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Getting Married in Greece with Vital Certificates
Getting Married in Greece with Vital Certificates...
Getting married overseas can be a wonderful experience; dream setting, perfect weather, what more could you want? Things can get complicated however when it comes to the paperwork. What do you need and how to prepare them for use in Greece? We're here to answer all of your questions.
I'm getting married in Greece - which documents could I need?
If you're getting married in Greece, the documents required can differ depending on where in Greece you're actually getting wed. Processes are much more localised than in the UK, so you will likely find differing information which can leave you going round in circles.
All of your documents will need to be "legalised" and translated into Greek. Legalisation simply means having a document verified as an original by the government of the issuing country. Without these verification stamps, they won't be accepted in Greece.
There is a basic set of 4 documents that you will always need, regardless of where you're getting married; you'll just need to check if you need to provide anything additional based on your personal circumstances. Also bear in mind that this information is based on a civil marriage. Weddings in a Greek Orthodox Church have very different requirements. The most common documents include:
You'll both need an original copy of your long-form birth or adoption certificate. In order to have the certificate processed correctly, the stamps will need to be applied to an original, so a photocopy isn't acceptable. If you only have a short-form, we can help you obtain the right version.
Certificate of No Impediment
Both you and your partner will need to apply for your own individual CNI from your local registry office. Once you have given notice to marry, it will be 28 days until you can collect your CNI. You will need to check with your contact in Greece how long it is valid for to avoid it expiring before you marry.
If you're divorced...
If you're divorced, you'll need to also provide an original copy of your Decree Absolute to show you are free to legally marry.
If your ex-partner passed away...
If you are widowed, you will need to present an original copy of your spouse's death certificate along with your other documents.
If you've changed your name...
If you've made a name change and are still using that name, you will need to provide an original copy of your Deed Poll.
How do I know which documents I need?
To find out which documents you will need, you'll need to ask whoever is arranging your wedding in Greece (if you're using an agent), or the local Town Hall ("Dimos") who can advise you. They'll give you the most accurate information.
How are documents legalised and translated for Greece?
There are at least 3 steps required to prepare a document for use in Greece. Each step must be completed in order to ensure it will be accepted once you arrive overseas and present them to the official who is performing your wedding for you. We've provided an outline of the steps required below, based on the requirements for a civil wedding.
How does it work?
Certification (If Required)
Firstly, your documents will be certified by a FCDO-registered (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) solicitor if required. Some documents won't require this step, such as your birth or adoption certificate, but others will, such as a Decree Absolute or a CNI.
Next, your documents will be Apostilled at the FCDO. This is a small certificate affixed to the back and stamped, to validate it as a genuine UK-issued document.
Your documents will then be translated into Greek. They must be completed by an Embassy-recognised translator, listed on their official register, in order for them to be accepted.
The final step is getting a verification stamp from the Greek Embassy in London. This validates the translation as well as the acceptance of the Apostille which has been applied to the documents. You're now good to go!
Special Requirements for a Greek Orthodox Church Marriage
If the wedding is to take place within a Greek Orthodox Church, then the non-Orthodox partner must obtain their Certificate of No Impediment from the British Embassy in Athens or one of the British Consulates in Greece once they have been resident in Greece for at least 21 days.
Once the Certificate on No Impediment has been issued, this will then need to be signed, sealed and dated by the Anglican Church Authority. Enquiries for this certification should be addressed to St. Paul's Anglican Church in Athens in all cases other than for Corfu which is handled by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Corfu.
How much does it cost?
Standard Greek Wedding Package
Legalisation of both yours and your partner's birth/adoption certificates
Legalisation of both yours and your partner's CNI (Certificate of No Impediment)
Official Translation by an Embassy approved translator
Verification stamp by the Greek Embassy in London
In some cases you may require additional documents legalised and translated alongside the standard package. These could include:
Getting married somewhere else?
Wherever you decide to get hitched, we can help prepare your documentation. Whether you're getting married in the Seychelles, Mexico, Saint Lucia or the Bahamas, we've got all of the expertise to help you get things sorted in the quickest and most stress-free way possible. Just click the button below, give us a bit of information on where you're getting married and what documents you've been asked to have legalised, and we will get back to you as soon as possible with everything you need to know.
Yes, we will need your original documents in order to process them for you. Some documents may need certification, but this will always be done on the original; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will not accept photocopies.
No, it needs to be an official Embassy-approved translation who complete this for you. If itís not done by them, then the Embassy will not verify it when itís sent to them for the final stage. We always use approved translators who have a long and successful track record of handling these document types for the purposes of getting married in Greece.
Yes, it can still be translated, but it may need to be done outside of the UK. We can help with documents wherever they were issued, so you can rest assured we can handle your documents for you.
Of course, weíve done this many times. If youíre travelling to Greece but your documents wonít be ready in time for your journey, we can have them couriered directly to you.
Unfortunately, no. Itís not possible to have an official wedding ceremony in Greece currently, though it is possible to have a blessing. Many same-sex couples choose to do this and have their formal ceremony at a registry office when they return home, to get the official paperwork.
Thereís generally an 8-day residency requirement to be in Greece before youíre able to marry there. This may change dependent on where youíre getting married in Greece, so itís important to check with whoever is planning your ceremony and helping with the paperwork.
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