Getting Married in Greece

PLEASE NOTE:  We provide general information below.  You MUST contact the local City Hall in the area in which you wish to marry for specific requirements.

Eligibility

U.S. citizens may marry in Greece in a civil ceremony, a religious ceremony, or both. You need not reside in Greece to marry in Greece, but the bureaucratic process to obtain a marriage certificate can take several weeks.

Foreigners who permanently reside in Greece should possess a residence permit. U.S. citizens may stay in Greece up to three months without 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.

CIVIL MARRIAGE

The Marriage License – Neither Partner Lives in Greece

You will need:
1. Passport/travel document
2. Apostilled foreign marriage license
3. Official translation of marriage license into Greek

When neither partner resides in Greece, Greek authorities require foreign marriage licenses issued by one’s current place of residence. Both parties will need a marriage license. U.S. marriage licenses should not contain any restrictive language such as: “This license is valid only for county “X” or “Marriage will take place in the state of New York.” If such restrictive language cannot be removed, the issuing authority should amend the license to include GREECE as one of the places where the marriage can take place.

Apostilles: The marriage license should be endorsed with a special authentication for documents to be used internationally called an Apostille. An Apostille is provided by the Secretary of State in the country/state where the document is issued, not the Embassy. More information on Apostilles can be found on the Department of State’s website.

Official Translations: The license and Apostille must be translated officially in Greek. You may obtain the translation at a Greek consulate in the United States or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Athens.

The Marriage License – One or Both Partners Live in Greece
If one partner is a resident of Greece, the marriage license for both can be issued in Greece by the City Hall where the resident is registered.
You will need:
1. A passport or other travel document
2. An Apostilled birth certificate with an official translation (for a partner who does not reside in Greece).
3. Ιf applicable, Apostilled documentary evidence (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 signed and sworn by the marrying parties before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Athens – stating that no impediment to the marriage exists. The Consular Section prepares the affidavit form and provides the notarial service for USD $50 or the Consular Exchange Rate Euro equivalent. The service is available by appointment at
https://gr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/notaries-public/
5. A copy of a wedding notice published in Greek a local newspaper that predates the marriage license application. Contact City Hall or your wedding planner for details.
6. A revenue stamp (paravolo) for 15 Euro.

Apostilles: The Apostille must be obtained in the United States. You may order your birth certificate or other state-issued document from the National Center for Health Statistics
(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm) or through vitalcheck (https://www.vitalchek.com/) depending on the state that issued your document. More information on Apostilles can be found on the Department of State’s website.

To apply for a Greek marriage license, you must present the documents above in person at the City Hall (Demarchio) or the President of the Community (Proedros Kinotetos) where one applicant resides. If both partners are foreign nationals, each submits a separate set of documents. Authorities issue the marriage license eight days after the submission of the application. The marriage certificate is valid for six months, and the civil ceremony may be performed anywhere in Greece.

Upon receipt of the license, the partners jointly apply to the Mayor or President of the Community where they wish to marry. The official then sets the date for the wedding ceremony. Some city halls require an additional fee. The marrying couple must arrange for two witnesses to attend the wedding ceremony, one of whom will act as an interpreter. Witnesses should carry passports or Greek IDs.

RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE
In addition to the documents listed above, you must present as a couple the documents below to the member of clergy who will perform the religious ceremony.
1. Baptism certificate from the local parish in United States
2. Marriage certificate (if civil marriage is performed before the religious one)

The clergy member will apply for and obtain the marriage license. Greek law does not permit marriages between Christians and non-Christians. Each religious denomination has specific requirements. For more information, you may contact:

Greek Orthodox Ceremony: Archdiocese of Athens, Tel. 210-3352322, E-mail: mardi@iaath.gr or your local Greek Orthodox Church.

Protestant Ceremony:  St Andrew’s American Protestant Church, Tel. 210-645-2583, http://www.standrewsgreece.com

Roman Catholic Ceremony:  Saint Dionisios Aeropagitus Roman Catholic Cathedral, Tel. 210 362 3603, http://www.cathecclesia.gr

Jewish Ceremony:  Jewish Community, Tel. 210 325 2875/2823/2773, www.athjcom.gr, , info@athjcom.gr.

UNDERGOING BOTH CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS MARRIAGES
The couple must obtain two sets of the required documents to arrange a civil and a religious ceremony. One set should be taken to the city hall, the other set should be taken to the responsible clergy member.

REGISTERING THE MARRIAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marriages are not legal until registered, so don’t skip this important step. The U.S. Embassy does not register marriages of U.S. citizens in Greece. Instead, you must record your marriage at the Vital Statistics Office (Lixiarcheio) of the city where the marriage is performed. All marriages, civil or religious, should be registered within 40 days following the ceremony. Late registrations require a fee determined by the locale. Marriages can be registered by either spouse, or by proxy with a power of attorney.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

Either marriage, civil or religious, is considered a legal marriage. It is not necessary to undergo both.  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.  Marriage between a Greek and non-Greek does not prompt the acquisition or loss of Greek nationality.