Couples seeking rustic and truly romantic weddings in the Mediterranean sun will be delighted to discover the gorgeous settings that the Greek island of Crete has to offer
Crete is a delightful Greek island boasting a stunning 1,000 kilometer-long coastline dotted with pretty coves, bays and peninsulas, fringed with soft, sandy beaches and lapped by the Mediterranean Sea. Newlyweds looking for a blissful Mediterranean honeymoon will discover that this gorgeous island has so much more to offer than simply sun, sea and sand.
It is also the perfect place for couples to tie the knot – with its choice of beautiful locations and, best of all, Crete is close enough for your friends and family to travel with ease to join you for your wedding day. With a mild climate Crete is one of the sunniest Greek islands, so a Crete wedding is ideal for those wanting to escape the unreliable British weather!
Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the southernmost island in the Mediterranean. It has four main areas: Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno, with two international airports offering daily flights from the UK to Heraklion and Chania. It enchants visitors with its mountainous landscapes, dramatic gorges (including the world-famous Samaria Gorge), beautiful beaches, rocky coves, quaint towns and traditional Greek villages. You will also enjoy excellent food in the many tavernas and of course an exciting nightlife!
For beach lovers the stunning coastline beckons, with its secluded coves and large stretches of sand, and a choice of holiday resorts to suit all tastes and styles, from the exclusive VIP favourite of Elounda to the party atmosphere in Malia, and everything in between.
However, culture vultures will be enthralled by Crete’s rich history. It is home of the Minoan civilization, the oldest form of civilization in Europe, which has resulted in important archeological finds at Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys. Crete was also ruled by Venetians for more than four centuries and the historic coastal towns of Rethymno and Chania bear a remarkable similarity to Venice.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Visit Balos Lagoon – a rocky outcrop surrounded by white sand and the crystal clear Mediterranean. This stunning beach is reached by car or boat from the port of Kissamos. Be sure to take your bikini and a camera.
Feeling energetic? Take a hike through the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, supposedly the longest canyon in Europe, which passes through sheer cliffs, mountains and pine forests on an 11 mile trek. www.samaria.gr
Stroll through the streets of Chania, the cultural capital of Crete and gaze at the beautiful mix of Venetian and Turkish architecture in Old Town. Browse the wealth of art galleries and museums and visit its stunning harbor framed by its Venetian lighthouse.
Discover the famous Minoan palace of Knossos, near Heraklion – it’s the most popular attraction on Crete, its ruins were uncovered in 1900 by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. It’s now reconstructed so you can now walk through the palaces rooms.
Follow the famous footsteps of Leonardo di Caprio and Lady Gaga and visit the ‘celebrity resort’ of Elounda, then take the little blue sightseeing train from Elounda to the fishing village of Plaka and enjoy the breath-taking views en route. www.littletraintours.gr/index.html
Marry in Crete
A wedding in Crete offers both charm and character. Couples will find a warm welcome from the locals who will be delighted to share their beautiful island on your wedding day. The Greeks take their weddings seriously, and Greek weddings in Crete are more spectacular than anywhere else in Greece – here it is not uncommon to have 2000 or more wedding guests! However, all sizes of weddings are catered for on the island, from grand events to just the two of you!
There are many beautiful wedding venues on the island of Crete – whether you want a religious or civil wedding or a blessing, you can find a stunning location to suit your style. Crete has some of the best beaches in Greece, so where better to have your wedding ceremony than on a soft, sandy beach? Some of the stunning hotels on the island are also ideal for civil weddings in their lush gardens, wedding pavilions, ballrooms, terraces, and private beaches.
The following documents are required by the Greek authorities for both church and civil weddings:
- Certificate of Non Impediment (CNI) – proof that you are free to marry
- Birth Certificate
- Decree Absolute or Death Certificate if relevant
- Deed Poll Certificate or Statutory Declaration if you have changed your name.
- Adoption Certificate if relevant
UK documents to be used in Greece must be officially legalised with an Apostille stamp (available for UK public documents from the Legalisation Office in London; (0 20 70081111) then officially translated when in Greece via a certified translator or the Translations Bureau of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( +30 210 3244036).
Registration of the Marriage
All marriages in Greece, whether civil or religious, must be registered by the bride and groom at the local Registrar’s Office/Office of Vital Statistics (Lixiarhio) within 40 days following the ceremony. Once registered, a Marriage Certificate will be issued within three days and can be picked up or sent via mail. Marriages not registered have no legal validity.