Guest Author - Lisa Shea
A wedding in historic Greece... the stuff that dreams are made of! If you are planning on getting married in Greece, there are several legal hoops to jump through. The key to success, as always, is good research and preparation.
Always check with your embassy well in advance for up-to-date requirements. Many embassies recommend that you arrange your Greek wedding through a professional agency, but here are some guidelines if you choose to do-it-yourself.
The following documents will be required:
- Birth certificates
- Evidence of termination of all previous marriages – original or certified copies of final divorce decrees, annulment decrees or death certificates
- Baptism certificates (for a religious ceremony)
- Certificates of no impediment
- Copy of publication of wedding notice
Certificates of No Impediment - An affidavit by the applicants, declaring that there are no impediments to their marriage under the laws of their country of residence. The affidavit must be completed in English and Greek and must be sworn before a Consular Officer in Greece.
Publication of Wedding Notice - Before the application for a marriage license is submitted, a wedding notice should be published, in Greek, in a local newspaper. In small towns, notices are posted at City Hall.
All civil documents must be originals endorsed with an Apostille Stamp.
All documents issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by official Greek translations. If your local Greek Consulate cannot perform this service, then you must contact the Translation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens. For a fee, two-day expedited service is available instead of the normal one-week processing period.
For further information, contact:
Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
10, Arionos Street
Psyrris, Athens 10554
Open Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
To apply for a marriage license in Greece, the required documents should be presented, in person, to the Mayor (at City Hall) or the President of the Community. Seven days later the license is issued and the parties can submit their application to the Mayor or President of the Community. The date of the ceremony may now be set.
The license can be endorsed for any location in Greece.
Submit all the required documents to the clergyman who will obtain the marriage license. Greek law does not provide for the religious marriage of a Christian to a non-Christian.
- Both parties must be Christians
- One party must be Protestant
- Neither party can be Greek Orthodox
- Both parties must provide certificates of baptism
- Both parties must meet with the Pastor for pre-marital counseling sessions (or present a letter from their local Pastor declaring that counseling has been received)
- Two witnesses must attend the ceremony
Roman Catholic Requirements:
- Both parties must be Christians
- Special dispensation is required in the case of mixed marriages
- Both parties must present certificates of baptism
- Both parties must present certificates of confirmation
- Both parties must present certificates of freedom to marry
- Divorce is not recognized.
- Both parties must be Jewish
- Both parties must present certificates of freedom to marry issued by the senior Rabbinate of their areas of residence
A diverse list of places of worship is available here.
Registration of Marriage
In order to be legally valid, a marriage must be registered at the local Vital Statistics Office (Lixiarhio) in the city in which the ceremony was performed. Registration should occur within 40 days of the ceremony. Payment of revenue stamps is required for registration 40-90 days after the ceremony. After 90 days, the marriage can only be registered with the payment of revenue stamps and the authorization of the District Attorney.