Many people ask me questions about how to plan a Greek wedding in Greece.
To be honest, I have only ever been to Greece for a holiday and I don’t know very much about reception venues or bands or even how to book a Church on one of the Greek Islands. The best advice I can give you, is to ask a local. Make sure you know someone who actually lives in Greece and that can speak Greek. My friend John Passaris is a destination wedding planner. He has been in the wedding industry for more than 10 years and helps couples to plan their dream weddings. I had a chat with John and asked him to share some of his expert advice about planning a wedding in Greece.
Meet John Passaris From Wedding in Greece
Sia: Hi John, thanks so much for offering to share some free advice with the readers of Greek Weddings and Traditions.
John: You’re welcome. Shall we speak Greek or English. You speak Greek right?
Sia: Hahaha. I wish I could speak Greek but I am not very good. Is it ok if we speak in English?
John: Yes of course. I speak both Greek and English fluently. But Sia, you should really learn how to speak Greek!
Sia: I know, I know. I plan to learn. I will one day. So tell me John, what is it that you do exactly?
John: There are a lot of couples who want to have a destination wedding in Greece. It is such a beautiful country and it is rated as one of the top destination places for weddings in the world. We work with couples from all different countries including Lebanon, Great Britain, USA, Russia and Australia. Many of our couples don’t know much about Greece so we help them to organise and plan their destination wedding.
Sia: What do you offer for couples who want to have a wedding in Greece?
John: We offer everything related to a destination wedding in Greece. This includes: venue scouting, vendor suggestions, budget arrangement, documents legalisation and suggestions for make up artists, hair stylists, catering services and wedding photographers. We can plan the whole wedding or just help with small parts of the planning.
Sia: What locations do you specialise in? All of Greece or specific islands?
John: I am located in Athens but we plan weddings all over Greece including Athens, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Kos etc.
Sia: What are your top tips or advice for couples who want to have a destination wedding in Greece?
John: My best advice is to book the wedding well ahead of time.
Sia: How long?
John: At least 1 year before. Top wedding venues for “hot” dates are booked up 2 years in advance. Especially during the summer – between May and October. Try to avoid having a wedding in the Greek Islands during August. This is the top month for holidays and travellers. All the hotels are usually booked up as it is a high season for tourism. This will mean that your guests will need to pay higher prices for travel tickets and accommodation. If you plan the wedding outside of the peak season then the prices will be lower for services and for accommodation.
Sia: Yes that is a good point. I didn’t think about the accommodation. I guess that is an important factor for destination weddings.
John: Accommodation is going to be one of the biggest expenses for the bride and groom. That is if the couple are paying for all of their guests. There are also weddings where the guests pay for their own accommodation.
Another tip is to try to book venues and vendors for the weekdays and not the weekends. In Greece, there are a lot of local weddings as well. The locals will often book the Churches and Vendors for their own weddings. However, if the couple and all of the guests are on holidays then it is easier to book a wedding booked during the week.
Sia: Do couples have to have Orthodox Wedding Ceremonies? Or are there other Churches available?
John: We can organise almost all wedding types including Orthodox weddings, Catholic weddings, civil weddings, symbolic weddings and vow renewals.
Sia: Are the weddings conducted inside the Church? Or can they be done somewhere else… e.g. on the beach?
John: Orthodox weddings are always in Chapels or Churches. Catholic weddings are also in a Church. However the civil, symbolic and vow renewals can be hosted in almost any place you can imagine: a sandy beach, on a boat, on a terrace, in a hotel, on top of a cliff with a view, anywhere you like.
Sia: Why do you like to plan weddings?
John: My family and I have been in the wedding business for more than 10 years. We only specialise in weddings and we know the wedding market very well in Greece. We also love to see the happy faces. My daughters (5 and 8 years old_ also love to see the brides and grooms. They are the next generation of wedding planners.
Sia: So maybe your daughters will join the family business too haha?
John: Yes maybe.
Sia: What is the best way for couples to contact you?
John: Email is the best. You can contact me directly via email@example.com. We also have a chat option on our website. Go to www.weddingingreece.com and you can ask us a question at any time. I’m also happy to chat on Skype or on the phone: +30 210 6015330
Sia: Will you offer any discounts to our Greek Wedding and Traditions Readers?
John: Yes, we will take very good care of your readers Sia. Please tell your readers to say that they were referred by you and we will treat them like family.
Sia: Thanks for that John! And thanks for sharing such great advice and tips about planning a destination wedding in Greece.
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Sia Aristidou is fascinated by the rituals and traditions celebrated in Greek culture. Sia writes about love, marriage, family and tradition and sells beautiful handmade wedding gifts at the Greek Wedding Shop.
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