In Greece, marriages can be performed in a civil ceremony by an officiant and/or religious performed by a priest or both. You do not need a residency requirement to marry in Greece, but the bureaucratic procedure to obtain a marriage certificate can take several weeks. It’s important to contact the local authorities in the area you wish to get married for specific requirements, since some variations may apply.
American citizens can stay up to three months without having to obtain a residence permit. Be sure to obtain a stamp in your passport showing the date and place of entry upon entry into Greece or another Schengen country; otherwise, you will not be permitted to marry in Greece.
Here’s what you need to know about hosting your special day in Greece and all the necessary documents required.
In order to obtain a marriage license when neither partner lives in Greece, you will need:
1. A valid passport
2. A marriage license with an Apostille stamp officially translated into Greek.
To obtain a marriage license when one or both partners live in Greece, you will need:
1. A valid passport
2. A birth certificate officially translated into Greek (for a partner who does not reside in Greece)
3. A documentary evidence, Ιf applicable (death certificate or final/irrevocable divorce decree) of the termination of all previous marriages with an official translation.
4. An Affidavit of Marriage in Greek and English
5. A copy of a wedding announcement published in the local newspaper.
6. A revenue stamp (paravolo) for 15 Euro.
If one of the parties is a resident of Greece, the marriage license for both can be issued in Greece by the City Hall where the resident is.
The above required documentation must be taken in person at the City Hall or the President of the Community where the applicant resides, in order to apply for a Greek marriage license.
Please note that if both the bride and groom are foreign nationals, each will have to submit a separate set of copies. The marriage license is issued eight days after the submission of the application and will remain valid for six months.
The civil ceremony can be performed anywhere in Greece.
The couple, once they obtain the marriage license, must jointly submit it to the Mayor or President of the Community where they wish to marry. The official then sets the date for the wedding ceremony. Two witnesses must attend the ceremony, one of whom will act as an interpreter. Witnesses should have their passports or Greek identification card with them.
The documents listed above, must be taken to the member of clergy who will perform the ceremony, in addition with the below:
1. Baptism certificate from the local parish in United States
2. Marriage certificate (if civil marriage is performed before the religious one)
Then, the priest will apply for and obtain the marriage license. It should be noted that the Greek law does not permit marriages between Christians and non-Christians.
BOTH CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS MARRIAGES
When undergoig both ceremonies then both the bride and the groom must obtain two sets of the required documents. One should be registered to the city hall, the other one should be registered to the responsible clergy member.
REGISTERING THE MARRIAGE
Marriages of the U.S citizens are not register at the Embassy in Greece, but at the Vital Statistics Office (Lixiarcheio) of the city where the marriage is performed and must be registered within 40 days following the ceremony.
Marriages can be registered by either spouse, or by a third party with a power of attorney. Note that marriages which are not registered have no legal validity.
1. There is no need to perform both civil or religious ceremony since either marriage is a recognised legal marriage.
2. According to U.S. statutes, marriages performed abroad that are valid under the laws of that country are generally considered valid in the United States.
3. The marriage does not result in the acquisition or loss of Greek nationality.