Orthodox Weddings in Greece

Imagine making a promise to spend the rest of your days with the love of your life, surrounded by friends and family, with the stunning views of Greece as the backdrop. Weddings in Greece can be religious, civil, or symbolic. If you are interested in having a civil or a symbolic ceremony you may find the requirements here.

If you are thinking of having a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding, then you need to look no further. Here is what you need to know if you are thinking of having a Greek Orthodox Wedding.

The Orthodox wedding ceremony in Greece is a beautiful tradition and has many religious symbolisms. It is a legal ceremony that binds the couple by law. Greece has many charming and dazzling chapels all over the land to choose from. Small & cute chapels overlooking the sea or big & elegant churches; there is something for every taste.

Keep in mind thought that preparing for an Orthodox wedding is time consuming and requires a lot of legal documents, not to mention Greek Bureaucracy. It is advised to consult with your chosen Wedding Planner to confirm the exact requirements and process for a religious marriage.

Information about Orthodox Weddings

The first thing when planning a wedding is picking the best date! If you are thinking of an Orthodox Wedding keep in mind that there are some dates during which religious weddings cannot be performed in Greece:

  • 18th – 25th of December
  • 40 days before Easter
  • The 50th day after Easter
  • 1st – 15th of August
  • Every Wednesday & Every Friday of every week (religious fasting days)

In addition, weddings cannot be performed on the celebration of the saint after whom the church is named.

The Greek Orthodox wedding consists in two parts, the engagement and the stefana (Greek wedding crowns). It is performed by an Orthodox priest. The groom, the bride and the koumparos (Greek best man) are the three people involved. The koumparos exchanges the rings in the beginning of the sacrament and further on crowns the couple. The rings are put on the right hands, and the Koumbaros/a exchanges the rings three times. The exchange signifies that in married life the weakness of one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one by the other.

If you are interested in having an Orthodox wedding in Greece, you should know that:

  • If you wish to get married in a church, the groom, the bride and the best man have to be baptised as Christian Orthodox. In many cases, the wedding can be performed even if they are Christians of another doctrine, as long as they’re baptised.
  • Wedding rings are necessary. They symbolise the eternity of marriage and crowns (stefana), which stand for the union of two people, the groom and the bride.
  • A silver Tray, a carafe and a wine class (Koubaros set) will need to be purchased in order for the ceremony to be performed.
  • Right before the end of the wedding ceremony, the guests throw rice to the couple. It symbolises the wealth in their lives. This should be coordinated with the local church/priest if allowed.
  • After the ceremony, bombonieres (wedding sugared almonds) are offered to the guests to thank them for attending the wedding ceremony. You can incorporate your own tradition if you like.

Legal Information

According to the above, the Orthodox wedding demands more documents than the civil and the ceremony runs longer. Here is what you will need and the process that you need to follow:

Documents Required: 

Issued by the Church

  • Certificate of Baptism (Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant) of both the bride and the groom, issued by your church parish
  • Religious Certificate of Marital Status of both the bride and the groom issued by your local church (i.e. single, divorced, etc.); if already married by civil wedding, it should state for both if it is the 1st, 2nd, etc., wedding

Issued by the State

  • Birth certificates (incl. parents’ names) of both the bride and the groom*
  • Certificate of No Impediment of both the bride and the groom (it is a declaration of freedom to marry, issued from your country of origin); if the couple is already married by civil wedding not required*
  • Certificate of Civil Wedding; required only in case that the couple is already married by civil wedding and instead of the Certificate of No Impediment (as mentioned above) the Certificate of Civil Wedding is required*
  • If divorced, the divorce decree respectively of the groom or bride or both, is required*


  • Copies of Passport or Identification Card of both the bride and the groom are also required.
  • At least one must be Christian Orthodox and the other Christian Roman Catholic or Protestant 
  • All documents issued must be less than 3 months old
  • A copy of the newspaper in which the wedding notice was published – This needs to be coordinated with the local priest if required.
  • The wedding should be registered at the Registry Office of the selected location within 40 days after the ceremony and the presence of the couple is obligatory, Registry Office is open Monday – Friday, from 09.00 – 14.00, except on public holidays. 
  • Please note that the ceremony cannot be performed unless all documents are in order. 

All of the above documents must first be approved by your desired destination priest. Please note that in some cases, more documents may be required. 


  • Above marked documents with asterisk (*) need to be certified with Apostille (for your information, please note that the Apostille is a special seal, which is applied by legal authorities in order to certify that a document is a valid and true copy of the original. Usually, you can get it from your ministry of foreign affairs).
  • Then, all required documents (including the Apostille) must be translated into Greek. Translation must be done by an official translator, stamped and legalized by the Greek Embassy or Consulate and accompanied by the original one. 

A professional Wedding Planner can help you plan your big day and answer any questions about paperwork and legal requirements. If you are thinking of getting married in Greece, trust and contact your destination wedding planner that know the legal requirements and can guide you step-by-step through the process of planning your dream destination wedding! 

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