SANTORINI WEDDING LEGALITIES
full documentation guide!
Santorini island Greece is a top wedding destination.
Couples from all countries of the world choose Santorini to elope or to celebrate their micro-wedding or their Greek big fat wedding!
But can you have a legal wedding in Santorini?
The answer is YES. We offer full guidance on the collection of the appropriate certificates, handle the official translation and the wedding registration. Couples from almost all countries can have a civil wedding in Santorini. In order to have a legal religious wedding at least one of the two - the bride or the groom - needs to be Orthodox. Same-sex weddings are not legal yet in Greece. Same-sex couples can have only a symbolic ceremony.
The certificates you need to collect and present in order to get legally married in Santorini are:
- Standard documentation: FULL birth certificate (certified copies collected by the registry), certificate of no impediment to marry (or affidavit or marriage license)
- Extras: deed poll or other for change of name, absolute decree, adoption papers (certified copies issued by the appropriate authority or by a Solicitor)
- Passports of the bride and groom
The listed certificates need to be legalized for use abroad (apostille stamp) unless indicated differently. They also need to be officially translated by a certified translator. In all our Santorini Wedding Packages for civil weddings we have included the official translations of standard documentation, which we will do for you and save you the trouble.
When do the bride and groom need to start collecting the documentation? The paperwork procedure lasts from 6 to 1 month, depending on the expiration of the certificate of no impediment to marriage or marriage license or capacity to marry, which is different in every country.
Where do the bride and groom order the documents from?
- If the citizenship and the place of residence is a match: they need to ask for the standard documents at their local registry office.
- If, for example, the bride is an Italian citizen but is living in the UK, then she needs to address to the Italian consulate/embassy in the UK (unless she can actually go to Italy and get them!)
- The absolute decree they can get from the court
The bride and groom have collected all the certificates. What do they do now? If they are in a Hague Apostille Member Country, they need to get an apostille stamp on the back of each certificate. ATTENTION though: couples coming from the EU countries do not need the apostille stamp any more (2020 update). Furthermore, if the documents are issued or legalized by an embassy or a consulate, they do not need to have the apostille stamp.
This is all you need to do with the paperwork. Your wedding planner takes it from here. We will have all certificates officially translated by a certified translator, pay the town hall fees, and complete the paperwork procedure in the Santorini Registry. After the wedding, we will assist you with the wedding registration and collect 3 copies of the marriage certificates. The marriage certificates we will legalize for you and officially translate into English. All local fees, expenses, and procedures are already included in our wedding packages for civil weddings in Santorini. You will receive the originals and the official translations after a few weeks at your home address.
Is the same paperwork required for a Christian Orthodox wedding?
You will need additional certificates for an Orthodox marriage. In the case of the religious wedding, you can have an Orthodox wedding, upon conditions (e.g. the bride or the groom or both need to be baptized Orthodox; in case one of them is not Orthodox, they need to present a Public Notary's act where they state that their children will be baptized in the Orthodox Church; the witness (Best Man) needs to be either single either married in church). Here are the certificates required for an Orthodox wedding in Santorini:
- Certificates of No Impediment to marriage from the Municipality where the applicant is registered,
- Certificates of No Previous Marriage officially certified by the Archbishop of the area of residence,
- Full birth certificates from your local registry (Certified copies including the names of the parents; shorter versions will not be accepted),
- Family Status Certificates from your local registry,
- Baptism registration act/certificate,
- If either the bride or the groom is not baptized a Christian Orthodox, a Public Notary's act is required where it is stated that the children will be baptized Christian Orthodox,
- Copies of the Passports,
- Divorce certificate (if any, from Civil and Church Authorities),
- Family Status Certificate for the best man from the Municipality where he is registered; in case the best man has been married with a civil wedding or has stipulated a civil partnership, he will not be accepted by the church as best man.
Should you opt for an Orthodox wedding, we will help you book the Church, assist with all paperwork and marriage registration, as well as with all aspects of the wedding ceremony and reception in a beautiful wedding venue in Santorini.
Overwhelmed? Don't be, the paperwork is simpler than it seems! We will be happy to guide you through the process step by step. Contact us for a private consultation free of charge!