How to have a wedding in Santorini - A Comprehensive Guide
Santorini Wedding Photographer capturing beautiful, classy, genuine and emotional wedding photos for modern couples getting married in Santorini.
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Are you planning your Santorini wedding?
Firstly, a massive congratulations on your engagement and considering such an epic location for your destination wedding! Let's face it, Santorini is just perfect. The natural beauty of the island, the amazing food and wine, and the luxury hotels make it a dream choice for destination weddings.
I also know that planning a wedding is a huge task (some might say pain in the back side), and probably one of the hardest event to organise in your life, but I am hoping to help with this comprehensive guide on everything you need when planning a destination wedding in Santorini.
Chuck is an award-winning international photographer covering weddings in europe and worldwide
stunning portraits and true story-telling images in the heart of Santorini
Hi, my name is Chuck, I am an award-winning destination wedding photographer covering weddings across Europe and Santorini, offering pre-wedding and elopement photography around the Mediterranean. I love destinations weddings, they are such a unique experience for you and your loved ones and being there with you to capture every intimate and crazy moment is why I love being a photographer! I hope this gives you enough to prove that what I have put in this article is genuine advice from an experienced professional and not just another wedding blog.
How much does it cost to get married in Santorini?
I believe the first and most important question when it comes a location is "can you afford a wedding here" and Santorin is no different. The island many specialises in small and micro weddings with up to 50 guests, but can of course larger gatherings too. So how much does a wedding cost in Santorini? Please note that our figures are in local EURO currency and based on 2022 prices.
While rates can vary depending on the season and your specific needs, you can expect to pay anywhere from €5,000 to €20,000 for a wedding in Santorini. This includes costs for everything from the venue and catering to the flowers and photography, accommodation, suppliers and legal fees. Of course, if you're looking to really splurge, you can always opt for a private villa or extravagant yacht rental. But no matter what your budget is, getting married in Santorini is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
So let's brake it down a little bit:
· Cost of wedding ceremony - EUR2000 (including, officiant, marriage license, venue for the ceremony)
· Cost of wedding venue with 30 people for 6 hours with canapes and champagne - €4000
· Cost of an evening meal/wedding breakfast - €50-80 per head
· Photography and videography - we will talk about this later in more depth, but if you are after a full experience then €2000-6000
· Hairdresser and Make-up Artist: €1000EU combined
· Dress - we would expect you to source it from your location
· Travelling from UK - £250 return per head with British Airways if purchased 6 months in advance
· Travelling from Overseas (1200-1400USD)
· Accommodation - €200 per night on average for a nice room, and €650 per night for suites. Infinity and Honeymoon suits - €500-2000 per night.
Where to get married in Santorini?
With its dramatic landscapes, beautiful sunsets, and intimate setting, it’s no wonder that Santorini is such a popular choice for destination weddings. The great news is that you can combine all those three as most wedding venues are overlooking the Caldera. The Caldera is the site of the island’s active volcano and offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the famous Santorini sunset.
In my experience, some of the most popular cities for destination weddings on Santorini include Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. These charming towns offer a variety of beautiful wedding venues, from traditional churches and villas, to cliffside hotels with breath taking views You could plan a serene ceremony overlooking the ocean or perhaps an elegant dinner reception with live music, the opportunities are endless to perfectly fit your style! Many couples often choose to have their wedding ceremony in a traditional church, like the The Church of Anastasi and Spirydon in Oia. This picturesque, whitewashed church is one of the most photographed landmarks on the island and makes for a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos.
When is the best time to get married in Santorini?
This one is easy, the best time to get married in Santorini is anytime between May 1 - September 30. Why? During these months the weather is just perfect with temperatures around 25-28C, you will have fairly light wind and most importantly no issues with flight cancellations.
Which are our favorite wedding venues in Santorini?
The first venue on our list is Andromeda Villas. Located in Imerovigli, this venue offers breathtaking views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea. The property also features a pool and a terrace, making it the perfect place to host an intimate ceremony or reception, as well it hosts the world-renowned Infinity suites for its honeymoon suites but also very affordable for a family to stay costing only £200 per night for a deluxe room.
Next on our list is Canaves Oia Suites. This luxury hotel is located in the picturesque village of Oia, and offers spectacular views of the caldera and the sunset. The hotel also has a number of outdoor event spaces that are perfect for hosting a wedding ceremony or reception, but this is more on the price end with rooms costing from £350 and honeymoon suite rocks from £2K per night.
If you're looking for a more rustic setting, then Ancient Thera might be the venue for you. This historic site is located on top of a cliff in Therassia, and offers panoramic views of the caldera. Ancient Thera is also home to a number of ruins that date back to prehistoric times, making it a truly unique setting for your nuptials so it can be really ideal for families with kids to discover the area without driving all around the island.
If you're hoping to get married in one of Santorini's iconic blue-domed churches, then you'll want to consider Ornos Beach. This beautiful beach is located just south of Fira, and offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The beach is also within walking distance of several blue-domed churches, making it easy to find the perfect spot to exchange vows or alternatively if you are going for a symbolic ceremony then you can actually get married on this beach, or if you prefer full-on beach vibes then in Kamari or Perissa on the East side of the island where you can find even more family friendly hotels.
Last but not least on our list is Santo Winery. This unique venue is located in Megalochori, and consists of a working winery and vineyard. In addition to offering stunning views of the vineyards and countryside, Santo Winery also has a number of indoor and outdoor event spaces that are perfect for hosting your wedding ceremony or reception. Their terrace is pretty incredible with fireworks option built in for your first dance - pretty epic if you ask me.
You could stand on top Profitis Ilias overlooking the entire island, or maybe you fancy to have those beautiful wedding photos with the stunning blue domes as a backdrop that are throughout the island? Or even better-why not have them both!!
The Santorini Sunset is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, and for good reason. Every evening, as the sun sets over the caldera, the sky turns a beautiful shades of orange and red.
My absolutely favourite location to watch the sunset is actually in Imerovigli. There are a LOT LESS tourists around and still have almost the exact same view as you would get in Oia
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sunset, but one of the best is from Oia Castle but expect it to be filled with people. The castle sits on a high point overlooking the caldera, and offers sweeping views of the sunset - this is the spot that pretty much all postcard photos have been taken from.
Another great option is to take a boat tour around the island. You can relax on deck as you watch the sun dip below the horizon, and then enjoy a champagne toast as you cruise back to shore under the stars. That said this is only for people who are comfortable with windy conditions. Some days these trips are even cancelled due to being too windy.
How to best watch the world-famous Santorini Sunset
Where can your wedding guests stay in Santorini?
When planning a destination wedding in Santorini, one of the first things you'll need to do is figure out where your guests will stay. There are a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from on the island, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious digs. Kamari and Perissa are two popular choices for budget-conscious travelers. These areas offer a variety of affordable hotels and apartments, as well as easy access to the beach. If you're looking for something a bit more upscale, Oia and Fira are both excellent choices. These areas boast some of the most luxurious accommodations on the island, but they also come with a higher price tag. However, the incredible views of the Caldera make them well worth the extra expense. No matter where you decide to stay, your wedding guests are sure to enjoy their time in Santorini.
It is also important to mention that pretty much every road leads to Fira and Oia in Santorini, so regardless where will your guests stay, they can easily get there on public transport within 40-60 mins at most. I personally recommend for families to stay in Kamari and Perissa as there are truly family friendly hotels from £150 per night cost, while for more romantic experience Imerovigli and Fira are great choices from £230 per night average.
The final option is to hire private villas up to 20 people which cost around £5K per 4 nights which certainly is not the cheapest option but then you have a fully private accommodation with amazing heated pools and Jacuzzis, outdoor bars by the pool and lots of private sunbathing opportunities. My favorite choice is Radisson Blu in Kamari, and while you might think that a 5 stars hotel might be way out of your budget, if you book it in time you can get £150 per night rates without pre-payment and with free cancellation.
What can you do in Santorini during your wedding holiday?
Caldera cities in Santorini
Let's start with the obvious ones, the Oia sunset, Santo Winery for a drink (or five) and of course Fira's nightlife. But if you are truly interested to discover the island, Santorini has much to offer visitors.
For history buffs, one of the most popular activities is to explore the ruins of the ancient city of Thera. The city was destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption in the year 1650 BCE, and its remains offer a fascinating glimpse into the past.
From boat trips to 3 hours-long hiking
Another popular activity is to take a boat trip to see the famous Caldera, it is amazing trip and will set you back with around £150 per head (depending on the company) but the trip totally worth it. You can see the island, amazing crystal clear blue lagoons, you have the option to swim, maybe see some doplins and all this while enjoy few glasses of prosecco.
For families my absolute must-go (especially if you come from the UK) is Santorini's waterpark. It is massive, it is fun, and it is for all ages!
Anywhere in Santorini is going to offer up gorgeous views for wedding photos, but there are a few locations that are particularly photogenic or easier to get access to. The first is of course the village of Oia, which is perched on the cliffside and offers stunning views of the Caldera. This is the go-to location for experiencing the famous Santorini sunset, but beware of the crowds. It is normal to have hundreds of people in the queue for the best spots in the evening, while during day-time the city is full of tourists from the local cruise ships. The best time to visit is either early morning or early afternoon just during late-lunch times. You will still need to queue for some of those Instagrammable spots and for to have a photo with the blue dome churches but this time it will likely be 5 mins instead of 50.
Another popular spot is Skaros Rock, which can be reached by light hiking from Imerovigli. It only takes 15 mins walk from Imerovigli main street but make sure you have trainers on, as the road is bit rocky. The view is amazing and the rock itself feels like an ancient scene from a Game of Thrones episode.
For a more beachfront look, Kamari beach has black sand and dramatic cliffs in the background but I personally prefer Vlychada beach as you will find less tourist and some incredible backdrop with very unique cliffs.
At last Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of its kind. It requires a bit of light hike so trainers again, but the view and photo opportunities will pay your efforts back tenfold I promise. That said this is one of the most South part of the island so you will definitely need a car to get to and it can be quite windy sometimes.
Where are the best locations for jaw-dropping wedding photos in Santorini?
“Chuck made everyone feel so at ease and we had such a great laugh throughout the day with him”
- Caroline and Rob
What are the best restaurants to visit during your trip to Santorini?
The island's capital, Fira, is home to a number of excellent restaurants that offer a variety of different cuisines. For example, Athermi serves traditional Greek dishes such as Moussaka and Souvlaki, while Imerovigli Grill offers a more international menu with items such as sushi and steak. Both restaurants have outdoor seating areas with views of the Caldera, making them the perfect place to enjoy a meal while watching the sun set over Santorini. In addition to Fira, the village of Oia is also home to several great restaurants. One of the most popular is Lotus, which offers an extensive menu of both Greek and international dishes. The restaurant's outdoor seating area offers spectacular views of the Aegean Sea, making it the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner while watching the famous sunset.
One thing to remember is that you will have to book your dinner sometimes weeks in advance during the main season between May and October to avoid disappointment - these popular places get booked up pretty fast.
So this can be super tricky for someone without a planner. More on them on the next point. My recommendation is always get married in the UK first, and then do a symbolic ceremony in Santorini as it truly simplifies things, but should you wish to organize your own legal ceremony in Santorini, this is what you need to do.
First, you'll need to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment from your local registry office in the UK. This document states that there is no legal reason why you cannot get married. Next, you'll need to submit this document, along with your passport and birth certificate, to the Greek consulate in the UK. Once your documents have been approved and you have your marriage license, you will need to have your marriage ceremony officiated by a licensed Santorinian official. In addition, you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign your marriage certificate.
After your marriage ceremony, you will need to register your marriage with the Greek government in order to make it official. So it is quite few steps and if you ask me it is not worth the hassle compared to a quick legal ceremony in the UK, but thankfully, the process is relatively straightforward and can be completed online. With all of these steps taken care of, you'll be able to enjoy a beautiful and stress-free wedding in Santorini!
Travelling within Santorini
With all of these epic locations, how easy or difficult is to get to them? You might be surprised to know that most of these locations are highly accessible by public transport or on foot. The island is very small, so getting around is easy takes only 60 mins from north to south with a bus that runs every 20 mins.
If you want to take the hassle out of planning your wedding transportation, why not consider hiring a car? This will give you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace and make sure you get to all the best photo locations. There are few options around, but CoolCars is probably the simplest to deal with.
One of the most important aspect of the wedding where the planner can help you is with legalities and also to find local suppliers. Some planners are individuals, some come with the venue, but most of them should help you to find the right florist, make-up artists, caterer etc, while also helping to organise officiants and be the single touch of contact for the venue.
I truly believe wedding planners can be very valuable when you are planning a large wedding, however if are planning a smaller symbolic wedding, I don't think they are worth their price since they can easily charge you anywhere between 2000-4000EUR.
Should you book a wedding planner in Santorini?
Wedding planners can be a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your big day. Not only will they take care of all the details, but they can also save you time and money.
How to travel with your wedding dress?
First of all, make sure you choose a dress that won't crease easily - this will make it much easier to transport. If possible, try to avoid dresses with beaded or sequined embellishments, as these can be delicate and prone to damage. It's also worth considering having your dress made to measure, as this will reduce the risk of it being damaged during transit.
When packing your dress, always use acid-free tissue paper and a garment bag to protect it from environmental damage. And finally, make sure you hand-carry your dress on the plane, rather than checking it in - this will minimise the risk of damage or loss. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your wedding dress will arrive at your destination looking as beautiful as the day you said 'I do'.
How much does creative wedding photography cost in Santorini?
I charge £2500-3000 (package depending) flat fee for weddings in Santorini which includes all my travelling (including flights), accommodation and expenses. You will get me for this for at least 3 days.
On your wedding day, I will be with you from the morning bridal preparations all the way till the party goes hard in the evening.
from EUR/GBP 2.500
including flights and accomodation
all day coverage
stunning | Classy
As an experienced Santorini wedding photographer, I am the perfect choice for couples looking to capture the unique beauty and magic of their special day. My first and foremost priority is ensuring that your photos are true to your personalities and reflect who you truly are as a couple. Secondly, I will always urge you to have either a 2nd wedding dress or an evening dress to go to the local towns like Oia and Fira to capture some extra photos that shouts Santorini.