Planning to Get Married Greek-Style?

About to tie the knot? If you want the wedding in Greece but aren't Greek you will have to comply with the following procedure

Under Greek law, foreign nationals may be married in either civil or religious ceremonies. While there is no residency requirement for foreign nationals wishing to marry in Greece, they should be in possession of a residence permit or a tourist visa. This does not apply to EU nationals.

The following documents are required by non-Greek brides and grooms who wish to obtain a marriage licence required for a ceremony performed in Greece:

1. Valid passports or other travel documents.

2. Certified copies of both parties' birth certificates with an official translation from the Greek foreign ministry.

3. If applicable, a document verifying the termination of a previous marriage (death certificate or final divorce papers) with an official translation.

4. Confirmation by their consulate in Greece that there is no impediment to the marriage; for instance, that there is no existing undissolved marriage and that neither party is under 18 years old.

5. A copy of the local Greek daily newspaper in which the wedding notice was published 15 days to three months before the marriage ceremony. The announcement should be in Greek with names written in Greek characters. In small towns where daily newspapers are not published, notices are posted by the mayor or president of the community at the municipality or community office. After you've submitted all the necessary papers it may take several weeks before a marriage certificate is issued.

Civil marriages

The couple wishing to marry must personally submit all the documents listed above to their local municipality (dimarcheio) or to the president of their community (proedros kinotitas) to apply for a marriage licence. Marriage licences are issued seven days after the application is submitted and are valid for six months. Civil ceremonies may be performed anywhere in Greece.

The couple-to-be must submit another application to the mayor or the president of the community in which they wish to be married. This official then sets the wedding date. Two witnesses, provided by the couple, must attend the wedding ceremony. One of the witnesses may act as an interpreter. Witnesses must present official identification cards or passports.

Religious marriages

The documents listed above must be submitted to the priest who is to perform the ceremony. Foreigners also need to submit an official translation of their baptism certificate or other document showing they are of Christian faith. The priest will apply for and obtain the marriage licenses.

Registration of a marriage

All marriages, civil and religious, must be registered at the local vital statistics office (lixiarcheio) within 40 days of the ceremony. The marriage licence costs about 15 euros. If a marriage is not registered it is not legally valid.

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For more information about Greek laws, including information about Greek citizenship and real estate procedures and regulations, see the section titled Greek Laws and Procedures in our archives.

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