If you are thinking about tying the knot with a destination wedding in Greece, congratulations! And because there is a lot of paperwork involved, and it’s best to be prepared, we thought we give you a rundown of all the steps involved. Here is what you need to know and do to get legally married in Greece.
While the process may vary from region to island, these are the main items you need to consider. If you are planning your wedding with a wedding agency or wedding coordinator, you may not have to worry about much of the process, but it is always useful to know how it works.
The wedding notice
Just like in most countries, a wedding notice needs to be issued prior to the big day. Ideally, the notice should be published in Greek in one local newspaper or posted at the town hall eight days before you need to submit the application for the wedding licence. Please note that there should be two notices – one for the groom and one for the bride – and that the names of the couple need to be phonetically written in Greek characters.
The wedding licence
To apply for a wedding licence, the bride and the groom must each submit the documents listed below:
- A passport.
- A valid residence permit (if applicable).
- An original or certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, with an official translation into Greek. It should be noted that the birth certificate should have an Apostille stamp (a stamped official certificate)
- In the event either has been married in the past, a death certificate or divorce decree (with an Apostille stamp, with an official translation into Greek).
- A Certificate of Marital Status, also known as Affidavit of Marriage, Certificate of No Impediment or Notary Public Statement, depending on the country of origin. Certifying that the applicant can legally enter into a wedding contract, the document must be completed in English and Greek and should be notarised at the applicant’s embassy in Greece. Make sure to contact your country’s embassy in advance as waiting periods may vary. If the document has been obtained from your home country, it needs to be attached to an official translation into Greek. Be aware that an Apostille stamp may be required.
- A copy of the local newspaper in which the wedding notices were published
- If one of the applicant is under the age of 18, applicants must submit a court decision approving the marriage.
If you plan on having a civil or religious ceremony, couples must submit two sets of documents each. In the case of a religious wedding, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish ceremonies are all possible in Greece.
After the wedding, whether civil or religious, you have 40 days to register the union at the local Registrar’s Office/Office of Vital Statistics (in Greek, Lixiarhio). This can be done by the bride or groom or by a third person in possession of a power of attorney signed in the presence of a notary, giving them the authority to register the wedding. The marriage certificate (lixiarchiki praxi gamou) is issued within three days of the registration and can be collected or be mailed to the couple. Please note that any marriage that has not been registered at the lixiarhio has no legal validity.