More Greeks Shunning Church for Cheaper Civil Weddings


(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – Turning their back on centuries of tradition, a growing number of Greeks are skipping church to get marred in civil weddings because they are far cheaper, not having to pay priests, churches, and the ancillary costs of big events.

The phenomenon has grown during the country's 9 ½-year economic and austerity crisis, with Kathmerini reporting that data from the country's statistical agency ELSTAT finding that as long ago as 2012 that more Greeks got married in civil weddings than churches, by a margin of 51.8-48.2 percent, with the trend continuing through 2017, with no report on the data since then.

The site Insider said the average cost of a big church wedding in Greece is fat indeed, coming in at 16,654 euros ($18,580) and with big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings by successive governments as terms of 326 billion euros ($363.7) in three bailouts, people found their style of living drastically reduced, including weddings where Greeks usually go all-out in boisterous, joyous celebrations.