How to get legally married in Greece?
Stepping into marriage can be a very demanding procedure, especially if a couple decides to get married abroad. Greece happens to be a very interesting country for Europeans to get married in, peculiarly for British citizens. The most popular places are Greek Islands Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. There are lots of legal requirements that couple should be aware of.
The groom and the bride will need particular documentation with the correct level of legalization to be submitted in Greece.
1. Both must have a valid passport.
2. Birth Certificate with parent`s names and with an Apostille stamp affixed, or a copy of the Adoption Certificate if the person who is getting married has been adopted.
3. The groom or the bride needs to deliver a Death Certificate or Divorce Decree with Apostille stamp affixed, if a person is a widow(er) or has been married before.
4. Copy of Deed Poll if a person has changed name since birth.
5. Certificate of Non-Impediment, also called Notary Public Statement. This is an evidence of freedom to marry.
6. Last but not least, the couple needs to publish their wedding into a local newspaper with their names phonetically written in Greek.
The groom and the bride will need to certify all documents by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These need to be translated into Greek with a certified stamp by a lawyer, the Foreign Ministry`s Department, the Greek Consulate in couples country or by a certified translator. The couple who wants to marry in a religious and civil ceremony will need two sets of documents above and it needs to be sent four weeks before the wedding day. This process may take a couple of weeks, so couples usually decide to hire a local wedding planner who can help with the application process. If one of the couples is not a citizen of Greece but is a resident, (s)he will need a valid Residence Permit.
The couple can marry where ever they want, in the Church, in the Town Hall, or the both. Women and men must have at least 18 years if they want to marry. If they are not adults (less than 18 years), the court must permit the wedding.
If the couple wants to have a civil marriage they have to submit a joint application. This goes to the Mayor or President of the community. Later he will verify the date of this special day. The happy couple can choose where they want to be married: at the Town Hall, at the Mayor`s office or at the couple`s hotel, but they cannot be married at an archeological site. On the wedding must be present two witnesses with passports or Greek ID.
The documentation above must be given to the Priest if the couple is going to marry in the Church. Then the Priest will put in an application for Marriage License. Waiting time and other requests will vary, depending on the church the couple is getting married in: Greek Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic or Jewish. It is important to know that by the Greek Law marriage cannot proceed if one of the couples is Christian and the other is not.
When the ceremony has taken place, no matter whether it's civil or religious ceremony, the couple must register the marriage at the local Registrar’s Office (Lixiarhio). They have 40 days to do that. If the marriage is not registered in Lixiarho, it is not legally valid.