Weddings in the Orthodox Church

1.Registry Office Weddings

A couple cannot marry in the Orthodox Church, if they have not first been married in a State Registry Office. This is the situation in most countries in the world.

2.Church Divorce

If one of the partners of the couple has already been married in the Orthodox Church, they cannot marry again until they have first obtained a Church divorce from the bishop of the diocese in which they married.

3. Baptism

In the case where one of the partners is not a member of the Orthodox Church, they must at least have been baptised in one of the Christian denominations (e.g. Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist etc).

4.Age Difference

It is not customary for there to be an age difference of more than twenty years between the partners of the couple.

5. When can weddings take place?

Weddings are not conducted on Saturdays and not on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. The normal wedding day is a Sunday, at some time in the afternoon, but Mondays are also possible. However, the Church does not conduct weddings on all Sundays and Mondays, for example those that fall during the fasts. These occur, approximately, in March, at the beginning of April, in most of June, at the end of August and in December. Since these dates vary slightly from year to year, for precise dates when weddings are possible, please contact the priest of your local church.

6. Fees

There are no fees for weddings. But couples generally make a donation, however modest, to the church and to the priest.