Greek Wedding

greek flag

Welcome to our guide to getting married in Greek. Before you go into depth about the specifics for your wedding in Greek we have a couple of articles that we suggest you read first.

UK residents wishing to marry in Greece can have either a Civil Ceremony or a Religious Ceremony and I have outlined the basic requirements below.

Residency Stay

There is a minimum residency stay of eight days. This is to allow the local authorities time to receive and process your application. On completion of the necessary paperwork the bride and groom will be able to pick up their Marriage License, ready for the wedding ceremony. You will need to have your passport with you, when picking up the Marriage License



Basic Documentation

The basic documents needed include:

  • An original full birth certificate must be provided.
  • A Consular Registration Certificate
  • Two separate Certificates of No-Impediment (this can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar. The document should not be issued more than 3 months before the wedding date). Bare in mind it takes approximately 1 month to issue the certificate.
  • Decree Absolute (the final divorce paper, if applicable)
  • Death Certificate (if you are a widow or widower)
  • Change of Name Deed (required if you have changed your name)
  • Adoption certificate (if applicable)


All the above documents will need to be certified (legalised) by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Legalisation Department. Once the documents have been legalised they will need to be translated into Greek. At present the fee for legalisation is £19.00 per document although this may be subject to change.

Further documents will be required for a religious ceremony and will also need to be translated into Greek, if the priest has not already done so. Once these documents have been translated they will need to be authenticated.

Once the documents have been translated the Official Translators signature must be legalised.

All documents upon translation and legalisation will need to be sent forward to either the Registry Office, or the priest four weeks before your wedding day.

You should give yourself plenty of time to organise your documents particularly if you are sending them through the post. Remember also to allow time for your marriage Banns to be posted in your local church or Town Hall prior to your wedding day.

Civil Ceremony

Couples wishing to have a Civil Ceremony can do so in any of the following buildings:

  • A Registry Office
  • Town Hall or other Community Office
  • A hotel

The ceremony can either be conducted in Greek or English.

The number of documents required for a civil marriage may vary from one Registry to the next so it is vital that you seek clarification on exactly what documents are needed.

Religious Ceremony

Couples wishing to have a religious ceremony can either have a Catholic wedding or an Orthodox Wedding Ceremony, both of which will be conducted in Greek.

Please note Greek Law does not allow a religious marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian

Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Couple wishing to have a catholic wedding ceremony can only do so if

  • Neither the bride or groom has previously been married
  • Either the bride or groom is catholic
  • They have both been baptised and have a Baptism Certificate
  • They have contacted their local parish priest and informed him they wish to marry abroad.
  • The local parish priest must issue the Baptism and Confirmation Certificate, within 3 months of your wedding date.

For more information you should consult with the priest at your local parish to find out what other documentation may be required.

Orthodox Wedding Ceremony

  • Either the bride or groom is orthodox
  • They have both been baptised and have a Baptism Certificate signed and stamped by your local parish priest
  • The Greek Orthodox Church must issue a certificate giving you freedom and consent to marry (otherwise known as the letter of ‘Celibacy’)
  • They must contact their local Orthodox priest and informed him they wish to marry abroad.

For more information you should consult with the Orthodox priest at your local parish, to find out whether you require any more documentation.

Official Marriage Certificate

 

Civil Wedding Ceremony

The official certificate is issued within 3 days of the wedding. If you are having a wedding planner to organise your wedding they may send your certificate off for translation and then forward it on to you at your home address on request.

Religious Wedding Ceremony

The priest who performed the marriage ceremony will issue the official certificate, and they will forward it onto the priest in your local parish back in the UK, where it will then be passed on to you.

Remember though on receiving your wedding certificate you must have it translated from Greek into English otherwise the marriage will not be legal, regardless of whether you have a religious or civil ceremony if it hasn’t already been done so.

Legalisation of Wedding

For the marriage to be legal in the UK, the couple must declare their marriage at the local Registry Office in Greece within 40 days of marrying, so that a Marriage Certificate can be issued. Once you have obtained your Marriage Certificate you will need to have it translated into English. Visit the British Embassy in Athens and have the certificate translated. Whilst you are there you can request the certificate then be forwarded by the British Consular to the General Register Office in the UK where it can be deposited.

For further information:

Useful websites

The Legalisation Office
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Embassy of Greece, London
http://www.greekembassy.org.uk/

The Legalisation Office
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Old Admiralty Building
The Mall
London SW1A 2LG
Tel: 020 7008 1111

Translations Department,
Consulate General of Greece,
1A Holland Park,
London W11 3TP

 

IMPORTANT

Whilst every effort to ensure that the above information is correct, it may be subject to change at any time. Please always check with the official authorities before proceeding. If you notice some outdated information please let us know.