with friends and family who couldn’t travel with you to your foreign wedding.

In some countries, like Germany and France, if you want to get married in a religious ceremony you must first get married in a civil ceremony, so the ‘two-wedding dynamic’ is a normal structure for the big day. In the UK this is not necessary as churches have registry powers (although you should always check with the cleric to make sure you’ve filled in all the correct forms).

However, if you already got married abroad or in a civil ceremony but would like to have your wedding blessed, how can you go about it?

Religious blessings – As always, the best way of approaching this is to talk to your cleric. They will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take to plan a blessing and advise you on content. For Christian blessings, the Church of England weddings page provides a good introduction to the concept of the blessing. Christian blessings for people of different denominations are another matter and should be consulted with your clerics. You can receive more information here for Great Britain, here for Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, blessings are allowed under Liberal Judaism for mixed-faith couples.

Humanist blessings – While marriage in England and Wales is only legal when certified by a registrar, humanist ceremonies are a way of blessing the civil ceremony that takes place beforehand. Meanwhile, in Scotland, humanist ceremonies do have legal status.

***Update*** Click on the link for information on non-denominational marriage blessings in Ireland.

***Getting married in 2012? Check out some more information on wedding ceremonies, here!***