Thursday, 19 August 2010

The guide to a civil wedding in Greece

Good afternoon, I hope everyone is keeping well!
Today we are discussing the requirements and trying to explain what is and isn't possible in order to hold a civil wedding in Greece.

  • The couple can be of any nationality or faith to have a civil wedding in Greece
The paperwork required depends on the country of origin, however as a general guide the authorities will need you to produce:
  • Full Birth Certificate,  must include the names of both parents, the shorter version of the Certificate will not be accepted.
  • Divorce or Death Certificate, if previously married a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate if marriage ended due to the death of spouse.
  • Certificate of  No Impediment, this document certifies that both parties are free to marry,  can be obtained from your local registrar and can take up to a month to obtain, this certificate must not be issued more than three months prior to the wedding date.
  • Change of Name or Deed Poll Certificate, this is required in the event that the bride or groom has changed name by Deed Poll or court order.
  • Adoption Certificate required if either party was adopted.
  • Photocopies of valid passports
  • All paperwork provided must be stamped with an Apostille stamp, this is a special seal applied by an authority to certify that a document is a true copy of the original. These can be obtained by the Greek Embassy or the Secretary of State.

  • In answer to the question of residency requirements, this depends on where you would like to marry, as a general guide I would suggest that you plan to stay in Greece for 2 weeks and marry in the middle of your holiday, this should ensure you have the time to complete the paperwork before and after the ceremony, always allow for a few extra days incase of any holidays, strikes or other reasons why the public sector may not be working.
  • The only "accessory" required for a civil ceremony are wedding rings
  • The ceremony last no longer than 5 minutes in it's entirety, enquire about the possibility of extending the ceremony by adding readings and songs to make the ceremony more personal and meaningful
  • I always recommend that my clients arrange for a cocktail party immediately after the ceremony if they have chosen for it to be held in a pretty, outdoor location, thus extending the ceremony and making the cost of decorating the venue more reasonable

The main question that must be asked is where it is possible to hold a civil ceremony in Greece:

The answer to this is simple, it depends! Perhaps the best way to approach this choice is by speaking to wedding planners about where it is possible to hold civil ceremonies, before making the decision on where in Greece to hold you wedding. As a general guide, the less touristy areas are less flexible, the larger islands offer many more options!

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