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Getting married

in Greece: A guide to a stunning

Destination Wedding

CELEBRATING LOVE ACROSS BORDERS

Having a destination wedding is an experience that combines the magic of travel with the joy of celebrating love.  It’s not just a ceremony, but a whole adventure, where the destination itself becomes a character in your love story. While the idea of planning a wedding in a foreign location may seem daunting, it’s also an opportunity the create a truly unique and personalized experience. 

From selecting the perfect location to arranging travel and accommodations, to finding the right vendors, a destination wedding requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. But for those willing to put in the effort, the payoff is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration that is all your own.

GREECE AS A WEDDING DESTINATION

Where to say “I do”

Greece is a wedding destination that exudes romance and charm. With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and sun-drenched islands, Greece offers an unparalleled backdrop for a wedding. Exchange vows amidst the stunning scenery of the Athenian Riviera or tie the knot on the cliffs, overlooking the Aegean or Ionian Sea. From the romantic islands of Santorini and Mykonos to the picturesque villages of Crete and the unspoiled beauty of Peloponnese, Greece is a land of contrasts that will leave you and your guests in awe.

Top Locations

PRE-PLANNING PROCESS

Setting the stage

24-18 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

The pre-planning stage is crucial in ensuring a successful and memorable wedding. This stage involves making important decisions and setting key parameters that will guide the rest of the planning process.

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DETERMINING YOUR BUDGET

Before you start planning your destination wedding, it’s important to determine your budget. This involves considering your financial resources and deciding how much you are willing to spend on various aspects of the wedding, such as venue, catering, photography, etc. It is important to be realistic about your budget and to factor in any unexpected expenses ta may arise. To ensure that you stay within your budget, it is crucial to determine your spending limit beforehand, as the cost of a wedding in Greece can fluctuate significantly based on various factors such as the location, venue, and vendors you choose.

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IDENTIFYING YOUR TOP PRIORITIES

Once you have established your budget, it is important to identify your top priorities for the wedding. By prioritizing these aspects, you can allocate your budget accordingly and ensure that your most important aspects are given the attention and resources they deserve.

- Which elements of the wedding are the most important to you? Are you more focused on securing the perfect venue? Is it a priority to find a skilled photographer and videographer? Do you wish to create a lively and enjoyable atmosphere for your guests with a late-night celebration?

- Are there any elements that you are willing to compromise on to stay within your budget?

- Are there any cultural or religious traditions that you would like to incorporate into your wedding?

- Are there any elements that are particularly important to your partner?

- Are you planning to have any pre or post-wedding events?

- Are you interested in creating a memorable experience for your guests by organizing group activities and excursions?

- Would you like to offer your guests a culinary experience that showcases the local cuisine and culture, with carefully crafted food and drink options?

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CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING SEASON

Most couples opt for a wedding during the summer season in Greece when the weather is at its best and there are plenty of activities and events for guests to enjoy. However, keep in mind that the period from June to August marks the zenith of the tourist season, leading to an increased rush for venues and accommodations. Consequently, it is advisable to reserve your preferred venue and vendors well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Another option is to plan a wedding during the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October. The weather is still warm and pleasant, but there are fewer crowds and more availability. For couples who don’t mind cooler weather, a winter wedding in Greece can be a unique and charming option.

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DECIDING YOUR WEDDING SIZE & LOOK

Determining the size of your wedding is a crucial decision that can affect various aspects of the planning process, such as the choice of venue, catering options, and travel logistics. This involves figuring out the number of guests you would like to invite and the overall size of your wedding party. It is important to make this decision early in the planning process to ensure that everything aligns with your expectations and requirements.

Once you have an initial concept regarding the number of guests you would like to invite and the scale of your wedding try envisioning how you want it to look and feel. Think about the overall setting and the ceremony type. 

- How would you describe the atmosphere you want to create at your wedding?

- Would you like to host an elegant dinner reception or do you prefer a beach party till late at night?

- What kind of venue do you envision for your wedding ceremony and reception?

- What kind of entertainment or activities do you want to provide for your guests

- How would you describe your personal style and aesthetic?

PLANNING PROCESS

Getting started

18-12 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

Once you have a clear idea of your wedding vision, the next step is to research and choose an appropriate location and venue, considering factors such as the availability of guest accommodations, budget, and desired wedding date. You’ll also need to find reliable local vendors like a wedding planner, caterer, florist, and photographer. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for getting married in Greece and ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order.

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HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER

Do I need a wedding planner?

To decide whether or not to invest in a wedding planner consider your individual needs, preferences, and budget. If you’re comfortable with planning a wedding in a foreign country and have ample time to devote to the planning process, then you may not need a wedding planner. However, if you’re looking for a stress-free planning experience and want to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day, then a wedding planner can be an invaluable resource.

Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner
A local wedding planner can help you navigate the complexities of planning a destination wedding and will have extensive knowledge of the local wedding industry, including the best venues, vendors, and suppliers. They will also be familiar with the legal requirements for getting married in Greece, which can be complex and vary depending on your nationality and country of residence. By hiring a wedding planner, you can save yourself the hassle of dealing with all the details and logistics, and instead focus on enjoying the lead-up to your big day.

How to choose the Right Wedding Planner for your needs

When it comes to wedding planners don’t rush your decision. It is important to understand whether you are a good fit. Good chemistry goes a long way in planning your special day. Your wedding planner will be your go-to person throughout the entire planning process, so it’s important to choose someone who you feel comfortable with and who communicates clearly and regularly.

What to Expect from your Wedding Planner

Different wedding planners offer different levels of service, so be sure to clarify what is included in their packages and what additional services they can provide. When working with a wedding planner for your destination wedding in Greece, you can expect them to guide you through the planning process, from the initial consultation to the final details. In addition to providing advice and recommendations on wedding venues and reputable vendors, a wedding planner will also manage your wedding budget by negotiating with vendors, suggesting cost-effective alternatives for certain services, and ensuring that you stay within your budget.

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SELECTING YOUR VENUE

When looking for potential venues always have your preferred wedding style in mind. Consider whether you envision a beach wedding, a rustic countryside wedding, or a luxurious event at a private estate. If possible is always a good idea to schedule a pre-wedding visit in Greece and explore your potential venues to ensure that they meet your needs and expectations.

Choosing the perfect venue

When narrowing down your options, consider factors such as your guest list and the venue’s location and accessibility. Choose a venue that is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate all of your guests, with plenty of room for both the ceremony and reception, and provides both indoor and outdoor areas, in case of inclement weather while considering parking, seating arrangements, and accessibility for guests with special needs. Keep in mind that many venues offer additional services and amenities, such as catering, accommodation, and transportation, which can save you time and money.

Wedding Venue types
When it comes to selecting the perfect wedding venue in Greece, couples have a wide range of options to choose from. Beachfront venues offer a romantic and serene setting, with the sound of the waves providing a soothing ambiance. Cliffside terraces with panoramic sea views offer a dramatic and unforgettable backdrop for the ceremony and reception. Private villas provide a sense of exclusivity and intimacy, with the freedom to personalize the space to fit the couple’s unique vision. Hotels offer convenience and a wide range of amenities, ensuring that guests are comfortable and well-catered. Vineyards provide a rustic and charming atmosphere, with lush greenery and rolling hills setting the scene for the festivities. Luxury resorts offer world-class service and amenities, creating a truly unforgettable experience for couples and their guests. Ultimately, the perfect wedding venue in Greece will depend on the couple’s preferences and priorities, whether it be a beachfront paradise or a grand and luxurious resort.

- What is included in the venue rental fee?

- Are there any restrictions or limitations at the venue?

- What is the backup plan in case of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances?

- Does the venue have a preferred vendor list for catering, decor, open bar, and other services?

- What is the time limit for events and is there a minimum guest requirement?

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THE CEREMONY

RELIGIOUS CEREMONY

Greece offers a variety of religious wedding ceremonies, including Greek Orthodox and Catholic weddings. Mainly an Orthodox country Greece offers stunning churches and the option of a Greek Orthodox ceremony, which requires the couple to be baptized in the Orthodox faith.  Jewish, Indian, and Arabic weddings are all possible in Greece. It’s important to always ensure that all necessary legal and religious requirements are met for the chosen ceremony.

CIVIL CEREMONY

A civil wedding ceremony in Greece is a straightforward process that can be held at a town hall or other approved venue and is conducted by a civil servant. Although lacking religious customs, it offers a simple and elegant way for couples to exchange vows in a beautiful setting. Couples must provide the necessary documents, including passports and a certificate of no impediment, and submit them to the municipality where they wish to get married.

SYMBOLIC MARRIAGE

For couples seeking a non-legally binding ceremony for their destination wedding in Greece, a symbolic wedding is an ideal option. Symbolic weddings can take place literally anywhere and are performed by a professional celebrant. While not legally recognized, a symbolic wedding allows couples to personalize their ceremony and exchange vows in a meaningful way. Symbolic weddings are a popular choice for couples who have already legally married in their home country and want to celebrate their union in Greece with family and friends.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

While same-sex marriage is not yet legally recognized in Greece, couples can still have a beautiful symbolic ceremony to celebrate their love and commitment. Symbolic ceremonies offer a meaningful and personal way to exchange vows in a beautiful destination setting, allowing couples to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

It is essential for couples who desire to legally marry in Greece to acquaint themselves with the local laws and requirements. In each municipality, there are specific paperwork and guidelines that must be followed. When it comes to legal documentation and in order to obtain marriage licenses couples must provide various documents such as valid passports, birth certificates, and a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI), which confirms that there are no legal obstacles to their marriage. Also keep in mind that all documents must be legally translated into Greek, before being submitted. Depending on their unique circumstances and the specific requirements of the municipality, additional documents may be required. Therefore, it is highly recommended that couples conduct thorough research to ensure that they meet all legal requirements and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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WEDDING DESIGN & THEME

Your chosen theme sets the tone for the entire wedding and determines the style and colors of the decorations, flowers, and attire. To decide on a theme, you should consider your personal style, the season, and the location of the wedding. Once you have selected a theme, you can then begin to coordinate the various elements of the wedding, such as invitations, centerpieces, and wedding favors, to create a cohesive and memorable event.

- What is your vision for the overall atmosphere of the wedding? Are you looking for something relaxed and casual or more elegant and formal?

- What is your personal style? Do you prefer a classic, romantic, modern, or bohemian aesthetic?

- Are there any specific colors or color palettes that you are drawn to

- How can you draw inspiration from your wedding location?

- What kind of floral arrangements or décor elements do you envision for your wedding?

- What kind of music do you envision for your wedding, and what kind of atmosphere do you want to create on the dance floor?

- Would you like to incorporate any local or cultural elements into your wedding theme?

- Do you have any hobbies or interests that you would like to incorporate into your wedding theme?

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PRE & AFTER WEDDING EVENTS

Destination weddings in Greece offer not only a beautiful and romantic backdrop for a couple’s big day but also a plethora of pre-wedding and after-wedding events that can add to the overall experience for the couple and their guests. If you chose to host such an event, consider:

A welcome party is a perfect way to greet guests and kick off the wedding festivities. It can be a casual or formal event, depending on the couple’s preference, and can be held at a hotel, restaurant, or outdoor venue.

A boat trip is an excellent opportunity for the couple and their guests to explore the stunning Greek islands and coastline.

A Greek night is a perfect way to immerse guests in the local culture and traditions. It can include Greek music, dancing, and traditional food and drink.

A post-wedding brunch is an excellent way to say goodbye to guests and thank them for attending the wedding. It can be held at a hotel, restaurant, or outdoor venue, and can be a relaxed and casual event.

VENDORS

Building your dream
team
12-6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

Choosing the right vendors for your destination wedding in Greece can be one of the most important decisions you make in ensuring a successful and unforgettable experience for you and your guests. The vendors you select will not only provide essential services for your wedding day but also contribute to the overall ambiance and style of your event. Each vendor plays a critical role in creating the wedding of your dreams. It’s essential to choose professionals who understand your vision and are reliable and responsive to your needs throughout the planning process.

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CATERER

Choosing the right caterer
The caterer is responsible for providing not just delicious food, but also an unforgettable dining experience for you and your guests. They’ll also take care of the presentation, service, and overall atmosphere of your reception. When selecting a caterer consider factors such as menu options, pricing, and flexibility to accommodate your preferences and dietary restrictions.

Greek cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and diverse offerings, and you'll want to ensure that your guests have an authentic and unforgettable culinary experience. Depending on your style and preferences, you can choose from a variety of menu options, such as:

A sit-down dinner with multiple courses, including appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts.

A buffet-style meal with various stations featuring different dishes, so guests can choose what they want to eat.

A family-style meal with large platters of food served on each table, so guests can pass them around and share.

A cocktail-style reception with small bites, canapes, and drinks, perfect for mingling and socializing.

Open Bar
While caterers will include wine and beer in their menus, if you wish to serve hard liquor and cocktails at your wedding reception, you will need to hire a bar management company that specializes in providing these services. This can include arranging for a fully stocked bar, hiring professional bartenders, and ensuring that all necessary licenses and permits are obtained to serve alcohol at your event.

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PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Why hiring a professional photographer/videographer:
A professional photographer and/or videographer has the expertise, artistic vision, and technical knowledge to produce stunning and high-quality images that capture the emotions, beauty, and essence of your wedding day. These professionals will capture the moments and memories of your special day that you’ll treasure for a lifetime, therefore you should look for one who can communicate effectively your preferences and vision and are willing to work with you to create a customized package that fits your needs.

- What is your photography/videography style?

- How many hours are included in the package? How many final edited images or videos can we expect?

- How long will it take to receive the final edited photos/videos?

- Do you offer any additional services, such as engagement shoots or photo albums?

- What is your policy on copyright and usage rights of the photos/videos

Schedule a consultation with each photographer/videographer you are considering. This is your chance to discuss your vision for your wedding and see if they are the right fit for you.

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FLORIST

Choosing the right florist for your wedding

Finding the right florist for your wedding is key to creating the beautiful and romantic atmosphere you envision. A skilled florist should be able to bring your vision to life, by working with you to create the perfect ambiance for your special day, using the beauty of Greece’s natural flora to enhance your wedding celebration. When selecting a florist, consider factors such as their style, experience, and availability, to see if the florist is the right fit for you.

Types of flowers available in Greece

Greece is known for its stunning natural beauty and a wide variety of flowers are available year-round. Popular flowers in Greece include roses, lilies, hydrangeas, and peonies. Keep in mind that some flowers are seasonal, so it’s important to check with your florist to see what will be available during the time of your wedding. If you have a particular flower in mind that isn’t readily available in Greece, your florist may be able to source it from other countries.

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WEDDING INVITATIONS & WEBSITE

Your wedding invitations serve as an introduction to your special day and provide your guests with a first glimpse of what they can expect. It’s important to ensure that they align with the overall style and theme of your wedding so that your guests can anticipate and appreciate the cohesive and personalized experience you have planned for them.

A wedding website provides a centralized platform to share all the details of your big day with your guests. By consolidating all relevant information in one place, you can ensure that your guests have easy access to all the important details they need to fully enjoy and participate in your celebration.

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HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST

In Greece, there are numerous skilled professionals who can assist you in creating the ideal look for your special occasion. Research hair & makeup artists in the area where you’ll be having your wedding and look for reviews and examples of their work on their website and social media pages. Your hair & makeup artists should be able to work with you to create a look that fits your personal style and complements your wedding dress and overall theme and will help to enhance your natural beauty in the stunning setting of Greece.

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ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS

Additional entertainment options such as live music, fireworks, a photo booth, or even professional dancers can add an extra element of sparkle and excitement to your wedding. Discuss the possibility with your venue and they might be able to provide you with a list of vendors who can cover the above.

Conclusions

Do your research: Take the time to research vendors in the area where you’ll be having your wedding, and look for reviews and examples of their work to ensure that they’re a good fit for your needs.

Ask for referrals: If you have friends or family members who have been married in Greece, ask them for recommendations for vendors that they worked with and trust.

Consider your budget: Determine your budget for each vendor category, and be upfront about your budget when speaking with vendors to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Communication is key: Make sure that you’re clear about your expectations with each vendor, and keep the lines of communication open throughout the planning process. Ultimately trusting your vendors is essential to ensure that they are able to bring your vision to life and execute your plans seamlessly.

Get in touch

Ready to start planning your destination wedding in Greece? Vivid Events offers full destination wedding planning services covering all aspects of your event. Fill out our contact form or visit our website and get a quote.

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