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Marriage blessing in church after registry office ceremony?

The question

Hi Jan,

I would really love to have a blessing in a church after our ceremony at a registry office.

Neither my partner nor I are religous, but it would mean a lot to me for many other reasons.

We live in Brighton, but are having our wedding celebrations in Hailsham. Would a vicar be happy to do our blessing in Hailsham given that we live in Brighton and are non church attendees?



The answer

Hi Ria,

Thank you for your query. Jan has responded below but we have also sent your query on to Sussex-based Light on Life (celebrants) and Getting Married from the Inside Out (wedding coaching); both of these organisations have provided responses below as well.

Do let us know how you get on - we hope you have a wonderful wedding!

Best wishes,

Katie & Jamie
Ethical Weddings

Jan's response:

Hi Ria,

I can't really speak for other ministers I'm afraid. Your local Vicar in Brighton would normally be the person to approach as he or she has 'pastoral care' of you as far as the Church is concerned. But the usual format would be that Blessings take place in church - in your case in Brighton - at some time after the Civil ceremony. Some people choose the same day where others choose an anniversary.

You could approach a Vicar in Hailsham but with no link to the church it would be a rather 'hit & run' ministry you were requesting. Not how we like to operate - but all you can do is ask. They may be really busy and say no but that's the worst that can happen isn't it? Worth a try.

Every blessing on your day.

Warmest regards,


Getting Married from the Inside Out response:

Hello Ria,

In response to your question about blessings...

I was wondering what has prompted your decision to have a blessing? What are the reasons behind it and what imortance does it have for you? What does it mean to you individually and as a couple to have a blessing? I would then say, as you have stated that you aren't religious, does it have to be a religious blessing? There are other options that could give you more choice -like a non-religious or humanist blessing that can really reflect your own values and beliefs as you have lived and want to continue living your life.

You could have a look here for more information

or here - they are a really lovely couple based in Lewes who will work with you to create something very personal.

Hopefully helpful food for thought!


Light on Life response:

Dear Ria,

Your enquiry was forwarded to me for my advice. We are Independent Celebrants and have a little shop in Lewes, East Sussex.

We create and conduct many wedding ceremonies, always working with the couple to create a ceremony centred on their beliefs. They go to the registry office first and legally marry then usually consider the ceremony we have helped create to be the real one.

Our wedding ceremonies can take place anywhere inside or out, and we have conducted weddings in woods, family gardens, on the beach, in a pub, the village hall, posh hotels, Christian Dior's villa; many different places.

We would meet with you and chat for an hour or two and give ideas and suggestions, and then if you were happy for us to create a wedding ceremony for you, (you need to be happy with your choice of celebrant, you put a lot of trust in us) we go ahead and write a ceremony, we send the first draft to you, you make all the changes you wish, add things, delete things, until the ceremony is yours. We meet up for a rehearsal, and we conduct the wedding on the day and support you, your family and friends.

Ring if you need to chat 01273 476696

And if I don't hear from you, have a really happy day, may the sun shine on you!

Best wishes


Answered by: Jan, Lesley & Belinda

Question by:Ria