I spent this past week in Santorini & I've confirmed that getting married in Greece is heaven on earth! Santorini is the #5 wedding destination & some couples take their photos here in full attire just for the backdrop. Here's a glimpse of the view I captured on camera...
There are a few things you should prepare for if you're planning for your wedding outside of the U.S. of A. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for destination weddings in Santorini at any time of year:
1. Transportation should be among your checklist items in the Travel & Accommodations category.
Make sure you have your international driver's permit (IDP). The process entails completing a IDP application to submit along with a $20 fee to your local AAA branch. Bring cash, check or credit & two passport-size photos of yourself. Bonus tip: If you don't already know how to drive a manual car, then get comfortable in the driver's seat with a stick-shift! Those cars are going to be a bit cheaper to rent & generally get better gas mileage for the rental car of your choice.
2. It's not uncommon for destinations to close their hotels, restaurants and attractions between November through March or April;
...they're only open for 7 months of the year because practically no one visits in the winter through the beginning of spring. Check in with your wedding consultant to ensure you know exactly what activities will be available to your guests if you're picking a date in the non-peak season. The low season in Santorini & other [northern hemisphere] destinations abroad is usually April & sometimes just the first one or two weeks of May + the last week of September into the month of October.
3. The hotel rooms in the spring & late fall seasons in Santorini are $250-$350 for a small room. In the peak season, those prices are hiked up to $600/night, give or take $50-$150.
Relatedly, the restaurants at a destination may or may not hike up the price in the summertime. Some restaurants though hold true to the value of their food and service & they keep the prices the same year-round. Ask your wedding consultant for the low down.
4. If you have a planner or coordinator who speaks the language of the locals at your destination, you'll undoubtedly reap the benefits & advantages of those relationships.
Simply put, when your consultant can literally speak the same language as the locals, it's much easier to create new & maintain ongoing relationships with the vendors in town.
5. Ask a lawyer (NOT your wedding consultant) about the K1 and K3 processes if you're a U.S. citizen marrying a non-U.S. citizen. Your wedding consultant can only help you understand the cultural differences and social norms that exist in your wedding's destination/country - not the visa process.
What you'll find online is that, while the K1 process is reserved for the fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen, the K3 process, which is generally a longer process [6-9 months], is reserved for international couples who are already married and seeking U.S. citizenship for the spouse who needs one. The K3 process requires that an immigrant petition is filed for the beneficiary.
Anything beyond this information that you have specific questions about, I highly recommend that you ask a lawyer who knows about the nuances and details about these visa processes.
A piece of my heart is in Santorini. Did you know that some consider it to be the lost city of Atlantis?! It's full of magical landscapes, hikes, ancient history, sunset & seashore galore... Your wedding planning process should be & feel just as glamorous! Book a consultation today to shake off those destination jitters. First one's always free.