Legal Requirements

Legal Requirements​

What should you know about wedding ceremonies in Greece?


Wedding planners can help you plan your big day and answer any questions about paperwork and legal requirements. In addition, they have access to amazing venues where you can hold your ceremony in a way that will stay in your heart forever.

It’s common to get married outdoors in Greece, due to the beautiful settings, blue skies and sunny weather. Churches and town halls are also common venues for Greek citizens. Keep in mind that archaeological sites don’t permit weddings on the premises.

 What are the legal requirements to get married in Greece?

 Couples from almost all over the world have the right to get legally married in Greece. The paperwork required is differentiated in the case of a civil wedding or religious wedding. The certificates required can also be differentiated from case to case, depending on the citizenship and place of residence of the couples, on their marriage degree (1st, 2nd etc.), as well as on the Greek region the couples dream to get married.

It is important to work closely with your wedding planner, as to be properly guided through the exact procedure.


Civil Wedding

  1. FULL birth certificate of the bride and groom
  2. Certificate of no impediment to marriage or marriage license or capacity to marry of the bride and groom
  3. Divorce / adoption / change of name certificates where applied
  4. Passports of the bride and groom

All of the above need to be legalized for use abroad and be officially translated by a certified translator. The official translation can take place in Greece or abroad, depending on weather your wedding planning package includes the official translations or not.

The paperwork procedure lasts from 6 to1 months, depending on the expiration of the certificate of no impediment to marriage or marriage license or capacity to marry of the bride and groom, which is different in every country.


Religious Wedding

In case of the religious wedding, in Greece you can have a legal Orthodox wedding, upon certain 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 “koubaros” needs to be either single either married in church etc.). The paperwork can be slightly differentiated from region to region, but in general more certificates than the civil wedding is required and these are:

  1. Certificates of No Impediment to marriage from the Municipality where the applicant is registered
  2. Certificates of No Previous Marriage officially certified by the archbishop of the area of residence
  3. Full birth certificates from your local registry (Certified copies including the names of the parents; shorter versions will not be accepted)
  4. Family Status Certificates from your local registry
  5. Baptism registration act/certificate,
  6. 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
  7. Copies of the Passports
  8. Divorce certificate (if any, from Civil and Church Authorities)
  9. Family Status Certificate for the best man (koubaros) 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.

Symbolic Wedding

There are many couples that have been already married and want to celebrate their love in Greece with a symbolic ceremony.  They can skip the paperwork procedure and concentrate in exchanging vows of love and in celebrating with their loved ones the whole destination wedding experience, with the help of a Celebrant or Officiant.


For UK Citizens

 In order to marry in Greece, you will need to acquire a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) from the UK. This is a legal document that states that it is legal for you and your partner to wed. Confusingly, the CNI is only valid for 3 months (from the date of issue) if you are Scottish, while if you are from England, Wales or Northern Ireland, there is no expiry date. This CNI will then have to be legalized by a British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and then translated into Greek by a professional translator. It is essential that the translator has been authorized by the Greek Embassy in London. The next step is to get certification by the Greek Consulate in London. As long as you have used an official translator and all your documents (listed above) are in order, there is no reason why this step should create any issues. Once all of this has been authorized, take all your documentation to the relevant registry office in Greece and apply for a marriage license. In order to do this, you will also have to give notice of your intent to marry in the local Greek newspaper. The marriage license will take at the minimum 7 days to be issued, although it can take a few months. It will be valid for 6 months thereafter. After getting the marriage license, you and your partner will have to submit an application to marry to the relevant Mayor of the place where you wish to marry. Once this has been approved, you’re all set to marry! Be wary that the rules and regulations can vary slightly depending on the island or region. If you are in any doubt, contact the British embassy in Athens and they will be able to walk you through the process.




For USA Citizens

U.S. citizens do not have to be residents of Greece to marry in Greece, although if one of the parties is a resident of Greece, he or she must possess a valid residence permit to marry.

A U.S. passport that has been officially stamped when entering Greece is required for Americans to obtain a marriage license in Greece. A certified copy of a birth certificate, including an official translation into Greek, is also required. Applicants can get translation services from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applicants must also furnish an affidavit of marriage, which states that there is no impediment to getting married. These documents can be obtained from an American consular officer at the

U.S. Embassy in Athens or the U.S. Embassy in Thessaloniki

Previously married applicants must provide proof of marriage terminations, including death certificates, divorce decrees or annulment decrees. An official translation into Greek must be provided with each document. Greece requires that these documents have an apostille certification, which applicants can obtain from the Secretary of State in the U.S. state from where the document came. Applicants must also provide a copy of the local Greek newspaper with a notice of their intent to marry.

Americans with a marriage license from the U.S.

can use the license to obtain a Greek marriage license as long as the wording does not expressly state the U.S. marriage license is only valid in certain states or the U.S. If a license limits the marriage to one area, such as “in the state of California,” Greece will accept the license if the issuer changes the clause to include Greece.


Pour les Francais

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