Get Married In Greece
My wedding in Greece
I can’t imagine there are a lot of people who say that their wedding day was one of the most relaxed days in their life. Mine (which took place in Crete) was. The weather was no issue to worry about – in June I was assured of blue skies. I didn’t need beauty treatments – the sun had done the job. Getting dressed for the occasion wasn’t much work either – I had picked a dress for the warm weather that took ten seconds to slip on. I spent most of the day relaxing by the sea with my dearest friends and family members who flew in for the occasion, and only needed about half an hour to get ready for a sunset ceremony at a tiny Byzantine church.
This, of course, is not the entire story. The in-laws-to-be spent days running around like mad, getting everything organized. They were definitely stressed on D-day when they had to take care of the usual last minute problems, and also some unusual ones, such as finding a way to straighten the big wedding candles, the lambadas, which had decided to melt on their way to church. The Greek husband-to-be wasn’t relaxing as much as I was either. He had to deal with the necessary paper work and also had to convince the priest that my Dutch non-orthodox religious friend would make a fine ‘best woman’, koumbara.
Your own Greek wedding
I am quite sure that a warm-weather wedding in an unbeatable setting will appeal to most people who are about to tie the knot, but the logistics of planning a wedding in Greece from afar may seem totally overwhelming. However, having a future Greek family in-law lined up is not a prerequisite a) to get married in Greece, or b) the experience to be stress-free. There are professional wedding planners who can take care of everything. They guide the couple through the bureaucratic requirements; they help find a dream location; they arrange catering, flowers, musicians, hairdressers; in short, they take care of every little detail so that after the to-be-weds arrive in Greece, all they need to do is relax, enjoy themselves and say “YES” at the right moment.
A few things you should know about weddings in Greece
You don’t need to be Greek to get married in Greece. Foreign nationals who wish to have their wedding in Greece can do so in either a civil ceremony performed by a mayor or in a religious ceremony performed by a priest, or both. They do have to comply with a residency requirement: the couple has to be in Greece for eight days prior to the wedding day! That should not be all that painful… Of course there is some paperwork that needs to be taken care of.
Most church weddings in Greece are Orthodox, but Catholic, Jewish and even Buddhist weddings are possible as well. Civil weddings don’t necessarily have to be performed at a town hall, but can take place in other locations as well, with the permission of the local Mayor.
Suggested wedding planners
On the island of Santorini, American Shirley Chiarolanzio works full-time organizing weddings and wedding-related events. Shirley has a background in social work and has been living on Santorini for over 15 years. Her long experience as a wedding planner and her passion for the island have resulted in a flourishing and rewarding business! Check out Shirley’s website.
And some great photographers
Architecture and interior photography is not the first specialty of Andre Bakker, who took all the pictures for the book “Around Greek in 80 Stays”. People and portraits are his greatest passion in photography, and one of the (many) things he is really good at is wedding photography. He doesn’t believe in making people pose and say cheese; instead he goes for the action, the emotions, the joy, the details: he catches the very special moments.
I also very much like the work of Michele Witteveen and of Magdalene Kourti, whose photojournalistic style stands out as well. Like Andre, they don’t ask their subjects to pose, but they records the atmosphere and the happiness.