Congratulations on getting engaged! Now that you’ve said, “Yes!” to your one-and-only, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to get married.
Maybe you’ve already started dreaming about all of the fantastic places you can say, “I do,” and if you’re reading this post, then a Florida wedding on the beach has probably crossed your mind.
And why wouldn’t it? Florida has white sand beaches, tangerine skies, culinary delights, and plenty of opportunities to give you and your guests a unique beach wedding experience.
But what does it actually take to plan a beach wedding in Florida? There are many things to consider, from beach wedding locations to ceremony requirements and weather conditions. Not to worry, though! We’ve put together this Florida beach wedding guide to help you plan and pull off the Florida beach wedding of your dreams.
Requirements For Getting Married In Florida
Obtaining a marriage license in Florida is pretty simple. Marriage licenses are issued by county, and you can apply for one at any county clerk’s office. To obtain a marriage license, follow these guidelines:
- Age requirement: both parties must be at least 18 years old. For exceptions, read Florida Marriage Statute 741.04.
- ID needed: both parties must present a valid photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, passport) and social security number (card not required).
- Blood tests are not required in Florida.
- Waiting period: once the license is issued, there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period before you can have the wedding ceremony unless you can provide documentation showing you’ve completed a state-approved marriage prep course.
- License expiration: the license is valid for 60 days.
- Fees: $93.50. This fee can be reduced if you have completed a state-approved premarital course.
Types of Florida Beach Wedding Locations
The Sunshine State is a treasure trove of luxurious beach wedding locations. From oceanside restaurants and resorts to charming waterfront cottages, there is a venue to suit your needs.
Please note that both private and public beaches in Florida may require permit fees and clean-up charges. They may also have container laws and certain food and alcohol restrictions.
Florida Private Beaches
Suppose you don’t want to worry about onlookers, photobombers, and outside distractions. In that case, a private beach wedding is the way-to-go. Generally, you’ll have direct beach access and more seclusion when you host your wedding at a hotel, resort, restaurant, club, state park, or private community.
All of these offer spectacular views, plenty of space, and beach access for your ceremony and reception.
Private beach weddings are not always the most budget-friendly option, but they are considerably more convenient, especially when you have to think about permits and regulations. All-inclusive resorts often offer wedding coordination to help you with these kinds of things. Wedding planners are also invaluable when it comes to figuring out the details.
Florida Public Beaches
There are plenty of beautiful public beaches to choose from in Florida. Although you may have to deal with occasional background noise and passersby, you can still have an intimate and memorable ceremony or reception near the sea.
As for the best beach in Florida to get married? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question, as the state offers so many options, each with benefits and drawbacks.
To find the ideal beach for your wedding needs, it’s best to consult a wedding planner or simply spend time researching destinations online.
Florida Weather and Seasons
When choosing a date for a Florida wedding on the beach, it’s important to consider the time of year. Although generally warm and sunny, Florida is also known for its rainy days.
Because Florida is a long, stretched-out state, the amount of rainfall a place receives differs from north to south. Still, in general, you can count on the rainiest season lasting from May-October and the driest season from November to April. Hurricanes pose a particular threat from June to November.
For a more in-depth look at what Florida’s weather patterns are, check out Weather Atlas. And don’t forget to have a back-up plan should your sunny wedding day turn stormy!
Florida Beach Ceremony Tips
If you have your heart set on a beach ceremony, you’ll want to know that planning a beach wedding comes with its own unique challenges.
There’s the matter of what to wear (did you consider sand in your shoes or dress?), scheduling conflicts, and other overlooked situations. Here are some seaside ceremony tips to help you plan your beach wedding with as little stress as possible.
It is especially important to consider permits during pandemic times when local governments and venues have rules set in place, whether permanent or temporary.
If you want to host your ceremony on a public beach, you may need to obtain a permit to reserve a specific area. Consider the amount of space the permit covers, how many guests are allowed, and the fees associated with the permit.
Other Scheduled Events
Keep in mind that your wedding may not be the only special event happening on your chosen date, so consult with a wedding planner or look into any scheduled events (public activities, beach clean-ups, construction, etc.) happening around the same time as your ceremony.
Whatever the season, if you’re having a Florida wedding on the beach, you’ll want to consider:
- High and low tide times
- Wind factor
- Weather forecast
- Direct sun vs. shaded areas
It’s easy to dream about a Florida beach wedding, but planning one is another story. There are many moving parts and things to consider when deciding whether a wedding ceremony or reception on the beach is right for you.
From where to get married to what times of year are the best to exchange vows in Florida, we hope you were able to gather the essential information from this post and feel less overwhelmed about what it takes to say, “I do,” near the ocean.