The Marriage License

Both the bride and groom should go to the county they live in and apply for the marriage license.  You will need both of your ID's,  birth certificates and social security numbers. You will also need to know where your parents were born and your mothers' maiden name. If only one person can go to the clerk's office to apply, they will need to have all of these documents with a copy of the other partner's State ID. Three business days later you can pick up your license. It's good for the next 33 days. We recommend you apply two to three weeks before the wedding.  If you live out of state, you can apply in the county you will be married and pick up your license the same day for an additional small fee.

Bride & Groom Signing the Marriage License

As of January 2006, the marriage license/certificate forms provided by the state of Michigan to its counties include signature lines for the bride and groom.  Prior to this time, the bride and groom signatures were not required.  There has been some confusion - on the part of the county clerks' offices  - as to the name that the bride should be signing.  Due to this, there was a revision in the State Marriage License Law in May of 2007. It reads:


Therefore, it is best that you read the instructions included with your marriage license or ask the county clerk when you pick up the license. 


Bride & Groom Receiving Registered Copies of the Marriage License

Legal documentation is needed to add or change your name on driver’s licenses, social security, life insurance policies, 401K’s, your mortgage, passport, and even frequent flyer miles, etc.

To change your name on all of your documents, you must go back to or request on-line of the County of your license and pay for (about $5 per copy) and Pick up or have mailed to you Registered Copies of your Marriage License.

They will not send it to you automatically. The copy we give to you is a memorial copy and has not been sent through the court.

If you are unsure about any of these details, call or visit the county clerk where you received your license.

Rev. Stephen & Donna Goodrum




Sara Agius, 23, and her fiance Michael Rizzuto, 24, prepare wedding invitations at the home of their best man in Roseville. Agius says filling out a marriage questionnaire helped the couple talk about topics like finances that they hadn't discussed.



You've spent time and money and planning for a great ceremony and reception.

Consider spending some time and money and planning for a great marriage!

Better today's odds of a 50-50 chance for a successful relationship.




prep-enrAn inventory of a couple's life issues with a comparison of their responses to highlight relationship strengths and challenges. REQUIRES AN ON-LINE INVENTORY and ONE 2 HOUR SESSION: See the "Service Packages" page for cost. Go to their website:




Moving Forward and Thinking of the future .








1. His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage                                                  

    by Willard F. Harley Jr.; (Hardcover - March 2001)

    Five Steps to Romantic Love: A Workbook for His Needs, Her Needs

    by Willard F., Jr. Harley; Paperback

    His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage [UNABRIDGED]

    by Wayne Shepherd (Reader), et al; Audio CD

2. The Five Love Languages:Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

    by Gary Chapman; (Paperback - October 1992)

3.  Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types  
     by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates (Paperback - November 1984)  

Plus… On the flip side:

Reconcilable Differences : 7 Keys to Remaining Together from a Top Matrimonial Lawyer by Robert Cohen (Author), Elina Furman (Hardcover - March 2002)

(Click on the titles for information, prices and ordering from AMAZON.COM)



                                                              Starting a new life at Stony Creek Metro Park.



"There's more to marriage than a license!"



If I were in charge of handing out marriage licenses, I would begin by asking the following questions:


1. Have you ever seen your partner first thing in the morning?

2. Have you ever seen your partner throw up?

3. Do you know the exact temperature that makes your partner say, "It's too cold"?

4. Is it within 10 degrees of yours?

5. Do you know how often your partner needs the bathroom on a road trip?

6. Have you ever seen your partner actually clean a room?

7. Have you met your partner's friends?

8. Could you stand them once a week?

9. Can you make your partner laugh?

10. Can you talk all night to your partner without getting bored?


If the answer is "no" to any of these, sorry, come back in 27 days -- and try again.


Divorce isn't first option

If the couple passed Section One, I would pull out Section Two. Answer these questions:


1. Do you think your relationship is special because "We don't fight!"

2. Are you certain of your love because "We like all the same things!"

3. Do you say, "I don't care if my partner ever earns a penny; money doesn't matter in a marriage."

4. Do you ever say, "I know my partner has a nasty temper, but it will get better once we're married"?

5. Do you model your relationship after a Hollywood couple?

6. Is the core of your relationship that "opposites attract?"

7. Do you have different views on having children, but figure you'll work it out during the marriage?

8. Do you think your mother's and father's problems will never happen to you because you're "different?"

9. Is your favorite thing about your partner, when you're really being honest, his or her shape?

10. Do you ever say, "If it doesn't work, we can always get divorced"?

If the answer to any of these is "yes," come back in 27 days -- and try again.


For better or for worse

Finally, I'd ask the following:


1. What would you do if your partner got a debilitating disease?

2. What would you do if your partner suddenly went bald or got obese?

3. What happens if your partner wants to move and you don't?

4. What happens if you had a sick child?

5. What happens if one of you cheated?

6. What happens if your partner said your parents were "impossible?"

7. What happens if you achieve your dreams but your partner fails?

8. What happens if it's the other way around?

9. What happens if you wake up one day and suddenly feel trapped?

10. What happens if you fall out of love?


If your answer is, "It won't be a problem, because we love each other so deeply" -- sorry, that's the movies. Come back in 27 days.


But if your answer is, "I don't know. Marriage is a shared risk. We know we have a deep respect for each other, we love and like each other, and we are committed not just to the other person, but to the idea that a marriage itself is worth preserving" -- well, here's your paperwork.


Don't forget to hire a good caterer.


Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or "The Mitch Albom Show" is 3-6 weekdays on WJR-AM (760).

Copyright © 2004 Detroit Free Press Inc.






Seven couples reveal their recipes for keeping their bonds strong.

By Sara Eckel

Work That Counts

When Rod Forbes turned 40 last spring, he thought he'd be celebrating by listening to music at a local jazz bar with his buddies. Instead, he was the opening act. "I arranged for Rod's band, which had never played a live audience before, to open up for a local jazz band," says Rod's wife, Marydell. "I secretly mailed out invitations to out-of-town friends and family, who packed the room and shouted 'Surprise!' as Rod and his friends entered the club. Rod had a lot of fun pretending to be a rock star that weekend."

Relationship experts say the key to staying in love is to being willing to work at it, which can make long-term partnerships sound like a rather dreary enterprise. But Susan Piver, author of The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do" (Tarcher, 2004), says that the "work" of a relationship shouldn't be drudgery. Rather it should be the kind of joyful exertion that Marydell found in plotting her husband's 40th.

"If you love gardening, then the work is a joy, even when there are weeds and crappy weather. But if you hate gardening and even a ripe tomato plant isn't good news to you, then that sucks. I wouldn't want to be in that relationship," says Piver.

The challenge, of course, is finding the time to do that work. "We have very busy, economically demanding lives, and people don't have as much time to give to their relationships, because they're treading water themselves," says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington.

But just as weeding and watering is essential to a healthy garden, taking time to communicate and listen to your partner is critical if you want your relationship to thrive. "Couples expect that they'll get to a place where things are predictable and stable. But things will always change, and that's what makes the relationship exciting and alive," says Piver.

So how much quality time do you and your partner need? Piver says it's a tricky question, as almost everyone's needs are different. She's also noticed that almost every couple squabbles over this issue more than any other. "One person always wants more time alone, while the other wants to devote more time to the relationship," say Piver.

But if each partner is willing to give a bit, and agree that you need to have some quiet time with each other each day, you've got a good start. The important thing is making sure you have some relaxed time to connect. "You want to make sure you have that time where you're sitting around with a cup of coffee, remembering why you love each other," says Schwartz.

Real Couples Reveal

So how do real couples stay in love? We asked seven happy couples for their secret:

Creating Grown-Up Time

Katie B. Wilkinson, 34, and Eric Wilkinson, 36, Seattle, Washington

Together for: 13 years, married for 7.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: Not making it all about the kids. "We're consumed and smitten with our two daughters, but we know that they will grow up and it will just be us two again," says Katie, who says that having children has actually improved their sex life, as it makes their time alone together more precious.

Advice to Other Couples: Have a standing date night, and take vacations without the kids. "An eight-day trip to the Four Seasons in a secluded spot in Mexico last month made us vow to vacation alone together once a year," says Katie.

Gestures of Love

Greg Risdahl, 44, and Aliza Sherman, 39, Laramie, Wyoming

Together for: 2 1/2 years

Our Secret to Staying in Love: Aliza says she and her man find small but meaningful ways to stay connected, like giving each other foot rubs and taking a quiet walk each morning. "We hold hands in bed when we wake up and at night before falling asleep. Just that small gesture of connection really keeps us feeling close," says Aliza.

Advice to Other Couples: Say, "I love you." Aliza says you can never say this too much. "We were both in previous relationships where we never said 'I love you' to our partners. Now we can't get enough or give enough of those three words," she says.

Attitude of Gratitude

Kevin Decker, 45, and Joy Decker, 40, Fairfax, Virginia

Together for: 12 years, married for 9.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: Kevin and Joy make sure to kiss for 10 full seconds. "It's amazing how this little tip has made our relationship closer," says Kevin.

Advice to Other Couples: Let your spouse know that they're appreciated. "When I take actions that say, 'Thank you,' it strengthens our romance," says Kevin, explaining that small gifts like flowers or a surprise day at the spa make Joy feel his gratitude.

Renewal of Faith

Gail Dukas, 35, and Richard Dukas, 41, Teaneck, New Jersey

Together for: 11 years, married 10 years.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: As Gail and Richard became more in tune with their Jewish heritage, they've found that the old customs can really helped with modern romance. For example, one custom has married couples refraining from sexual relations for a set time each month. "While we were skeptical at first, we've found that the period of abstinence lets us relate intellectually and emotionally -- and makes for great reunions!" says Gail.

Advice to Other Couples: Act as a team. "It's important for a couple to be a team when dealing with inevitable in-law issues' and other outside challenges," says Gail. Agreeing on everything, however, is not required.

You've Got Mail

Amanda Vega, 29, and Justin Vega, 31, Scottsdale, Arizona

Together for: Married for 4 years, nine months after meeting online.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: Because Justin is in his medical residency, Justin and Amanda have to deal with being apart for long stretches of time, even living in separate cities for a while. To bridge the gulf, they started e-mailing each other lists of all the times that they missed each other, that is, times when they've been apart and realized how much they longed to hear the other's laugh, or see their smile. "We keep many of them now, and can reference them if we ever get into a big fight," says Amanda.

Advice to Other Couples: Don't be joined at the hip. "Too many couples get into this weird dynamic where they let their friends or interests they had pre-marriage simply disintegrate when they get married," says Amanda, who says the ample time they each get with their friends keeps them fresh for each other.

Know Thy Partner

Dianne M. Daniels, 41, and Aaron Daniels, 42, Norwich, Connecticut

Together for: Married 14 years, after knowing each other (and dating on and off) for 25 years.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: Understanding what he/she needs to feel loved. "My husband prefers that we do activities together. Even if it's just watching a movie, he prefers to watch it lying on the couch with his head in my lap. I express my love for my family by doing things for them -- making dinner, folding their clothes unexpectedly," says Dianne, who feels loved when her husband does these thing for her, too.

Advice to Other Couples:Study your partner, and see what he or she responds to. "A man who responds well to compliments will also visibly shrink from a harsh word, so he needs extra care when his spouse speaks to him," says Dianne.

Rules of Engagement

Audrey Thomas, 43, and Tony Thomas, 46, Bloomington, Minnesota

Together for: 20 years, married for 18.

Our Secret to Staying in Love: "We read a book together on marriage and discuss each chapter as we go," says Audrey. This ensures that they will have a time each day when they can connect with each other's intellect, rather than just mindlessly going through daily tasks like cleaning up after dinner or paying bills. This helps them stay engaged with each other's intellect, rather than mindlessly going through the day.

Advice to Other Couples: Make sure your time together really is quality time. "Going to a movie doesn't count as it isn't engaging and doesn't allow for conversation," says Audrey.

Of course, there are no guaranteed strategies for staying in love. All couples must find their own "secret." And that's the fun of it, says Piver. "It's an incredible mystery," she says. "A long relationship has to weather many storms. Sometimes it's sunny and beautiful, and sometimes it doesn't matter what you do -- it's going to sleet and hail. That's why you need stay open to each other no matter what the weather."


Revs. Stephen and Donna Gooodrum    SMGOODRUM,plc

Phone: 248-760-9639   Email:

  Site Map