Everywhere you turn, you’ll hear that your wedding will be the “best day of your life.” No one talks about how stressful it is, though. Nor do they talk about the frantic planning and tons of money that go into it.
Do you truly want your wedding day to be one of the most magical once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will ever have? Then, Eloping is the way to go. Here we present you with a definitive guide on how to elope in Greece. It’s our only goal to help you achieve your wildest dreams.
Why Greece is the ideal destination for your elopement
You don’t need to look hard to find the reasons why Greece is the ideal destination for your elopement. It has an impressive coastline that is full of golden sand beaches and waters that are so clear they’re tempting to drink.
Additionally, it boasts picturesque islands full of whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets. Moreover, its delectable local cuisine is based on fresh, nutritious produce from the Greek land.
All that, combined with a legendary nightlife and the courteous hospitality of its locals, will make you feel right at home from the moment you step foot in the county.
Apart from the obvious reasons, some more specific elements of the country make it ideal for eloping. Those are its affordability, its laid-back nature, and the welcoming spirit of its locals.
The list goes on and on regarding the assets of Greece. All of them make it an ideal destination for travelers worldwide. They also make it suitable for couples to celebrate their love and make it official.
When to Elope in Greece
Greece is a beautiful place to visit all months of the year. However, we cannot deny that spring and summer are the strong cards of the country. That is true, especially if you have your eye on the Greek islands. Then, the warmer months are a one-way street that will not disappoint.
The high-season months will give you the opportunity for your elopement to take place under the blazing summer sun. What’s more, you will be in the company of thousands and thousands of tourists. That’s because most of them choose the country for their summer vacations from late June until late August.
For a quieter time, you can pick the months of May and September to elope in Greece. This way, you will get acquainted with the unconventional side of the country, the one only the locals know about.
On the occasion that you want to go against the grain and visit Greece during the winter, you still can. In that case, however, you want to look into staying in one of the beautiful cities or villages of the mainland. Thankfully, the winters in Greece are relatively mild, especially if you avoid the country’s mountainous regions.
How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Greece?
Compared to other exotic destinations globally, Greece is a relatively affordable haven. Εspecially if you avoid its more famous and cosmopolitan regions. Similarly, the money you will need to spend to elope in Greece will not add up to a small fortune.
The cost may vary depending on where you choose your elopement to take place in Greece. You also need to consider the venue, vendors, and all the small details. In any case, an elopement will cost significantly less than an actual wedding.
Three ways to get married in Greece
If you want to elope in Greece, you need to be aware of the three ways you can tie the knot in our country. People can get married in Greece with a civil marriage, religious marriage, or both. They don’t need to reside in Greece to get married here. However, the bureaucratic process for obtaining a marriage certificate can take several weeks.
Another way to elope in Greece is by signing a “cohabitation agreement.” A cohabitation agreement is an agreement between two adults, regardless of their gender, regulating their cohabitation.
Before a notary, it is drawn up in person, signing the relevant notarial document. Its validity begins with his declaration to the competent registry office of the place of residence of the parties.
The agreement is registered in the special book of the Registry of the relevant Municipality. It is not exactly a marriage contract. It does, however, give the same rights a marriage contract gives to both parties while also being inclusive to people of the lgbt+ community. Another advantage of the cohabitation agreement is that it is resolved quickly.
Should one elope in the mainland or the Greek Islands?
It is indisputable that Greece is a feast for the eyes and soul from one end to the other. Therefore, choosing either the mainland or the islands to elope in Greece won’t make or break your eloping adventure. Depending on the time of year you decide to visit Greece. However, there is a wiser choice to be made, and we’ll tell you all about it.
Eloping in winter
If you want to elope in Greece during the winter, the mainland is your only choice. You can choose between Athens, the Greek capital, Nafplion, Delphi, Meteora, Arachova, Mani, Pelion, and everything in between. You will come upon striking landscapes, luscious nature, and a warm but serene ambiance that will make your heart soar.
Eloping in summer
On the other hand, the Greek islands are ideal for the summer. Due to their diverse nature, they can host from the most tranquil trip to the wildest eloping adventure of your dreams. You may want to discover the hype behind Greece’s most popular and cosmopolitan islands.
In that case, Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, and Naxos are the islands for you. You may also want to unveil the country’s secret gems and take in the raw beauty of islands that don’t attract as many tourists. In that case, Milos, Folegandros, Koufonisia, Anafi, Ikaria, and Astypalaia are the islands for you.
Every destination in Greece has its own exceptional identity. The more one travels, the more one has to discover and experience. Therefore, even in a short time, one can combine different and varied experiences.
There are very few places in the world where you can ski in the mountains, and in 20 minutes by car, you can swim on an impressive beach or enjoy a meal by the sea.
Moreover, thanks to the close distance between Greece’s islands, both in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, and the frequent sea and air connections with the mainland, people can visit multiple destinations on a single trip.
Yachting is ideal for exploring uninhabited islands and secluded beaches, accessible only by sea. However, there is a network of underwater archeological parks for those who prefer diving. These can be found close to famous island and coastal destinations.
They say that love goes through the stomach. If that’s the case, then in Greece, you’re in for an absolute treat! Gastronomic wanderings throughout the country set the course for an incredible life journey. In it, one can get to know the culture, get in touch with the local population and enjoy personalized travel experiences.
Greek cuisine is firmly integrated into our history and culture. Thanks to our fresh and local fruits and vegetables, it is remarkable in taste and pure in its character. It is also a daily habit that promotes a healthy lifestyle, well-being, and longevity.
The unique Greek virgin olive oil, pure honey, the excellent variety of herbs and spices, such as oregano and thyme, collected on the mainland and the beaches of the islands, the very characteristic red crocus and fava, the delicious capers and feta in the Greek salad, as well as fresh and delicious locally grown fish, are essential ingredients and are abundant in Greek cuisine. All this is combined with excellent varieties of Greek wine.
The culture behind Greek food
In addition to the authentic recipes that one will try in taverns in traditional villages, guests can enjoy the experience of gourmet dishes of haute cuisine by trained chefs in luxury restaurants in all Greek destinations.
Those combine traditional with modern elements and simplicity with innovation. We recommend the Greek breakfast as the ideal way to start your day.
In Greek culture, food is related to getting to know the place and the environment. However, it is more about human interaction, communication, and personal participation. People gather around the table and share food, thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Greek food is healthy and tasty at the same time. It is produced from homemade products with a strong element of our hospitality. After all, hospitality is Greece’s unique advantage as a tourist destination.
Just because you’re eloping in Greece, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to appreciate its many cultural treasures. To any visitor who chooses one or more destinations in the country, we suggest visiting world heritage and cultural monuments, historical sites of religious and spiritual value.
The Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, the archaeological sites of Delphi and Olympia, and the monasteries of Meteora are the obvious choices. Greece’s cultural treasures, however, are many more than those.
Visitors should not miss the opportunity to attend festivals and local festivities in addition to Greece’s museums, galleries, and important cultural events. One of those is the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. It lasts for three months during the summer season attracts visitors from all over the world.
Every day, there are festivals, local celebrations, and exhibitions in open theaters, castles, and squares all over Greece. They include artistic performances, music, dances, local customs, delicious food, and local flavors that highlight the local culture and local identity and bring people together to celebrate life.
Pick a date
Spontaneity is one of the most significant elements of eloping. Regardless, there are a couple of things you should consider planning before heading off on your adventure. One of them is picking a date. Whether you want to marry in a church or a town hall, you must choose a date and book it.
As Greece is a favorite destination for couples in love, you may find it challenging to find a date available in the region of your choice.
Book Flights and Accommodation
Let’s keep with the theme of organizing your elopement, no matter how much of an oxymoron that sounds. To make your elopement in Greece as budget-friendly as possible, make sure to book both your flights and accommodation as early as possible. After all, it is no secret that the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the best room!
Many websites will help you book your tickets at the best available prices. At the same time, here you will find some of our top recommendations concerning hotels for couples in Greece.
Book Your Vendors
What kind of eloping ceremony will it be without booking the right vendors? Even if eloping doesn’t include many people, it contains at least four. And these four people should have an absolute blast.
From your transportation to your wedding favors, catering -if you want one- and music, the wedding vendors, will ensure everything runs smoothly and successfully. After all, the elopement is supposed to minimize the stress you have to go through for your wedding, not multiply it!
For that reason, you have to look at the market and book the vendors that suit you best. Please keep in mind that there is a possibility that even if you elope in one of the Greek islands, it may be more cost-effective for your vendors to be from Athens.
Santorini Elopement Planning
Being one of the most sought-after couple destinations globally, Santorini is an excellent destination for your elopement in Greece. With its dramatic landscape and beautiful sunsets, Santorini is considered one of the most romantic places globally, ideal for weddings.
There are many options for wedding planning on the island, and there is also a wide variety of venues to choose from. Hotels often hold ceremonies by their outdoor pools or on terraces, from which couples can enjoy views of the Santorini volcano.
Some famous wineries, such as Santo wines, also have beautiful wedding venues. You can even choose a more traditional Greek wedding that will arrive at the ceremony with the local musicians or lead you on a donkey.
A wedding in Santorini can easily be combined with a honeymoon in Santorini, as couples will find the most impressive suites for newlyweds in Santorini.
Elopement Venues in Santorini
Choosing the right venue for your elopement is essential to ensure a successful ceremony. With Santorini being one of the top choices for people’s weddings, it comes as no surprise that it boasts some of the most notable venues that can host your elopement luxuriously.
Canaves Oia Suites is one of them. It is located in the famous region of Oia with striking sunsets. It is a sophisticated 5-star venue situated on a cliffside. Apart from the striking views of the Aegean sea, it offers all comforts and luxuries one can ask for, including a spa and private plunge pools.
Another excellent choice for an elopement venue is Remezzo, in Imerovigli. It is a restored 150-year old winery with upscale cave suites and award-winning international restaurants. Dana Villas in Firostefani is also ideal, with the trademark Cycladic architecture adding to the romantic vibe of the place.
Other honorable mentions for elopement venues in Santorini include Rocabella, one of the biggest hotels on the list and the island in general, Le Ciel Wedding Venue, which is not a hotel but a restaurant that boasts an incredible terrace, Mykonos Blu near the vibrant beach of Psarou, and Cavo Tagoo, located just 5 km from Fira.
Santorini Elopement Ceremony
There are no words that can adequately describe the magical island of Santorini. The ideal island for an unforgettable celebration of love. The blue of the sea, the impressive sunset, the white houses, the whitewashed villages of the Caldera, and the red and black rocks of the volcano, create an unreal background for a unique elopement ceremony.
If you want a highly romantic wedding with a relaxed feeling and with the sunset dominating every moment and every photo, then Santorini is the perfect choice for you.
The ceremony itself can include everything you want. Visitors of Greece who choose the country for their wedding often choose to combine the wedding traditions of Greece with those of their home country.
The accompaniment of the bride by musicians is very popular, but also the Santorinian sweets, which are made with almond and honey. Equally popular is the transport of the couple by boat or donkey. In any case, you can organize the ceremony to be what you’ve dreamt of.
The best areas to stay in Santorini
Santorini is a beautiful island to stay in, and all of its regions and villages are proof of that. Unfortunately, accommodation in Santorini is quite expensive – especially in tourist spots. Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia are the best and most popular areas to stay. They all have hotels and villas with private pools, Caldera views, whitewashed interiors, luxury caves-style suites, and endless views for amazing photos.
However, if you are a lover of the sea, you will especially appreciate choosing the regions of Perissa or Kamari for your accommodation. Those regions are ideals because you will be away from the massive crowds that flood the magnificent Caldera while also being right next to the sea in those areas.
How much does it cost to elope in Santorini?
Despite being one of the most expensive destinations in Greece, eloping in Santorini won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But please keep in mind that this doesn’t stand true for a proper wedding on the island.
The cost for a Santorinian eloping ceremony comes up to approximately 300 euros. Depending on your wishes, of course, the cost may vary as this is the beginning price for the ceremony alone.
So to elope in Greece not only will it save you the trouble of planning and struggling to satisfy an insane amount of guests, half of which you probably wouldn’t have seen in years. It will also cost you significantly less money. Eloping in Santorini is the definition of a win-win situation.
Elope in Athens
Athens has proven to be one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. This is precisely why couples in love prefer it for their wedding or, in this case, their elopement. Therefore, weddings in Athens, the capital of Greece, could not but be a separate category.
The city that never sleeps provides a variety of options for your wedding. All of which will help you make a celebration of love exactly as you dreamed it. Luxurious venues, hotels, beautiful churches, and perfectly designed outdoor spaces can host your elopement ceremony in the best possible way.
What’s more, not only does it provide the perfect elopement venues, it also provides an incredible honeymoon destination after the wedding; a honeymoon in Greece is always a wise choice.
Take advantage of the rich culture, unmatched archaeological sites, and vibrant nightlife to get to know the authentic face of Greece in the most fun and creative way.
A romantic walk hand-in-hand down Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of Athens, or a climb up the Acropolis rock will convince you that in Athens, you will make your elopement days count!
Elope in Mykonos
Of course, we cannot leave out Mykonos from our elopement recommendations. Mykonos is the most cosmopolitan island in Greece. Most weddings in Mykonos take place on the beach or in a traditional Cycladic chapel. Some couples even opt for privately chartered weddings, which are even more impressive.
If you elope in Mykonos, you will enjoy the warm hospitality from the local people who represent the original face of Greece. You will swim with your partner in the striking Mykonian beaches that boast golden sand and deep blue waters. You will even get to experience a trip to Delos, the birthplace of Apollo.
Mykonos is the perfect combination of cosmopolitan character, intense nightlife, and relaxation on its “hidden” beaches. It is an island of contrasts, and you deserve nothing less.
In general, the islands of the Cyclades, with their famous architecture and beautiful beaches, are the perfect scenery for you to elope in Greece. Other notable islands that couples love as wedding destinations in the Cyclades are Paros, Naxos, and Ios.
Elope in Greece – Your Checklist
-Find early accommodation in villas and hotel rooms.
-Find a venue by the beach or with sea views and book your wedding there. Don’t ask for gourmet food; prefer local dishes.
-Book everything early. The islands are in great demand.
-Get inspired by Greece’s nature; use olive brunches and native flowers like peony, iris, and anemone for your elopement’s decoration.
-Explore food choices and make sure to include lots of local dishes; Greece is famous for its cuisine.
-Avoid the months of July and August with the heat and the ‘meltemia’ winds. Instead, say yes in May, June, or September.
-Choose a comfortable and light wedding dress.
-The groom should have 2-3 shirts to change when it gets scorching for the wedding day.
-The best wedding favors on the island are not the bonbons but the mosquito nets, fans, and flip flops.
-Look for local artists for live music if you want your elopement to become a party for two.
Couples visit Greece from all over the world to get married in it. However, to do so, one must be aware of all the paperwork and the legal requirements. As we mentioned above, there are three ways you can get married in Greece, all of which require different paperwork. What’s more, depending on the couples’ citizenship and place of residence, the certificates can also vary from case to case.
It is highly advised that you ask for your embassy’s help before coming to elope in Greece; however, here is a rough idea of what you’ll most likely need.
- FULL birth certificate of the bride and groom
- Certificate of no impediment to marriage or marriage license or capacity to marry of the bride and groom
- Divorce/adoption/change of name certificates
- Passports of the bride and groom
All of the above need to be legalized abroad and be officially translated by a certified translator. The official translation can take place in Greece or abroad.
The paperwork procedure can last for many months, depending on the expiration of the certificate of no impediment to marriage or marriage license or marrying capacity of the bride and groom, which is different in every country.
What you need for a religious wedding in Greece
If you want to have a religious wedding, you need to know that you can have a legal Orthodox wedding only under certain conditions in Greece.
Namely, the bride or the groom or both need to be baptized Orthodox; if one of them is not Orthodox, they need to present a Public Notary’s act where they state that their children will be baptized in the Orthodox Church.
The paperwork can be slightly different from one region to another, but in general, more certificates than the civil wedding are required, and these are:
- Certificates of No Impediment to marriage from the Municipality where the applicant is registered,
- Certificates of No Previous Marriage officially certified by the Archbishop of the area of residence,
- Full birth certificates from your local registry
- Family Status Certificates from your local registry
- Baptism registration act/certificate,
- Copies of the Passports
- Divorce certificate
- Family Status Certificate for the best man from the Municipality where he is registered; in case the best man has been married with a civil wedding or has stipulated a civil partnership, he will not be accepted by the church as best man.
If you’re still doubtful about eloping in Greece, maybe eloping is not for you, and that’s all right. You can still have a proper wedding in Greece, and it will be everything you’ve ever dreamt of.
If, however, you choose to elope in Greece, now you know everything you need to make this experience a story waiting to be told. So kick off your life as a married couple with an adventure in Greece; you won’t regret it.