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Weddings in Crete

Updated on January 28, 2016
Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina lives on the Greek island of Crete, has published a guide book, and runs a website about living in Crete. | Source

The Paperwork Required for a Greek Civil Wedding

1) A Certificate of Non Impediment - CNI

2) A Full Birth Certificate (original)

3) Evidence that any previous marriage has been dissolved

All the above documents should be legalised with the Apostille stamp and then translated into Greek and certified.

Getting Married in Crete

The Greek island of Crete is a fantastic romantic location for a wedding ceremony. Imagine getting married overlooking the Cretan Sea, with the snow-topped white mountains in the background, submerged in a timeless wonder that is Crete.

There are many settings that you can choose from to hold a wedding ceremony in Crete - sunset on the beach, high up in the mountains, in a traditional village or at your holiday villa or hotel.

Formal or Informal

A Wedding in Crete can be as formal or informal as you like. From a sarong on the beach to full length wedding gown in an ancient chapel. From a reception at a small village taverna to a full service six course meal at a 5 star restaurant.

The Preparations

Let the experts take care of the paperwork and the preparations so that you can enjoy your day without stress. Certain paperwork (see box right) needs to be obtained in advance by you, the rest (the marriage licence etc) is arranged by local representatives and the wedding planner.

Decide on your plans beforehand; flowers, hair, make up, photographer, fireworks, type of service, order of service, reception seating plan etc and then relax while the wedding planner ensures that everything runs to plan.

The Wedding Ceremony

A Greek civil wedding ceremony lasts just a few minutes, but with the help of a wedding planner you can organise a ceremony of your choice which can include, for example, music, hymns, readings or poetry.

The Extras

Any number of extras can be arranged. Hair, make up, manicure, flowers, decorations, photographer, musicians, dancers, a bridal car. Even witnesses if it's just the two of you!

The Reception

Village taverna, beach-side taverna, chic restaurant or five star hotel - the choice is yours. All tastes and syles can be catered for in Crete.

The Music and Dancing

Cretan music, Greek music, low-key romantic music, dance music. The choice is yours. To really liven up the reception choose live Greek musicians to play a mixture of Crete and Greek music, and hire professional dancers to perform and then teach you and your guests to do Zorba and other Greek dances.

The Honeymoon

You're already there!

Cretan Wedding Traditions

The Wedding Bed Ceremony

The night before a wedding takes place a Bed Ceremony is held at
the couple’s new home. Family and friends gather while the marital bed is
made up by young unmarried girls and then adorned with rose petals and sugared almond. Guests throw gifts of money onto the bed and a young child is rolled over the bed for luck in bringing fertility to the couple.

Sugared Almonds - Boubournieres

Boubounieres are traditional Greek wedding favors. Sugar coated almonds are wrapped in small packages of lace and ribbon and given out to all the guests.

A Great Alternative Wedding - and Holiday for Family & Friends too

A wedding in Crete is a great alternative to a traditional wedding and can be very cost effective. The wedding planner's fee and licences is around €1200. The whole wedding and reception usually cost much less than in Britain.

As one couple said, they " wanted a different formula and the only similarity was the price – we spent the same on a wedding and two weeks holiday in Crete for 40 people as we would have blown on a single day in the UK."

Image from
Image from

Cretan Dancers


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    • Carolina Crete profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolina Crete 

      11 years ago from Crete, Greece

      The Cretans are surely the best when it comes to partying!

    • Magic Bus profile image

      Magic Bus 

      11 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Walking along the beach near Timbaki one evening in 1978 we heard music. After finding the source of the music, we found it to be a wedding and were invited in. That was my first real taste of Cretan hospitality. (and plate smashing). OOOPA!!!


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