The Hardest Things About Getting Married in Santorini (or Anywhere Else Abroad!)

As a wedding planner lucky enough to work in the breathtaking landscapes of Santorini, I have been blessed to witness countless couples exchange vows against the backdrop of the beauty of Santorini and the indescribably beautiful land, sea and skies that surround it. 


Even despite this clear beauty and huge demand to get married here, however, there are some aspects of the process that can be tough for those without experience organising a wedding, never mind doing so in Santorini. 


Today, I’d like to shed light on three of the most formidable hurdles couples encounter when planning their dream destination wedding.


Challenge 1: Not Being Local to See the Wedding Venue

When getting married in Santorini or anywhere else for that matter, not being able to see the venue of course can present an issue or two. Many envision their special day against a backdrop of picturesque landscapes or within the confines of an exquisite villa, but without physically being there, it can be challenging to truly envision how the space will look and feel on the day of the wedding.


As a wedding planner, I strive to bridge this gap by offering virtual tours, detailed photographs, and even live video streams of the venues. However, even with these resources, there can still be uncertainties and anxieties surrounding whether the chosen venue will meet the couple’s expectations. 


Whilst you could also visit the venue in person, of course, that can really add some cost to the already expensive process, and even still can lead to unanswered questions. It’s often a delicate balance of trust between the couple and their wedding planner, as we work tirelessly to bring their vision to life despite the miles that may separate us.


Challenge 2: Preparing the Legal Paperwork

Navigating the legal requirements of getting married abroad can be a little tricky too, but generally, the process just needs to be learned and considered rather than challenged. Each country has its own set of regulations and paperwork, and what may be a simple process in one’s home country can become slightly more challenging abroad if not organised well.


In Santorini, for example, couples from overseas must navigate a little bit of paperwork, including obtaining a marriage licence, providing certified translations of documents, and adhering to specific residency requirements too. The process can vary depending on the nationality of the couple and if either party has married previously too, adding an additional layer of complexity to an already intricate process.


As a wedding planner, I work closely with couples to streamline this process as much as possible, providing guidance, assistance, and a network of trusted professionals to ensure that all legal requirements are met seamlessly, but even with this, it’s essential for couples to approach the process with patience and diligence. We just emphasise to understand that while the paperwork may be arduous, the end result – a legally binding union in a dream destination – is more than worth the effort.


Challenge 3: Language Barrier

The language barrier can be another significant hurdle for couples planning a wedding abroad, particularly in destinations where English is not the primary language. Miscommunications and misunderstandings can arise when trying to convey specific preferences, negotiate contracts, or communicate with local vendors, and often for the best wedding possible, these local elements are what really elevate the wedding.


In Santorini, Greek is the predominant language, and while many vendors and professionals speak English fluently, nuances can still be lost in translation. This can lead to discrepancies in expectations, delays in planning, and unnecessary stress for the couple.


Many wedding planners and venues may well have relationships with these vendors already to prevent this, ensuring that communication flows smoothly and that all parties are on the same page. I take pride in being able to bridge the gap between cultures and languages, allowing couples to relax and enjoy the planning process without the added burden of linguistic barriers.



All in all, while planning a destination wedding undoubtedly presents its challenges, with careful planning, open communication, and the assistance of experienced professionals, couples can overcome these obstacles and create the wedding of their dreams in a faraway paradise like Santorini. After all, love knows no bounds – not even geographical.




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