You may or may not be aware that the usual legal civil marriage or partnership registration ceremony conducted by local authorities in most countries in Europe, including Greece, is very short and impersonal. The same words that have been said to millions of couples before you will be the only option for your special day. A professional wedding celebrant is able to create a completely personalised ceremony for you. You will be encouraged to have lots of input in the content of the ceremony and to include your family and friends too. Pretty much anything goes in a celebrant ceremony – keep the old traditions such as exchanging vows and rings, add more modern rituals such as a ring warming or a rose ceremony, honour those who you have loved but lost, include traditions from other cultures and, of course, ask your guests to participate with readings and music.
No! If the most important part of your wedding day is not the ceremony itself, a basic legal marriage registration ceremony at your local register office/town hall or getting a friend to officiate your commitment ceremony (Joey style!) in your back yard or garden is probably going to be the most economical option.
But consider this. You’ve probably already spent so much money on your wedding day, your dress, shoes, flowers, cake, invitations …. the list is long! So why not spend just a little bit more and make your ceremony special? In years to come, it will be the ceremony that you will remember and cherish, not the flowers and the cake.
Most wedding celebrants charge a very reasonable fee considering the amount of time, work and dedication they put into creating a personalised wedding ceremony – it takes many hours of writing (and re-writing!) and planning to get things just right. The celebrant will also put a lot of work into planning how to perform the ceremony on the day, including choreography (the best place for everyone to sit or stand), and making sure that s/he has a good working relationship with the rest of your wedding suppliers so that everything runs smoothly on the day. The celebrant will also usually ask you and everyone who is taking part in your ceremony to attend a rehearsal so that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and what is expected of them on the day.
In Greece you will pay quite a lot for the privilege of having a legal marriage registration – apart from the fairly modest fee that the town hall will charge for your marriage licence, you should also take into consideration the expense of obtaining original documents (such as birth certificates and certificates of no impediment), having them officially verified in the country of origin and then having them translated to Greek.
My fee for a Wedding or Vow Renewal Ceremony is £500 – that’s it! No extras to pay unless travel and/or accommodation expenses are involved (this can be discussed at our first Skype meeting).
Please note that I require a non-refundable booking fee of £250 to secure your chosen wedding ceremony date and start creating your wedding ceremony. The balance of the fee is payable at least 21 days before the ceremony takes place and before the finished ceremony script will be released.
A completely personalised wedding ceremony. This ceremony is unique to you; there is no other ceremony like it. You can choose any wording, music or other elements within your ceremony.
Help with your vows. Not everyone wants to promise each other the moon and the stars; that pretty much only exists in fairy tales. Make your promises to each other real, honest and heartfelt. You don’t even have to make any promises if you don’t want to!
A rehearsal. Except in the case of a very small ceremony, I like to hold a rehearsal at least one day before the big day (in cases where travel is involved this may only be possible on the evening before your ceremony) to make sure that everyone involved is comfortable with their role on the day (I have seen this turned into a fantastic pre- wedding day party!).
A certificate. At the end of your ceremony I will give you a presentation folder containing a copy of your wedding ceremony and a symbolic certificate (the certificate may be used as part of the ceremony if requested).
I’m yours. I am available on every day of the week (no extra charge for weekends) and at any time of day to perform your ceremony. There is no time limit allocated to the length of your ceremony as I never perform more than one ceremony per day, so I devote the entire day to you and your ceremony.
Yes, absolutely. In most European countries couples are obliged to register their partnership at the offices of the local authorities before holding their wedding ceremony. The two are separate affairs. Think of it like the birth of a baby. You register the baby’s birth first and hold the ‘Christening’ or ‘Naming’ ceremony later. This is no different.
No, not in Greece. Even at a religious ceremony, the only legal part is when you sign the register in the presence of witnesses. The usually preferred method of ‘doing the legal bit’ is for you to visit your local register office, either before or after your ‘real’ wedding ceremony. The procedure usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Please contact your local register office/local authorities to find out exactly what paperwork you need and to book an appointment. Of course, your legal registration can be treated as a second ceremony and it’s an ideal opportunity to ask those who could not be with you at your wedding ceremony in Greece to celebrate with you.
Yes and no. In some venues it is possible to have the local registrar attend the ceremony. In other venues, it is not. In my honest opinion (and experience), it is much better to hold your legal marriage registration in your home town – it is more economical, does not involve acquiring multiple original documents or expensive verifications and translations.
No. It’s all about the ceremony for me! I can suggest venues for your ceremony based on where some of my previous couples have had beautiful ceremonies, but I do not recommend other wedding suppliers or organise any aspects of a wedding day other than the ceremony. If you require a wedding planner, a simple internet search should give you plenty of choice.
We Skype! Let’s talk about your wedding day. If you like what you hear I will send you a booking form and you can book the date. And if you’re not 100% sure that I can make your wedding ceremony beautiful, unique and memorable, we’ll part ways with no hard feelings.