Imagine exchanging your vows as the sun sets over the sparkling Aegean Sea, surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Greek islands or the charming ambience of a historic mainland village. For couples from the UK, the US, and beyond, planning a destination wedding in Greece offers an opportunity to create a truly unforgettable experience that combines the warmth of Mediterranean hospitality with the sophistication and luxury of a dreamy, romantic setting.
Greece, a land steeped in myth, history, and breathtaking landscapes, has long captivated the hearts of travellers. Its picturesque islands, crystal-clear waters, and charming villages provide a spectacular backdrop for a wedding celebration that seamlessly blends ancient traditions, modern elegance, and the natural beauty of its surroundings. From the iconic blue-domed churches of Santorini to the lush olive groves of Crete, Greece offers a diverse range of destinations, each with its unique charm and character.
Planning a wedding in Greece allows you to embrace the best of both worlds: the vibrant culture and rich heritage of this Mediterranean gem, alongside the luxury and sophistication of a carefully curated event that reflects your individual tastes and desires. Throughout this article, I will do my best as a destination wedding photographer to guide you through the process of planning your dream Grecian wedding, offering tips, insights, and inspiration to ensure that your special day is not only a celebration of your love but also an unforgettable experience that will be cherished by you and your guests for years to come.
"It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.'
greece wedding photographer
GREECE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
My name is Leah and I am very fortunate to get to travel our beautiful planet with my couples. Based in the UK, all of Europe is very easy for me to get to, including the beautiful Greece.
I'd love to be a part of your special day and would be happy to advise you on your wedding in Greece. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...
planning a wedding in greece
WHY PLAN A WEDDING IN GREECE?
Greece has always been a dream destination for many couples, and it's easy to see why. When you're considering a destination wedding, you want a place that has it all: beautiful scenery, rich history, warm hospitality, and unforgettable experiences. For me, Greece checks all the boxes.
Picture this: exchanging your vows with the dramatic cliffs and caldera views of Santorini as your backdrop, or dancing the night away under the stars in a charming village on the mainland. There's something for everyone in Greece, and as a destination wedding photographer, it's a very exciting opportunity creatively.
When you get married in Greece, you can expect an atmosphere infused with authenticity and charm. From lively Greek music and dancing to mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine, your wedding will be a celebration of not just your love story but also the vibrant spirit of Greece. Capturing the joy and energy of these moments is what makes being a photographer so rewarding.
And let's not forget about the unforgettable experiences that Greece offers for you and your guests. Your wedding celebration can extend into an amazing adventure, with so much to explore and enjoy. Whether it's lounging on the gorgeous shores of the Aegean, wandering through the ancient ruins of Athens, or savoring the finest local wines and cuisine.
As a destination wedding photographer, there's something very exciting about capturing the magic of a wedding set in the enchanting backdrop of this Mediterranean paradise.
santorini, greece - unsplash.com
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR WEDDING IN GREECE
If you're serious about potentially having your wedding as a destination wedding in Greece, there are some important things to consider before you get too far into the planning! I know, I know - you just want to focus on the positives (and there are loads!) but it's important we cover a few small hurdles first to ensure you're doing the right thing for you as a couple.
How much does a wedding in Greece cost?
The cost of a wedding in Greece can vary greatly depending on the location, size of the event, and the level of luxury desired. It's essential for couples to research and compare the costs of a Greek wedding to a traditional wedding in the UK. While some elements may be more affordable, such as venue rentals and catering in Greece, others, like travel and accommodation expenses, might increase the overall cost.
By evaluating the potential expenses and creating a realistic budget, couples can better understand if a destination wedding in Greece aligns with their financial expectations. It goes without saying that if it's do-able financially - it's worth it! Destination weddings are always some of the most incredible and memorable that I have captured with my photography.
How will having your wedding in Greece affect you guest list?
The guest list is another crucial aspect to consider when planning a wedding in Greece. Couples should ask themselves how having a destination wedding might affect the number of guests they can invite, and who would be able to attend. Travel and accommodation costs, as well as scheduling conflicts, may impact guests' ability to join the celebration. It's important to think about whether a smaller, more intimate gathering or a larger event with a broader guest list is preferable, and to communicate with potential attendees about the plans well in advance.
I have to say though that from my experience, destination weddings force you to be more selective and you end up with a potentially smaller guest list but one with only the most important and special people in your life.
Are you prepared to take on the slightly more complicated legal processes that come with getting married outside of your home country?
The legal requirements for getting married in Greece are more complex than those for a local wedding in the UK. Couples should be prepared to invest time and effort in understanding and fulfilling the necessary procedures and documentation. Ensuring that all legal aspects are addressed is crucial for a stress-free wedding experience.
Couples should ask themselves if they are ready to navigate these complexities and, if needed, seek assistance from a local wedding planner or legal expert to guide them through the process. We will give you some rough ideas on what the process entails, but as always - do seek professional legal advice, because other than binge watching Suits, I am not a legal expert.
What time of the year are you hoping to get married?
Couples should consider the time of year they wish to get married in Greece and how it might affect their wedding day. The weather and seasonal fluctuations in tourist activity play a significant role in the overall atmosphere of the event. Couples should research the average weather conditions during their preferred month and consider whether the destination might be crowded with tourists at that time.
By understanding the seasonal factors, couples can make informed decisions about the best time to host their wedding and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for themselves and their guests. We'll cover this in a little more detail later in the guide.
WHERE IN GREECE SHOULD YOU GET MARRIED?
PLANNING A WEDDING IN SANTORINI
Santorini's captivating beauty and enchanting atmosphere make it a dream destination for weddings. The island's unique volcanic landscape, with its dramatic cliffs and caldera views, provides a breathtaking backdrop for romantic celebrations. Santorini's iconic blue-domed churches and whitewashed buildings further enhance the charm of this picturesque setting, while the island's world-renowned sunsets create unforgettable memories for couples and their guests.
In addition to its stunning scenery, Santorini offers a variety of activities to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone attending the wedding. Couples and guests can explore the charming villages of Oia and Fira, visit local wineries for wine tastings, or relax on the island's beautiful beaches like the Red Beach and Perissa.
Santorini is easily accessible through the Santorini International Airport (JTR), also known as Thira Airport. Located near Kamari village, the airport offers frequent domestic flights to Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as several seasonal international flights. Chances are, if you use Instagram - you're very familiar with Santorini as it's a complete hot spot for those luxury travel snaps!
PLANNING A WEDDING IN RHODES
Rhodes, steeped in history and natural beauty, offers a captivating setting for a destination wedding. Rhodes' enchanting Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adds a touch of historical charm to the wedding celebrations, while the island's crystal-clear waters and vibrant blue skies provide the perfect backdrop for unforgettable memories.
The island's rich history is showcased through its ancient sites, such as the Acropolis of Lindos and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Nature lovers can explore the beautiful Valley of the Butterflies, while those seeking relaxation can unwind on the island's stunning beaches, such as Tsambika and St. Paul's Bay. These diverse attractions ensure an immersive and memorable experience for everyone attending the wedding.
If you're flying into Rhodes you'll likely be doing so via Rhodes International Airport (RHO), also known as Diagoras International Airport. Located in the northern part of the island, the airport offers regular domestic flights to Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as numerous seasonal international flights. This convenient access ensures a smooth journey for couples and their guests, allowing them to fully enjoy the enchanting atmosphere and unforgettable experiences that Rhodes has to offer.
PLANNING A WEDDING IN ATHENS
Athens, the historic capital of Greece, offers a unique blend of ancient heritage and modern vibrancy that makes it a fascinating destination for a luxurious wedding celebration. With its iconic landmarks, such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon, Athens delivers a striking and memorable setting that effortlessly combines the allure of the past with contemporary elegance.
One of the most enticing aspects of hosting a wedding in Athens is the endless array of activities and attractions that couples and their guests can enjoy. The city's rich history is evident around every corner, with ancient ruins, archaeological sites, and world-class museums just waiting to be explored. And when it's time to unwind, the city's vibrant neighborhoods, such as Plaka and Monastiraki, offer an eclectic mix of charming cafes, lively bars, and upscale restaurants for everyone to indulge in. A wedding in Athens guarantees a unique, immersive experience for all who attend.
Athens is conveniently connected to the rest of the world through Athens International Airport (ATH). Choosing Athens for your destination wedding promises an unforgettable event, infused with history, culture, and luxury, that will leave a lasting impression on all who attend.
PLANNING A WEDDING IN MYKONOS
Mykonos, a dazzling gem in the Aegean Sea, offers an idyllic setting for a luxurious destination wedding. Famed for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, Mykonos exudes an irresistible blend of glamour and charm that ensures a truly memorable celebration. The island's whitewashed buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and iconic windmills create a dreamy backdrop for couples to embark on their new journey together.
What sets Mykonos apart as a wedding destination is its lively atmosphere and array of exciting activities for couples and their guests. The island boasts a diverse selection of stunning beaches, from the vibrant and social Paradise Beach to the more tranquil and secluded Agios Sostis Beach, where visitors can relax or engage in water sports. The lively town of Mykonos, with its stylish boutiques, chic bars, and gourmet restaurants, offers a taste of the island's renowned hospitality and vibrant spirit. A wedding in Mykonos guarantees an unforgettable experience filled with fun, romance, and luxury.
Mykonos is easily accessible via Mykonos International Airport (JMK), which is well-connected to numerous domestic and international destinations. The airport's convenient location ensures a smooth journey for couples and their guests as they arrive to celebrate the joyous occasion. Choosing Mykonos for your destination wedding promises a one-of-a-kind event that combines glamour, natural beauty, and unforgettable memories for everyone involved.
PICKING A WEDDING VENUE IN GREECE
When you think of Greece, you think beautiful white buildings - or at least, I do! If you've picked your location, next is selecting the right venue for you, so here are the main things to consider.
Greece is a diverse country, offering everything from picturesque islands to historic cities and idyllic countryside. When considering your wedding venue's location, think about the atmosphere you want to create for your special day. Are you dreaming of a sun-soaked beach wedding or a glamorous celebration in a city steeped in history? Your preferred location will set the tone for your wedding, so it's essential to select a setting that aligns with your vision and personality. I always recommend to my couples that they consider how location will shine their personality through their day.
SIZE OF WEDDING
The number of guests you plan to invite to your wedding will play a significant role in determining the ideal venue. Some locations in Greece cater to intimate gatherings, while others are better suited for large, extravagant affairs. Be sure to choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guest list and provide an enjoyable experience for everyone in attendance.!
While Greece is known for its luxury, there are venues to suit a range of budgets. Before diving into your search for the perfect location, establish a clear budget for your wedding venue. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure that you're focusing on locations that align with your financial expectations. Keep in mind that the cost of a wedding venue in Greece can vary depending on factors such as time of year, location, and the services included.
STYLE OF WEDDING
Greece offers a wealth of options when it comes to the style of your wedding. From traditional Greek weddings steeped in cultural rituals to modern, minimalist celebrations, the country has something to suit every couple's taste. Consider the style of wedding you envision and look for venues that can accommodate your vision. Whether you're seeking a historic venue for a classic wedding, a stylish beach club for a contemporary celebration, or a rustic vineyard for a romantic affair, Greece has it all.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF GETTING MARRIED IN GREECE
At the beginning of this article I urged you to ask yourself whether you were ready for the additional effort and cost that comes with having a destination wedding in Greece. That isn't to say that Greece is more complicated than other countries, but there's always more hurdles with a destination wedding. I do think it's entirely worth it. I can give you some broad ideas on what is involved from my own research, but please seek expert legal advice on what you need to do.
Greece requires a civil ceremony for a marriage to be legally recognised. Religious ceremonies can still take place, but they must be preceded or followed by an official civil ceremony to make the union legally valid. Couples can contact the local municipality or town hall where they wish to get married for detailed information about the civil ceremony process and required documentation.
To get married in Greece, both partners must provide several essential documents. These typically include:
- Valid passports or national ID cards
- Full birth certificates with the parents' names (translated into Greek by an official translator)
- A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) issued by your country's embassy or consulate in Greece, stating that there are no legal obstacles to your marriage
- If either partner has been previously married, a certified copy of the final divorce decree or death certificate (if applicable) is required, translated into Greek
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, they must be submitted to the local Greek municipality or town hall where you plan to get married. This should be done at least one week before the wedding to allow time for processing. Keep in mind that some municipalities may have additional requirements, so it's crucial to contact them directly to ensure you have all the necessary information
DO YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER FOR YOUR WEDDING IN GREECE?
While the beautiful scenery and romantic atmosphere make it an ideal location for your special day, organizing a wedding from afar can present some unique challenges. One option to consider for a seamless and stress-free experience is hiring a professional wedding planner who specialises in destination weddings in Greece.
Their local knowledge and connections are a huge asset when planning your big day. With an in-depth understanding of the local customs, language, and legal requirements, they can help you navigate the complexities of a destination wedding. Plus, their established relationships with local vendors can result in better deals and seamless coordination.
Coordinating a destination wedding involves managing many moving parts, such as booking accommodations, transportation, and coordinating with various vendors. A wedding planner can handle these logistical challenges on your behalf, allowing you to focus on enjoying the experience and making decisions that reflect your personal tastes and preferences.
That being said, if you're up for the challenge and have a sense of adventure, planning your destination wedding in Greece without a planner is still entirely possible. With diligent research, organisation, and a good dose of creativity, you can create a memorable and personalized wedding experience. Just remember to give yourself plenty of time to handle the details and be prepared to embrace the unexpected. I believe in you, you've got this!
photo by: leahmariephotography.co.uk
One of the most important parts of planning a destination wedding anywhere is considering how you and your guests will get to where you need to be! Taking the time to plan your travel arrangements will make your wedding journey enjoyable and stress-free.
Getting to Greece and navigating the time difference requires some thought. Most international flights to Greece arrive at Athens International Airport, with additional airports serving popular tourist destinations like Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes. You'll need to consider the proximity of your chosen wedding venue to a major airport, as this can significantly impact travel time and convenience for your guests.
Keep in mind that Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone, which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). For guests traveling from the UK or the US, adjusting to the time difference can take a day or two. It's advisable to plan your wedding activities with this in mind, allowing guests enough time to recover from jet lag and fully enjoy the celebrations. Consider hosting a welcome dinner or casual gathering a few days before the wedding to give everyone a chance to acclimate and get to know each other.
Transportation within Greece is also an important aspect to consider. Depending on your wedding location, you may need to arrange transportation for your guests to and from the airport, accommodations, and the wedding venue. Look into the availability of local taxis, rental cars, or even chartered buses to accommodate your guests' needs. Providing clear instructions and contact information for these transportation options will help ensure a smooth experience for everyone.
planning accommodation for a wedding in greece
When planning accommodations for guests at your destination wedding in Greece, it's crucial to consider both their comfort and the logistics of getting to and from the wedding venue. This ensures that everyone has an enjoyable and stress-free experience while attending your special day.
Start by researching various accommodation options near your wedding venue, including hotels, villas, and vacation rentals. Look for properties that cater to different budgets, as your guests may have varying financial constraints. If possible, secure a block of rooms at one or more hotels to guarantee availability and possibly receive discounted rates for your guests. Be sure to communicate this information clearly and provide booking instructions well in advance to allow your guests ample time to make their arrangements.
Additionally, consider providing a list of alternative accommodation options for those who may want to explore other options. In doing so, you'll ensure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay while attending your beautiful destination wedding in Greece.
picking a destination wedding photographer for a wedding in greece
As a destination wedding photographer, I understand the importance of capturing the magic and emotion of your special day, especially when it takes place in a breathtaking location like Greece. A great destination wedding photographer not only has the skill to create stunning images but also has the ability to make you and your guests feel at ease throughout the entire process.
One of the key advantages of hiring a destination wedding photographer who speaks your language is the ability to communicate your vision and preferences clearly. This ensures that your photographer understands your unique style and can deliver images that truly reflect your personality and the essence of your wedding day. Moreover, working with a photographer who shares your cultural background can be an added advantage, as they'll be familiar with the customs and traditions that are important to you.
In the lead-up to the big day, having a photographer who is accessible and easy to reach for consultation can be invaluable. This allows you to discuss your expectations, share ideas, and address any concerns you may have before the wedding. A photographer who is invested in understanding your needs and preferences will be better equipped to capture your special moments in a way that aligns with your vision.
Now, I may be a little cheeky here, but as a destination wedding photographer myself, I would be honored to be a part of your love story in Greece. I'm committed to capturing the beauty, emotion, and joy of your wedding day while making the entire process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. With my experience, skills, and passion for storytelling through photography, I can help create lasting memories of your destination wedding in Greece that you'll cherish for years to come.
If you'd like to get in touch with me to discuss your wedding in Greece, I would absolutely love to talk to you about it. I have a wealth of experience with destination weddings, so I know all the little things that will make it a great success.
picking a dress and suit for a wedding
When selecting your dress and suit for a wedding in Greece, it's essential to consider a few factors, such as local customs, the climate, and your personal preferences, to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident throughout the celebration.
As you'd expect, climate plays a significant role in determining the best attire for your destination wedding in Greece. With the country's Mediterranean climate, summers can be quite hot, while spring and autumn offer more moderate temperatures. It's essential to choose fabrics and styles that are appropriate for the weather conditions during your wedding. Light, breathable materials like silk, chiffon, or linen can help you stay cool and comfortable, while sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses and lightweight suits can be ideal choices for warm weather.
As a photographer who encourages brides and grooms to embrace their uniqueness, I want to emphasise that your wedding dress or suit should ultimately reflect your personal style and taste. Don't be afraid to step outside traditional expectations and choose a dress or suit that showcases your individuality. Whether that means opting for a non-traditional color, incorporating unique embellishments, or selecting a daring silhouette, your wedding attire should be a reflection of you.
When choosing your dress and suit for a wedding in Greece, it's important to consider local customs, the climate, and your personal preferences. Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating your love and the unique bond you share. Embrace your individuality and select attire that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and true to yourself.
As you prepare to whisk your guests away to a destination wedding in beautiful Greece, it's essential to ensure they have all the necessary information to make their trip enjoyable and memorable. Providing them with a fun and informative guide will not only show your appreciation but also help them embrace the Greek experience fully.
Firstly, let your guests know about the local currency – the Euro. Encourage them to exchange some money before arriving or recommend reliable ATMs and currency exchange services in Greece. This will ensure they can easily pay for their expenses during their stay.
When it comes to weather, advise your guests to pack appropriately for the season. Obviously, Greek summers can be a little hotter than here in the UK, and spring and autumn can still be quite warm. Suggest packing light, breathable clothing for warm days, and a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. Also, remind them to pack sunscreen and sunglasses to protect themselves from the Mediterranean sun.
It could be fun to tell your guests with some of the unique aspects of Greek culture, such as the customary "opa!" cheer during celebrations or the widespread use of the "komboloi" or worry beads. By sharing these tidbits, you'll help your guests feel more connected to the destination and better prepared to embrace the local customs.
Of course, you should also provide your guests with a list of must-see attractions and activities in the area surrounding your wedding venue. Whether it's exploring ancient ruins, lounging on pristine beaches, or indulging in mouthwatering Greek cuisine, your guests will appreciate having a variety of options to fill their free time. You could even go the extra mile and arrange a group excursion, allowing your loved ones to bond and create unforgettable memories together.
Sending out invitations for a destination wedding in Greece requires careful planning and consideration. One of the most important aspects is to give your guests ample notice. Generally, it's recommended to send out save-the-date cards at least 8-12 months before the wedding, followed by the official invitations around 3-4 months before the big day. This will allow your guests enough time to plan their travel, book accommodations, and make any necessary arrangements for time off from work or childcare.
Your wedding invitation should include all the essential information about your destination wedding in Greece. Be sure to include the date, time, and location of your ceremony and reception, along with any other pre- or post-wedding events you've planned. Don't forget to mention the dress code and any cultural or religious customs that may be observed during the wedding.
In addition to the invitations, consider creating a wedding website, as it can be an invaluable resource for your guests. A website provides them with up-to-date information on travel, accommodations, and local attractions. Include the URL on your invitation and keep the website updated with any changes or new details as your wedding plans progress. Be sure to help your guests by offering travel and accommodation recommendations.
Finally, don't forget to encourage RSVPs. Requesting RSVPs for a destination wedding is crucial in helping you and your vendors plan accordingly. Include a clear RSVP deadline on your invitations and follow up with guests who haven't responded by the due date. This will ensure you have an accurate guest count and can make the necessary arrangements for your special day in Greece.
book your destination wedding photographer now
I can get booked up as much as two or three years in advance, so if you're interested in discussing me being a part of your special day, reach out now and we can book in a time to have a chat!
I'd love to be a part of your special day and would love help you plan your wedding in Greece. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...