Dreaming of a destination wedding in Greece? Whether you’re celebrating in the historic capital of Athens or setting sail for the idyllic Greek Islands, this European destination offers endless holiday wedding appeal. While planning a wedding overseas can seem daunting at first, it can be a magical experience. This guide will help you navigate the process of planning a wedding in Greece, from selecting the best Greek venue to understanding the legal requirements.
Where to get married in Greece & the Greek Islands
Deciding where to get married in Greece is an exciting one. Landing on the perfect location and venue will help the rest of your planning fall into place and bring your Greek wedding dreams to life. Mainland Greece and its stunning 6000+ offshore islands offer a variety of stunning locations. Consider the style and size of your wedding when choosing a venue, whether it’s a luxurious hotel, a charming villa, or a romantic beachfront setting. Don’t forget to also consider the logistics, such as accessibility for guests and availability during your preferred dates.
Here are some of the best places for a romantic Greek wedding.
When you imagine the Greek Islands, it’s probably the white-washed villages, cobalt-blue domes and sensational sunsets of Santorini that spring to mind. That postcard scenery is the real deal! Part of the Cyclades Island group in the Aegean Sea, east of Athens, the steep and stunning landscapes of Santorini need little introduction. And lucky you, this fabled isle offers a variety of breathtaking venues for a romantic destination wedding.
When it comes to Greek Islands, Mykonos balances glamorous party vibes with plenty of seaside charm. Home to upmarket beach clubs and boutiques, gorgeous beaches, and some of the best wedding venues in Greece, Mykonos is also part of the Cyclades Islands. Here you can lean into barefoot luxury but also embrace more historic elements, including the island’s iconic 16th-century windmills. The best part is you can start your honeymoon immediately – Mykonos is honeymoon heaven!
While the Greek Islands are undoubtedly alluring, the Greek capital also makes a compelling case as a wedding location. Steeped in history and packed with incredible archaeological sites (hello, Acropolis), Athens is also dotted with beautiful venues where you can marry in a vineyard, olive grove or private estate. There is so much to see and do in Athens that you could really immerse yourselves in this ancient capital. Or mix it up with a heavenly honeymoon in the Greek Islands.
The southernmost Greek island of Crete bobs in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the largest and most populated Greek Island so combines island vibes with a traditional feel and plenty of attractions including vineyards, olive groves and archeological sites. You’ll have a wide variety of wedding venues to choose from, especially if you envision a beach wedding or sea views as Crete is also known for its beautiful beaches. Look for the romantic pink sand of Elafonisi: a gorgeous island you can walk to at low tide! If you want to get Med wed, Crete could be your island.
Dazzling beaches and a unique mix of Venetian, French and English influences give Corfu a unique charm. Part of the Ionian group of islands off the northwest coast of Greece, Corfu is home to plenty of pretty villas and elegant private estates. Your wedding budget will also stretch further in Corfu and Crete, compared with more popular islands such as Santorini and Mykonos.
When is the best time to visit Greece?
Greece and the Greek Islands enjoy mild winters and warm to hot summers. Tourist season peaks during summer (July-September) while low season (November-March) delivers lower prices and fewer tourists but also the chance of chilly, rainy weather. For sunny days and blues skies, consider the shoulder season of April-June for your Greek holiday wedding.
How to get around the Greek Islands
Greece and the Greek Islands are connected by ferry: a mode of transport favoured by locals and tourists alike. As an example, a ferry crossing from Santorini to Mykonos takes 2-3 hours depending on the vessel and weather conditions. You can also fly between many of the islands in under an hour.
Legal requirements for getting married in Greece
Before you start planning your dream destination wedding in Greece, it’s important to understand the legal requirements. Some couples choose to marry legally in their home country and then have a symbolic wedding, vow renewal or blessing in Greece to streamline the process. Same-sex marriages are not legal in Greece so a symbolic ceremony offers a memorable option. If you want to legally wed in Greece, here are a few things to consider.
There is a minimum stay/residency requirement (usually 8 days but check with your wedding planner) to ensure all paperwork can be correctly processed. You must obtain a marriage licence from the local town hall or municipality. This requires documents including passports, birth certificates, Certificates of No Impediment (CNI), and divorce decrees if required. There may be additional requirements depending on the type of ceremony. For example, if you love the tradition of a Greek Orthodox ceremony, you’ll need additional documents such as baptism certificates and may need to be in the country for longer before tying the knot.
Top tip: hire a wedding planner or coordinator
Planning a destination wedding in Greece can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with local customs and vendors. We highly recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator who specialises in destination weddings in Greece. They can help with everything from choosing the perfect venue to coordinating with local vendors and ensuring all legal requirements are met. Plus, they’ll provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience and knowledge of the local area.
Do people speak English in Greece?
While Greek is the official language of Greece, around half of all locals speak English as a first or second language. This is especially common in tourist spots but less so in more rural or traditional areas. Official wedding documentation will need to be translated into Greek before receiving the stamp of approval.
Best places for a honeymoon in Greece
Greece is perfect for a honeymoon, especially if you love history, ancient architecture, fresh-from-the-sea cuisine, and beautiful beaches. And if island-hopping is your holiday style, the Greek Islands are honeymoon heaven. Hop on a ferry and explore or find a luxe island retreat where you can unwind by the pool, soak up the sunset, and embrace that just-married high. The other advantage of a Greek honeymoon is location. You’ll have plenty of scope to plan a grand European tour that kicks off from your wedding locale.
Discover some of the best European wedding locations
We hope this guide has inspired you to start planning your dream wedding in Greece and the Greek Islands. We’ve also included a quick checklist below to keep you on track.
Destination wedding planning checklist
12-18 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
– Set a budget. This will help inform your decision-making and keep you on track.
– Choose a wedding date or at least narrow down your preferred month/season.
– Create a guest list (or not!). Are you eloping, planning an intimate wedding, or gathering a gala-sized guest list?
– Choose a wedding destination. Check out other real weddings, read reviews, scan socials, dip into websites, and make contact with your shortlist.
– Book a wedding venue. Ideally, you’d want to book now to secure your date.
6-12 MONTHS BEFORE
– Book your wedding venue. If you’re a bit more flexible with dates, you may be locking in your venue now.
– Research accommodation for you and your guests. Consider renting a villa or a block of hotel rooms to keep everyone together and make it easier to coordinate transport.
– Send a save-the-date. Giving guests a heads-up will allow them to save for flights and accommodation and arrange time-off.
– Choose a wedding theme & hire a stylist/planner to bring your vision to life.
– Choose a caterer, florist & cake. Your venue may be able to help with these details or they may even be included in your wedding package.
– Choose a wedding dress & suit. If you’re flying, consider fabrics that will travel well and suit the weather conditions.
– Book a photographer & videographer. Ask your venue for recommendations and scan socials for examples of their work.
3-6 MONTHS BEFORE
– Send wedding invitations as early as possible. Be sure to include: dress code; options for accommodation; and info on where and when each part of the wedding will take place.
– Finalise finer details such as menu, drinks, flowers, decorations & music.
– Plan guest activities such aswelcome dinners, group tours, or a post-wedding brunch. Greece has plenty of beautiful sights and attractions, so consider incorporating some local experiences into your wedding festivities.
– Book wedding transportation. This is especially important to coordinate if you’re travelling from Athens to an island wedding.
– Book the honeymoon. Will you tour Athens, soak up a Santorini sunset or island-hop your way around the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas.
1-2 months BEFORE
– Confirm details with vendors. It doesn’t hurt to double-check everything!
– Finalise the wedding timeline. This is especially important for sunset ceremonies or beach weddings where the tide is involved.
– Keep guests in the loop with a wedding website, WhatsApp group or emails.
– Write your vows & pack for the honeymoon. Nearly there now!
– Celebrate your dream destination wedding in Greece!
Find more destination wedding planning tips with this ultimate guide to planning a destination wedding.