Destination Weddings In Greece
What does a Greek wedding mean to you? Is it a flip flopped beach based ceremony or a hillside affair, set against a backdrop of ancient ruins? From the mainland to the countless surrounding islands, Greece is the wedding destination which has it all.
White washed chapels, steep twisting paths and cliff facades falling into turquoise waters. It may seem like a Greek cliche, but in reality it is more fairytale like than you would believe. Getting married in Greece is a great idea and we have the inside knowledge on the best places to tie the knot.
Snapshot of Destinations
Halkidiki: Located in the south-eastern portion of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece. It consists of a large peninsula in the north-western Aegean Sea and it is surrounded by the flawless beauty of Mediterranean pine trees, lush gardens, white sandy beaches, clean turquoise waters and azure skies that make it an ideal location for a beach wedding.
Couples love getting married in the old town of Corfu because of its beautiful Venetian style historic centre. The most popular venue is the Town Hall of Corfu, a beautiful 19th century building, originally the Venetian-designed San Giacomo Opera Theatre, located in the heart of the historic town in Corfu.
Pelion: Located by the small village of Damouchari, where filming for Mamma Mia took place, this whole area of east Pelion offers unique, picturesque, charming and traditional locations that are perfect for your special day. This beautiful and natural landscape boasts plentiful green mountain forests which slope down to the sea. Here you can find some of the most tranquil environments. Legend has it that Pelion was the region of Greece chosen by the ancient gods for their weddings and celebrations.
Athenian Riviera: The Golden coastline known as the Athenian Riviera at the southern suburbs of Athens is a great location for an intimate seaside wedding. You can enjoy sunny days and cool evenings by the sea and easy access to an array of first-class seaside restaurants and nightclubs and the most interesting cultural and historical attractions in Athens.
Messenia: The Greek region of Messenia in the southwest Peloponnese is one of the most unspoiled and breathtaking seaside landscapes in the Mediterranean. It is a land of rolling hills and rugged mountains, protected bays and beaches, and broad valleys of lush olive groves, fields and vineyards. With the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea serving as the perfect backdrop, Messenia is an ideal wedding destination that combines romance and history.
The Μedieval fortress of Monemvasia, once a major port of commerce during the middle ages. The city was successively ruled by the Venetians and Ottomans after the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Whether the ceremony takes place in one of the many churches in the Medieval Castle-city of the Peloponnese or in the tiny rural chapel nearby, set in the heart of a verdant citrus grove and rolling vineyards, or the lovingly restored and stylishly furnished mansions are ideal for hosting a unique wedding.
Spetses: Also known as the “island of aromas”, it is a cosmopolitan and stately island. The great mansions, the pine woods that reach down to the shores of the clear sea and the beautiful pebbled beaches offer a spectacular scenery for an island wedding in Greece.
Whether you marry by the sea, in a church or perhaps even a winery, a Greek wedding experience is one which is never forgotten.
I want the Mama Mia effect...
You are not the only one. The 2008 mega Hollywood blockbuster has drawn thousands of people to the once quiet island of Skopelos, which is where Mama Mia was filmed. The attraction is very easy to understand. Hillside villages, a white washed chapel and an outdoor evening reception held under candlelight strewn from the trees.
Yet, in reality those stunning wedding scenes are now largely teaming with tourists and not the idyllic venue you might envisage. And unless you are Greek Orthodox, the chances of getting married in the little white chapel are slim to non.
Thankfully there are many other Greek destinations which offer the same Mama Mia vibe, without the madding crowd.
Over the years Greek culture has been influenced by the Egyptians, Jewish, Romans and many more nationalities who have retreated to the beautiful shores. So when it comes to weddings, you are welcome to bring a little of your own culture or perhaps you would prefer to check out some of the Greek traditions.
Get Your Dance On....
Yes it is really important not to forget your dancing shoes when attending a wedding in Greece. In traditional style you need to perfect your Tsamiko and Sirtaki, however if you have no Greek heritage on which to draw, enthusiastic dancing with all the family will suffice.
Candy Bar’s or Sweet Tables are commonplace at Greek weddings and it is a tradition that many other nationalities are keen to embrace. Traditionally a table is covered with pretty containers, brimming with truly scrumptious treats such as macaroons and the traditional sugar coated almond. Tables may also be dressed with flowers and ambient candles.
This is a lovely Greek tradition, where the couple where crowns of ribbon, metal or jewels. The crowns are used as a symbol in the wedding ceremony and represent the union of two people.
And if you think we missed the smashing of plates, it was intentional. This old tradition is now largely reserved for cliched movies.
We have acknowledged the stunning locations which make Greece a dreamy wedding destination, but we need to highlight that delicious food is also a winning factor. Of course international food is widely available on both the mainland and islands, but when in Greece...
Greece is a country abundant in wonderful vegetables, fruits, meats and fish. Greek salad and moussaka are popular wedding menu staples. We suggest serving a meze style wedding feast which will enable visitors to sample the delights of the region.
Weddings in many far flung and hot destinations come with a hefty price tag, but Greece is relatively reasonable. There are hotels at both ends of the market which offer picturesque settings on beaches or near romantic chapels. If you are travelling from within Europe, cost effective plane tickets are available and ultimately it is up to the individual to decide how lavish the wedding should be.
Final Note: No need to toss the bouquet! In Greek the tradition is for a bride to write the names of her single female friends on the sole of her shoes. The names which rub off during the day, are the names of the girls who will get married sooner rather than later.