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GETTING MARRIED IN GREECE

You must be at least 18 years old and will need:

  1. One photocopy of each passport
  2. One photocopy of each witnesses’ passport, if providing two of your own
  3. A printed birth certificate for each applicant, certified in the past five (5) years with an apostille (see below for details on apostilles)
  4. A copy of divorce decrees (if any) certified in the past five (5) years with one apostille per document
  5. A copy of death certificates of previous spouses (if any), certified in the past five (5) years with one apostille per document
  6. Certified copy of a court order name change (if applicable)
  7. Certified affidavit / certificate of no impediment stating you are single and free to marry (without impediment), signed normally within three (3) months of the wedding date. This is dependent on your nationality.
  8. Your preference as to whether future children will take one name or the other or both. Laws back home will take precedent over your stated preference, but you will still be expected to answer.
  9. Must stay at least one (1) working day after the ceremony to register your marriage at the Greek Registry Office (Lixiarxeio). This means if you are married on Friday, you cannot depart for another island on Saturday and must stay until at least Monday evening. If Monday happens to be a Greek holiday, then you are obligated to stay until Tuesday evening, unless other arrangements have been made.

It has been stated by other sources that you must be in Greece at least eight (8) days before the wedding date, but this is usually the time it takes to secure and issue a Greek marriage license.  Your wedding planner will arrange this before your departure or to be sent to you by registered post.
Once you receive it, you will need to get it translated into English and register it with your local town hall/council.


Getting an apostille

An apostille is a seal applied to a certified document to signify its legal authenticity for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
It must be obtained from and notarized by the location in which the event took place and a record created.  It does not matter where you live now.

The only apostilles issued in Greece are apostilles for documents originating in Greece.

One apostille per document is required — it is unacceptable to secure one apostille for all your documents, even if the birth certificates, divorce decree and death certificate are from the same location.

Under no circumstances should an apostille be detached from a document once it has been attached.


Translations

Translations are required for birth certificates, divorce decrees and death certificates but not passports, and your wedding planner may or may not offer this as part of their services. All nationalities have two options, according to Greek law.

 

Outside Greece

The Greek consulate/embassy in your homeland provides some services but may be limited to certain documents. Call or write to inquire since appointments are sometimes required.

Approved translation and validation services may be outsourced and/or referred elsewhere for a fee. A list of several choices should be provided online or via printed list — be cautious of embassies/consulates recommending only one or two people.


Other options

Translation by a local certified businesses are permitted in some but not all cases –this is something your wedding planner would know of.  As interpretations can vary, Greek authorities will sometimes not allow these options. In addition, you will pay a fee higher than the Translation Office.


Location

Weddings take place in a church (if parties are of orthodox religion) , city hall, mayor’s office or a pre-approved location of choice, not a registrar’s office or foreign embassy/consulate.

According to Orthodox Christian religious law as written, only two people of the same faith are allowed to marry in an Orthodox church and must provide baptism certificates as proof or must state an intent to convert and take a spiritual mentor. This is the straight way.

However, priests all over Greece make exceptions for people of different faiths, and leniency in the USA and other countries has also been shown. This technically violates religious law, but it is done to accommodate the changing times.


Final Notes

* All original documents and apostilles will be permanently on file at the Greek Registrar’s Office, and therefore not returned to you. Request certified copies of your marriage certificate if you are not provided with sufficient copies for your needs back home and personal files.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL

GREEK EMBASSY, ALSO FOR TIME PERIODS AND FEES.

 

Consulate General of Greece,
1a Holland Park, London W11 3TP.
Telephone: 0207 2216467
Internet:
www.greekembassy.org.uk

JOHN DOE
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