All marriages are scheduled 6 months in advance.
1) At least one of the petitioners must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing in Annunciation Greek Orthodox Parish, or they must present a letter of good standing signed by their parish priest where they are a member in good standing in order to book a wedding date.
2) It must be verified that the sponsor/ koumbaro/koumbara is a member/steward of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in good standing. If the sponsor is a member of another Orthodox Parish, they must present a letter of good standing signed by their parish priest. To be in good standing the sponsor must be married properly in the Church. A person who was married in a non-Orthodox service may not serve as a sponsor. Those cohabitating out of wedlock may not serve as a sponsor. If a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church they must be regularly coming to Divine Liturgy on Sunday to serve as a sponsor. It is impossible for someone to sponsor a wedding when they are not living as a Christian, because, we can’t give what we don’t possess or live by.
The Uniform Parish Regulations of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America confirm this in Article 18 Section 1: "The religious, moral and social duties of a parishioner are to apply the tenets of the Orthodox Faith to his/her life and to: adhere to and live according to the tenets of the Orthodox faith; faithfully attend the Divine Liturgy and other worship services; participate regularly in the holy sacraments; respect all ecclesiastical authority and all governing bodies of the Church; be obedient in matters of the Faith, practice and ecclesiastical order; contribute towards the progress of the Church's sacred mission; and be an effective witness and example of the Orthodox Faith and Traditions to all people. A parishioner in good standing practices all the religious and moral duties as described in this Section 1. At a minimum, a parishioner in good standing must: be eighteen years of age or over; be current in his or her stewardship and other financial obligations to the Parish, abide by all the regulations herein stated and the Parish Bylaws; and cooperate in every way towards the welfare and well being of the Parish. (Stewardship is recommended to be ten percent (10%) of one’s annual income as stated in Holy Scripture to help meet the financial obligations of the Parish, the Metropolis and the Archdiocese.)" At Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church we recommend stewardship be 3% of an individual's or family's net yearly income.
3) The following questions must be answered in full by both petitioners:
a) Date of birth, city and state/country of birth, and current age.
b) Current address.
d) Date of baptisms.
e) Father's name.
f) Father's country of birth.
g) Father’s religion.
h) Mother's name.
i) Mother's country of birth
j) Mother’s religion.
k) Have you ever been married before in the Orthodox Church, another Church, or civilly?
l) At what age did you arrive in the US?
m) Are you related to one another by blood or through the marriage of another relative?
* If a petitioner is divorced a copy of your divorce judgment must be presented as well as a copy of your ecclesiastical divorce from an Orthodox Metropolis if Orthodox.
4) During your time of sacramental preparation for matrimony you will have two books and a supplemental folder to read. The books are The Orthodox Church by Coniaris and The Meaning of Marriage by Keller. These should be purchased on Amazon by you. The parish priest will provide you the supplemental reading material. There will be a marriage retreat done close to where you live. You will create a financial plan as finances are the number one cause of divorce. Lastly, you will regularly attend Divine Liturgy twice a month at a minimum unless work forbids this. The most integral part of marriage preparation is in the worship of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ within the context of His Divine Liturgy. As a couple you are seeking His blessing in your life.
5) In the case of all marriages between an Orthodox Christian and the non-Orthodox person the couple must sign a promissory letter stating that all children born from the marriage will be baptized and spiritually reared in the Orthodox Church by Archdiocesan mandate.
Additional Information For the Sacrament of Matrimony
-Still photography is preferred. All photographers are asked to consult with the parish priest prior to the wedding or baptism.
-Music: Classical music instruments and the Church organ may be used at your wedding. All music must be approved by the Parish Priest. Soloists may be used with Parish Priest approval as well.
-Please show respect for the building we support and maintain. We ask that you properly dispose of all boxes, plastic bags, garment bags, flower packaging, etc.
-No rice, popcorn, birdseed, flower petals, koufeta, etc. should be thrown within the walls of our complex. This is a safety issue. Flower girls are allowed to disperse flower petals as they accompany the bride. No balloons are permitted in the sanctuary. The above mentioned items can be thrown or used outside.
-Visiting Orthodox clergy may attend with the permission of the parish priest and the Metropolis of Detroit. If the parish priest is not informed, the visiting Orthodox clergy will not be allowed to participate. Non-Orthodox clergy are not allowed to participate in Orthodox sacraments.
-The choice of flowers is yours. No ribbons, decorations or flowers may be affixed to the ends of the pews without prior approval. All floral arrangements must be free standing. All flowers, candlelabra, etc. must be removed from the Church immediately following your sacrament.
-Wedding party attire must be appropriate for a Church service.
-If the Orthodox bride or groom is from another metropolis or parish, or came to the United States from abroad after their 16th birthday, a "Pistopioitikon Eleftherogamias" will be required from the Metropolis he or she was born in and signed by the Metropolitan or his designated agent.
-A civil wedding license must be presented to the Church office one week prior to the marriage so that it can be prepared for signatures the day of the wedding. A marriage cannot be celebrated without this document. It should be obtained from the county clerks office in your county of residence. A civil wedding license is good for up to sixty days prior to your wedding day.
-Weddings are not performed January 5 and 6 The Holy Theophany, Great Lent and Holy Week, August 1 to 15 The Dormition Fast of the Birthgiver of God, August 29 The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, September 14 The Elevation of the Holy Cross, The Nativity Fast, The day before feast days and Holy Days of the Lord. NOTE: Exceptions to the above can only be made by the Metropolitan of the Diocese.
-A cantor fee is required for weddings of $75.00.
-Non-members (non-stewards) of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will pay a fee of $350.00 for weddings. Only the parish priest can waive the fee.
Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna; Proterios, Archbishop of Alexandria; Gorgonia the Righteous, sister of Gregory the Theologian; Damian the New Martyr of Mount Athos; Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey