Weddings in Santorini, the most romantic of settings…

Weddings in Santorini are becoming more and more popular. And it's no wonder.

Getting married on a beautiful Greek Island is heaven. We know – we did it, ten years ago. With guaranteed sunshine, location after glorious location to choose from and the warmth of the friendly people you cannot fail to have the time of your life.

With Santorini known as the most romantic of all the Greek island locations it's no wonder that it is increasingly becoming THE place to hold a wedding or renew vows and have a fabulous first or second honeymoon.

Weddings in Santorini

It's a great place to celebrate a wedding anniversary too. We made a promise to each other on our special day to celebrate each of our subsequent anniversaries on a Greek Island beach.

We've kept that promise and see no reason why we shouldn't be celebrating many more anniversaries for years to come.

Organising any wedding can be a logistical nightmare and getting married abroad can add to the already growing list of "things to do" for the wedding. But with careful planning there is absolutely no reason why a Santorini wedding should be anything less than blissful.

Along with the enjoyable tasks of choosing the location to hold your Santorini wedding, choosing your outfits, selecting flowers and a cake there are the legalities of getting married abroad you'll need to consider. 

Getting Married Abroad

Greek Island Wedding Location

The getting married abroad experts of www.weddingchaos.co.uk have put together extremely helpful advice on what'll you'll need to do in order to satisfy the paperwork requirements to make sure your wedding is legal.

Residency Stay

There is a minimum residency stay of eight days. This is to allow the local authorities time to receive and process your application. On completion of the necessary paperwork the bride and groom will be able to pick up their Marriage License, ready for the wedding ceremony. You will need to have your passport with you, when picking up the Marriage License.

Basic Documentation

The basic documents needed include:

  • An original full birth certificate must be provided.
  • A Consular Registration Certificate
  • Two separate Certificates of No-Impediment (this can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar. The document should not be issued more than 3 months before the wedding date). Bare in mind it takes approximately 1 month to issue the certificate.
  • Decree Absolute (the final divorce paper, if applicable)
  • Death Certificate (if you are a widow or widower)
  • Change of Name Deed (required if you have changed your name)
  • Adoption certificate (if applicable)

For UK citizens all the above documents will need to be certified (legalised) by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Legalisation Department. Once the documents have been legalised they will need to be translated into Greek. At present the fee for legalisation is £19.00 per document although this may be subject to change.

Further documents will be required for a religious ceremony and will also need to be translated into Greek, if the priest has not already done so. Once these documents have been translated they will need to be authenticated.

Once the documents have been translated the Official Translators signature must be legalised.

All documents upon translation and legalisation will need to be sent forward to either the Registry Office, or the priest four weeks before your wedding day. You should give yourself plenty of time to organise your documents particularly if you are sending them through the post. Remember also to allow time for your marriage Banns to be posted in your local church or Town Hall prior to your wedding day.

Luxury Hotels in Santorini

There are many other Luxury Hotels in Santorini that offer similar services for your very special day.

Many holiday companies offer a complete wedding package that includes flights to Santorini, accommodation on the island, a wedding planner and a choice of photographer, wedding cake, wedding bouquet and the all-important choice of location.

Santorini Locations

Santorini Locations

You're definitely spoilt for choice with Santorini locations for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception. But whichever you choose you'll be guaranteed wonderful pictures to show the folks back home who couldn’t make it to your special day.

Choose from a wedding on the beach or aboard an 18th century sailing ship. Or you have the chance of getting married in a traditional winery located on the Caldera. You can even arrive at your ceremony by donkey!

Or what could be more romantic than exchanging wedding vows at the beautiful chapel of Aghia Irini (Saint Irini) with a Santorini sunset as a backdrop?

Wedding Dress Advice

White bikini with matching sarong? Full fluffy princess meringue wedding gown? Or something in between?

My advice is to choose something comfortable, lightweight and uncrushable. The heat is a BIG factor for any Greek Island wedding. We got married at 6.00pm in late September but it was still scorching. And if your wedding day is in July or August you'll be guaranteed very high temperatures even late into the evening.

I chose a lightweight white halter neck, full-length Grecian goddess wedding dress for my Greek Island beach ceremony. Hubby wore white trousers and a white, lightweight open neck shirt.

As we had no guests at our Greek Island wedding ceremony – other than a couple of Greek fishermen mending their nets at the harbour we held a big wedding reception on our return to the UK. We wore our wedding outfits there and themed the whole evening, including food, music and table decoration on a Greek Island theme.

I've since had my wedding dress taken up to calve length and removed the trim so I can wear it on special evenings – like our wedding anniversary!

Gay Santorini Weddings

Currently it is not possible to hold a civil partnership ceremony for same sex couples in Greece or any of the Greek Islands. This is set to alter with changes in the law being discussed now by the Greek government to enable all couples to enjoy the opportunity of a fabulous Santorini wedding.

It is possible for Lesbian and Gay couples to have their commitment ceremony on Santorini and of course enjoy a wonderful honeymoon.

We'll keep you posted on the up to date information about same sex civil partnership ceremonies in Santorini.

Click here for the advice on Lesbian and Gay weddings in Greece.

Top Tips for Wedding Bliss

  • Allow at least six months to arrange your holiday, honeymoon and organisation of paperwork including translation.
  • When choosing your wedding date bear in mind that May until October are the best months with all facilities open on the island. July and August are the busiest and hottest months. Also remember that you need to be resident a full eight days in Greece BEFORE your wedding date.
  • Ensure ALL your paperwork is in place long before your wedding date. Your wedding will not proceed if it is not.
  • The local Greek mayor will conduct your civil wedding ceremony in Greek and translate into English - no matter where you choose as your location. The ceremony itself lasts no longer than 15 minutes. All you need say as responses is "Yes" in English. So there is no need to worry about fluffing your lines and rehearsing long speeches.
  • Keep your wedding clothes simple, cool and lightweight. Footwear too. Three inch stilettos for a beach wedding shouts disaster!
  • Be flexible with your flower choices. Demanding a particular shade of chiffon lemon or salmon pink or an out of season rare flower may cause difficulties. Remember Santorini is a small island so rare and unusual flowers will need to be shipped in. But if you are flexible and not too demanding be assured your flowers WILL be beautiful.
  • Hair and make up need special consideration as heat plays a big factor in melting make up and frizzing curls! Again keep it simple.
  • Weddings in Santorini usually take place in the evening from 6.00pm onwards. This is a blessing as the heat by day would be too much to bear.
  • Just one witness is required at the ceremony. And one will be provided at the ceremony if it is just the two of you.
  • Don't get stressed! Remember getting married in Santorini is an alternative to a stuffy formal affair at home. The pace is slower and simpler and things do not have the same stressful urgency as they do elsewhere. Be assured your wedding will be fantastic even if the mayor turns up 20 minutes late in his working clothes to conduct your ceremony. (This happened to us - his apology included an explanation that his donkey was sick and he had to help with the grape picking!)
  • Enjoy your wedding day!

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