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Many couples are choosing to get married abroad nowadays, and Greece in particular is a very popular wedding destination around this time of year. Known for its warm climes, beautiful scenery and pristine beaches, this Mediterranean paradise caters to a large number of the 18% of Brits who are now choosing to get married abroad rather than in the UK.
However, planning a wedding abroad isn’t the same as planning a wedding in the UK, and many are usually put off their dream wedding by the amount of extra documentation and planning needed to make it a reality.
Well, we’re here to tell you it’s not as difficult as you might think! Like many things in life, it’s all about managing your time properly so you get everything prepared well before the big day. The documents you’ll need to get married in Greece are:
- A Full UK Passport with at least 6 months remaining before the date of your return.
- A Full UK Birth Certificate, or an Adoption Certificate if you were adopted. (We can supply these if needed!)
- A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI), signifying that there is no legal reason that you cannot marry.
- If you’re divorced, widowed or had your name changed via Deed Poll, a copy of the relevant certificate will also be required. If you don’t have a copy of one of these to hand, we can help you get one.
Planning for your CNI
Acquiring a CNI within the correct timeframe can be slightly tricky, since the Greek authorities require the document to be no more than 3 months old before the date of your return. Careful planning is required to make sure you have this document ready to be translated and legalised and ready to be used in Greece while it is still valid.
To obtain a CNI, you must first make an appointment at your Local Registrar’s office. This should be done well in advance to avoid any delays, as the registrar can get busy, especially during wedding season! If the registrar approves your application, they will issue the certificate, which could take anywhere between 3 and 4 weeks. Once you have your CNI, you’re ready to have your documents legalised and translated to be used in Greece.
Firstly, scans of the documents will need to be sent to a recognised translator (one that is authorised by the Greek Embassy in London), and translated into Greek, so that they’re ready to be legalised.
Once the translations are attached, the documents will then need to have a UK Apostille attached at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and be authenticated at the Greek Embassy before they’re ready for use in Greece. This process itself can take up to 3 weeks.
Let’s say you’re getting married on 21/05/2016, and your return flight is booked one week later on 28/05/2016. The earliest you could apply for your CNI would be 27/02/2016, whilst the latest would be 23/03/2016. This allows sufficient time for you to receive your CNI and have your documents sent to be translated and legalised, whilst making sure the CNI’s acceptance period of 3 months doesn’t run out before your return.
What We Do
That’s where we come in. Vital Certificates are experts in acquiring copies of and legalising official UK documents. Our Wedding Document legalisation service takes care of both the translation and the legalisation, leaving you free to concentrate on what really matters – planning your dream wedding abroad.
Whether you need fresh copies of your certificates or already have them to hand and just need them legalising, you can contact us and we’ll help get what you require in a timescale to suit your needs. Get in touch with our friendly team of specialists via our live chat system, send us a text message on WhatsApp or give us a call on 0330 088 1142.
Good luck! We look forward to hearing from you soon.