How to get married in Kefalonia
Taken from a Bride Buddy Wedding in Kefalonia
We hope these original Bride Buddy photos inspire you to think about getting married in Kefalonia. This page is a beginners guide to the legal side of things and the paperwork involved. Don't worry if it all seems a lot to take in - we are here to guide you through every step of way. If you are looking for inspiration and idea's for your wedding day in Kefalonia, please go to our 'Kefalonia' wedding page.
Our job is to help you navigate the legalities of getting married in Kefalonia. We have written this article assuming you are a UK Couple, living in the UK who want to get married abroad. Contact your local register office to find out what you need to do if you live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey as the rules are slightly different.
It does not matter what nationality you are - if you have the desire to get married in Kefalonia please get in touch and we will be happy to help you.
There are 3 ways to have a wedding abroad.
A legal civil ceremony
A legal religious ceremony
Or a wedding celebration ceremony following formalities in the UK or legal registration abroad
The last option is probably the easiest and is becoming more and more popular with UK couples, but we are going to discuss all 3 options here. If you want to skip it and just read the easy option - click here
One of our Kefalonian couples with some of the Bride Buddy Team
As Registrars, the most common questions about marrying abroad we are asked is ‘Will my wedding abroad be legal in the UK? Will I have to register the marriage in the UK?’
The short answer to these are YES and NO. So long as due and legal process has been followed in the foreign country where you marry, it will be completely recognised as a legal marriage back home in the UK. There is no need to register the marriage with the UK authorities at all. It is best to inform the British Embassy in the country where you intend to marry as this can make it much easier to obtain further marriage certificates in the future should you need them. For this reason, another major tip is to order and pay for several original marriage certificates on the day.
Signing the certificate.
Natalie & Tom's rustic Olive Grove.
In the main, especially within the EU, you would both attend the local Town Hall for a Civil Ceremony or the Priest at the Church to do the legal parts required in your country of choice. Most often, there are wedding planners who specialise in weddings abroad who can advise you and deal with the paperwork on your behalf. As a professional experienced team in all aspects of the legal side of things, our Bride Buddy wedding planner will guide you through the process one step at a time.
Generally, the original legal documents that you will need for the authorities in Kefalonia will be the same as if you were marrying in the UK but go to Bride-Buddy’s Legal Documents Checklist for an absolute guide.
Your Bride Buddy wedding planner or embassy will be able to inform you of the requirements, and they will probably ask for an original Certificate of No Impediment and for the documents to be Apostilled. We will cover these items now as they are very important.
Certificate of No Impediment
If you marry in the UK you have to Give Notice of Marriage. This is to prove you are who you say you are and that you are legally free to marry. You do this at your local Register Office. If you marry abroad, the authorities there are basically asking the UK Registrars to check everything about you is legal and above board and to send them a certificate to say the Register Office in the UK has checked you and your documents are in order. It confirms they can find no legal impediment to the marriage going ahead. It costs £35 each to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment and just as Giving Notice of Marriage you MUST attend the Register Office local to where you live taking all the required documents with you.
After attending the Register Office, your Certificate of No Impediment will be available 28 days later and WILL ONLY BE VALID FOR 6 MONTHS (3 months in Scotland) so your timing is crucial.
Here come the girls!
If you’ve changed your name
If your name on any of your documents doesn’t appear exactly as it does on your birth certificate, you’ll need to provide evidence of your name change (for example, a marriage/divorce certificate or deed poll).
If you don’t provide evidence, the authorities may refuse to allow the marriage to go ahead.
You’ll also need to get a certified translation of your Certificate of No Impediment through an approved translator.
(Getting your documents ‘legalised’ or ‘certified as genuine’)
Here in Kefalonia, the authorities will require all your original documents including your Certificate of No Impediment to be legalised. This is done by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) based at Milton Keynes. They do not take personal callers, so make sure you allow enough time. Follow this link for all the information on this service including fees https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised. The process shouldn’t take more than 2 working days, excluding postal/courier time.
Katy & Paul's Bride Buddy ceremony
You can avoid all this bother with our third option….. Read on to find out how….
By having a simple quiet legal marriage at a Register Office in the UK first, perhaps just you and two witnesses, there is nothing in law stopping you having a wedding celebration ceremony anywhere you want to. In fact the majority of Bride Buddy couples from the UK getting married in Kefalonia have a celebratory ceremony and view the UK part as 'just fulfilling the legal formalities'. This leaves you free to plan your big day in Kefalonia without the worry of all the legal paperwork. With our 'registrar' hat on, we would also advise that it can save a lot of hassle, money and time in the future should you ever need further copies of your marriage certificate.
So, perhaps for you, this simpler option would better suit your particular circumstances, leaving you completely free to have the ceremony and wedding you want here in Greece.
If on the other hand, you feel you would prefer to have the formal marriage take place in Greece and follow it with a celebratory ceremony, you know that here at Bride Buddy, all our team have worked in the UK as registrars of marriage, and we have the knowledge, professionalism and experience to take you through the process one step at a time. Our experts are available here in Kefalonia and in the UK and we will be in constant touch with you through the whole process.
We are 'good to go'
There is a great tool on 'gov.uk' which asks where you live and in which country you want to marry and takes you through the documents you need. https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad/y
Maybe you live in the UK but your partner lives abroad and you want to marry abroad, check out the link above.
One of our wedding's in Kefalonia