Top Tips for Getting Married in Greece
~ Sholla Lampkin of In My Elyment Event Planning & Design
When North American’s think of a destination wedding, it is usually to a sunny destination like, Mexico, DR, Jamaica, Barbados, etc… rarely do they consider exotic places like Europe, Africa and India unless it’s considered tradition. A friend referred a client who wanted to get married in Greece and I graciously accepted. This blog will cover some of tips on how to successfully plan a wedding in Greece.
Are you going to plan this yourself or leave it to a professional? It’s important to determine this upfront. If you’ve never been married before then chances are you really do not know what it takes to plan a wedding, especially one in a foreign country with different laws, rules and regulations around weddings and a potential language barrier, if English is not their first language.
As a result, my recommendation is to always hire a professional that is local to where you live. They will be able to help you navigate the process and will have the right connections to help you avoid costly pitfalls while planning your wedding in a fraction of the time it will take you to do all the research. Leave the stress to the planner and enjoy the role of decision maker.
If you decide to plan it yourself, you will need to be extremely organized and exercise a lot of patience.
Where should we get married in Greece? Greece is just like you see in the pictures, so you can use that as a pretty accurate gauge on where you want to tie the knot.
City Seekers: If you are looking for a city backdrop, then Athens is your spot. Filled with museums, libraries, churches, cobblestones streets and steeped in history, you are sure to have an unforgettable wedding on the main land.
Island Vibe: But, if you are looking for an island wedding, then you need to venture out to one of the 200+ islands. Deciding on exactly which island to wed on would depend on budget, time of year and the type of backdrop you are after. These pictures were taken in Oia, Santorini known for blue domed churches, white buildings hanging off the cliff side with the caldera in the background. Hundreds of brides take their engagement photos here annually. Mykonos on the other hand offers a flatter landscape with all white buildings and pops of pink flowers. Other islands would offer additional diversity.
When should we get married? Even though Greece is in Southern Europe, it does experience winter. The summer season runs from June to late September. Note: travelling during summer (high season) can be very costly. You want to be mindful of this as it will impact your guests and could act as a deterrent. Additionally, the more popular vendors and venues get booked up fast, so that may also determine when you get married. July and August are the hottest, so you may want to avoid those months.
How do we find reputable vendors? This is the trickiest part. Thankfully I belong to an associated with over 5000 planner world wide, so I was able to tap into that network. Additionally, Instagram became my best friend. I would search “best (insert category) in Greece” and pages and pages of accounts would pop up. I would check out their IG feed, their website and Facebook pages and then narrow it down to the top 3 vendors for a specific category (e.g. hairstylist). That list was shared with my client. Make sure you do your homework to ensure you hire a reputable and reliable team of vendors. I can’t stress this enough. Speak to them (book Skype session), ask for referrals, check out their website and ensure a contract is in place before you send any funds.
What are the rules & regulations? Most foreigners getting married in Greece will do a Symbolic vs. Legal ceremony.
What’s the difference?
• A Legal ceremony means you are legally married in that country
• A Symbolic ceremony means you are legally married in another country (usually in your home country) but your service takes place in destination. Note: with a Symbolic ceremony guests are usually unaware that the couple is already married.
A Legal ceremony is very complex so I would avoid if possible. If you do wish to have a Legal ceremony performed then I would suggest you engage a local wedding planner to help with that process. Symbolic is very straightforward and can be performed by an Officiant, or in my client’s case, a very close friend.
Regardless of where you choose to tie the knot in Greece you and your guests will leave with an amazing story and a lifetime of memories.
Creative Director/Producer: Sholla Lampkin, In My Elyment Event Planning & Design
Photography: Dream on Photography
Gown: Bonnie Chung, Je Vis Bridal
Bridal Hair Accessories: Erica Mitchell, Coque Millinery