Weddings in greece
Greece is on the list of the most popular European countries for weddings. Many consider it a romantic destination because of its natural beauty and attractive seaside ambience, as well as specific traditional customs.
Santorini is the most popular place for a romantic wedding but many other islands such as Thassos, Corfu, Rhodes, and Lekfada are popular as well.
In order to get married in Greece you do not need to be a citizen or resident of Greece, but you need to provide some documentation in order to legally marry.
Before embarking on this adventure you need to prepare the following:
- Photocopy of passport
- Certificate of Citizenship (translated and certified by apostille or issued on an international form)
- Original or certified copy of birth certificate translated into Greek with apostille (not older than six months)
- Free marriage certificate, translated, certified by apostille.
In the case of a previous marriage, proof of divorce (or a death certificate) accompanied by an official translation into Greek (the entire divorce document need not be translated, only the pages of the court’s decision must be in Greek).
- A copy of a wedding notice published in a Greek local newspaper.
A wedding notice in a local newspaper must be made at least eight days before the wedding request is submitted. The bride and groom must have individual announcements and the names must be phonetically written in Greek. A copy of this notice, together with all the documents on the list, needs to be sent to the local town hall where the wedding permit is sought. The waiting period for the wedding licence is approximately eight working days and is valid for six months. After receiving the wedding permit, the partners contact the local mayor or the mayor where they wish to have the wedding together. The official then determines the date of the wedding ceremony.
The Greek authorities require that you acquire the documents no more than three months before the date of the wedding (the exception is proof of divorce and birth certificate). Take special care that all legal documents submitted for marriage that are not in Greek must be officially translated into Greek. The official translation should be done by a certified Greek translator.
You are advised to make copies of all important documents because the originals will be retained by the local Greek authorities. The couple must also arrange for two witnesses to attend the ceremony and they must bring their passports (or Greek IDs if they are Greek nationals). Also, if neither of the spouses or witnesses speaks Greek it will be necessary to provide an interpreter as well since weddings are conducted in Greek.
For more details about the wedding, it is best to contact the town hall in the place where you are getting married, as there may be slight differences in the list of documents or procedures from municipality to municipality.
If you are interested in a church wedding you should contact the priest directly. We advise you to contact the local church for the details first to perform the ceremony.
The information we have received regarding the Thassos church wedding is that in addition to the above the following documents must be attached:
- The baptism records from the church for the bride and groom and as well as for the godparents if they also go
- Certificate from the patriarchate to which the newlyweds belong, that they are not married (for one and the other)
- Permission is required from the parishioner to allow the wedding in another church (one is for both, but it would be desirable to know in which church the couple wants to get married and if possible which priest will perform the ceremony in order to register the parishioner. Also, it is compulsory for a church wedding to have a pre-marital exam so it would be best if the future spouses present it to the parish priest they belong to so that he or she can attach it with a permit for weddings in another church).
The translation of wedding papers can cost a lot in Serbia and the price depends on which translators you hire. Translation costs are around 900 dinars up to about 15 euros per page. The prices for wedding ads also vary, ranging from the 20s upwards, depending on which newspaper is in question.
When all the paperwork is collected it is sent to the priest who will marry the newlyweds. He will then take it to the Metropolis to obtain a wedding authorization. As an example for a wedding in Thassos, the cost for the priest to travel to Kavala to obtain wedding authorization is around 50e and the act of marriage costs about 150 €. Keep in mind that church weddings cannot be done at any time so be mindful of events such as fastings or on a red letter in the calendar.
To our knowledge when a wedding is held in Greece it is not necessary to organize a civil wedding but all the papers are automatically forwarded to the municipality.
After the wedding, whether civil or religious, you have 40 days to report your wedding to the municipality where you were married in Greece. The wedding certificate is issued within three days of registration and can be personally filed or mailed to your home address. This is essential because any marriage that is not legally registered is not legally valid.