How to get married in Greece for foreigners
Greece is historic, tranquil and a wonderous country to explore! Its ancient ruins sit atop mountains and amidst piercing blue skies that are a spectacle to behold. The Aegean is just as blue and just as beautiful, providing calming shores and a stunning coastline. Greece’s music, food and its people all inspire a sense of indulgence, warmth and relaxation.
The Greek culture is synonymous with the mythology and theology of the land. Observe where the Olympians first competed or climb the steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries! Contemplate the oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi, enjoy the drama of an ancient outdoor theatre and be stunned by massive marble sculptures of Greek gods!
If you are searching for a destination abroad to tie the knot, look no further than Greece! Its mainland and many islands provide the ideal setting to begin you on your marriage journey! The sand, sea and green of the countryside evoke a sense of purity and new beginnings.
In Greece, both civil and religious ceremonies are legally official. An officiant will perform civil ceremonies whilst a minister or priest will carry out a religious service.
Legal requirements to getting married in Greece:
The good news is you do not need to be a citizen or a resident of Greece to get married in the country! However, if you’re marrying a Greek citizen or resident, they must hold a valid residence permit. We recommend checking with local authorities as requirements can vary from region to region.
To legally wed, you must be over the age of 18. Couples younger will need to receive special dispensation from a court, requiring parental permission.
There is a waiting period after submitting your application to marry and can vary depending on the region. Be sure to plan with time to spare! For a civil marriage license, a seven-day waiting period is quite common.
So what do you need to get married in Greece?
Necessary paperwork and documentation:
- A valid passport
- A birth certificate with the Apostille stamp certifying the copy
- An official Apostille translated into Greek, which can be certified by a lawyer, a foreign ministry’s translation department or a certified translator. A Greek consulate from your home country may also be able to help the process.
- Proof of freedom to marry, or affidavit of marriage, notarised, in both English and Greek.
- A decree of absolution of your previous marriage, if applicable.
See below our top ten locations in Greece to marry:
- Navagio Beach (Zakynthos)
A beach in a cove, only accessible by boat and decorated by a shipwreck.
- Argentikon (Chios)
A historical estate within a citrus grove.
- Grecotel (Crete)
A hotel in a traditional farm location between vineyards and olive trees near the sea.
- Cavo Ventus Luxury Villa (Santorini)
An outdoor space with accommodation overlooking Akrotiri with sunset views.
- Amathus Beach Hotel (Rhodes)
A peaceful sanctuary on the beach of Ixia.
- Corfu old town (Corfu)
A traditional Ionian experience with Venetian forts, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Panigirakis Castle (Mykonos)
A mythical castle with panoramic views.
- Lazareto Hotel (Monemvasia)
A relaxed country hotel by the sea in a medieval town.
- Island Taste and Art Private House (Athens)
An eclectic building on the Athens Riviera.
- Veleni Boutique Hotel (Pelion)
A boutique location with views of Volos, the Pagasetic Gulf and the village of Makrinitsa.
Wedding traditions and customs in Greece:
- Koufeta is sugar-coated almonds that are supposed to symbolise a sweet life. They are wrapped in tulle and handed out after the ceremony.
- Crowns are often placed upon the couple’s heads and exchanged three times!
- A Sirtaki is a formal dance, with everyone holding hands and prancing around in a large circle.
- Friends and family may help the couple to make up their marital bed. They may even roll a baby across the bed to bless the bed with fertility.
- To inspire a lucky wedding, attendants might wear blue, warding off the evil eye!
Support your loved ones by sending money to the happy couple!
Have the ability to send or receive funds, helping set newlyweds up for a long and prosperous union!