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Tying the Knot in Greece

Getting married is one of the most important days of many peoples lives. The wedding business is one of the most wealthiest in the world and it is suprising how much people are prepared to spend on their special day. So with the lovely Greek sunshine, beaches, sea and scenery, Greece makes the perfect destination for a wedding.





For non-Greek citizens, more documentation is needed before you start. To obtain a marriage license, you must apply for a license at the local authorities and must stay at least 8 days in Greece, to acquire such document. Basic documents are needed to apply for a license, such as a passport.

Which Wedding Ceremony?

The main decision to make is to choose which kind of marriage ceremony you would like. All wedding ceremonies can be held in either English or Greek.

Greek Civil Ceremonies can be held in a hotel, Town hall or a Registry Office. Recquired documents vary depending on where you choose to hold the wedding. After the ceremony, the official wedding certificate is issued within 3 days after the ceremony. The wedding license must be translated from Greek to English to legalise the marriage. This law applies to any wedding ceremony for non-Greek citizens. Translation of marriage certificates are done at the British Embassy or Embassy of your home country in Athens.

If you are planning a tradition religious ceremony, these can be held in churches, religious places etc. There are two types of religious ceremonies held in Greece, these are Orthodox and Catholic.

To have an Orthodox wedding, either the bride or groom must be Orthodox. You must also have permission by The Greek Orthodox Church, who will issue a certificate granting you permission to get married. The bride and groom must also have been baptised and both must also have a stamped Baptism certificate from your local priest.

Catholic weddings are only possible for those who have never been married previously. To have a catholic ceremony, one of the couple should be catholic and must have informed their local parish that they are planning to get married abroad. The bride or grooms local parish must issue a certificate and Baptism certificate to grant permission.

Reliogious wedding certificates are given to you after the ceremony and often it will be the bride and grooms responsibility to get it translated and other times, somebody will do it for you. The certificate is then passed on to your local priest or parish and later returned to you.

To legalise a Greek marriage in your home country, you must register the marriage within 40 days of the marriage ceremony. The marriage certificate will then be issued. The marriage certificate must be translated from Greek to English to legalise the marriage and can be done at the British Embassy or other embassy in Athens, Greece. You can ask for the Embassy to forward the translated certificate to the General Registry office in your home country.

What is needed to marry in Greece?

The important thing for ensuring that no mistakes are made in the process, is to allow yourself plenty of time to acquire and produce the required documents. All of the documents that you will need must be legalised and translated to Greek. There is a fee to pay per document that needs to be legalised. The fee is usually about 20 GBP per document however, laws may change in the future.

For a relgious ceremony, more documents are required, such as certificates from your priest or parish. Requirements vary for religious ceremonies and therefore it is best to ask about your own situation.

These are the standard documents that are required:

 An original birth certificate
 A valid passport
 Consular registration certificate
 Decree absolute (final divorce paper for those who have married before)
 Death certficate (for widows or widowers)
 2 seperate certificates of no-impediment (these can take upto month to issue and cannot be issued more than 3 months before the ceremony)