How to Get Eloped in Florida
Eloping has become an increasingly popular choice for couples looking to have a more intimate and personal wedding experience. Florida, with its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and warm weather, is a perfect destination for couples seeking a romantic elopement. If you’re considering getting eloped in Florida, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your special day unforgettable.
1. Choose the Perfect Location
Florida offers a wide range of breathtaking locations for your elopement. From white sandy beaches to lush gardens, you’ll find something that suits your style and preferences. Popular destinations include Miami Beach, Key West, Destin, and Amelia Island. Research these locations, consider your budget, and choose a spot that resonates with you and your partner.
2. Check the Legal Requirements
Before you elope, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements for getting married in Florida. Both parties must be at least 18 years old and provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. If either party has been previously married, they must provide proof of divorce or death certificate. Non-U.S. citizens may need additional documentation, so it’s important to check with the local county clerk’s office where you plan to marry to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.
3. Find an Officiant
To make your elopement legal, you’ll need an officiant to perform the ceremony. Florida allows both religious and non-religious weddings, so you can choose an officiant that aligns with your beliefs. Consider hiring a local wedding officiant or inquire if your chosen venue provides officiating services. Make sure to discuss your preferences and ceremony details with your officiant in advance.
4. Select Your Witnesses
While eloping typically involves a small guest list, Florida requires two witnesses to sign the marriage license. Choose two people who are special to you and your partner to be a part of this important moment. They can be friends, family members, or even strangers you meet at your destination.
5. Plan Your Ceremony
Decide on the type of ceremony you want to have. Florida offers endless possibilities, whether you desire a beachfront ceremony, a garden affair, or a quaint chapel wedding. Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the special moments, and think about adding personal touches to make the ceremony unique to you and your partner.
6. Obtain Your Marriage License
To obtain a marriage license in Florida, both parties must appear in person at the local county clerk’s office. Fill out the application forms, pay the necessary fees, and present your identification and any required documents. Once you have your marriage license, it is valid for 60 days, giving you ample time to plan your elopement.
Q: How much does it cost to get married in Florida?
A: The cost of getting married in Florida varies depending on your choices. Marriage license fees range from $60 to $93, and additional expenses include officiant fees, venue costs, and any extras you choose to include.
Q: How far in advance should we plan our elopement?
A: It’s recommended to start planning your elopement at least three to six months in advance. This allows you to secure your desired location, make necessary arrangements, and ensure availability of vendors.
Q: Can we have guests at our elopement?
A: Absolutely! While elopements traditionally involve only the couple and a few witnesses, you can invite close friends and family to be a part of your special day. Discuss your preferences with your officiant and chosen venue to ensure they can accommodate your guest list.
Q: Can we have a destination elopement in Florida?
A: Yes! Florida is a popular destination for elopements, offering a wide range of romantic locations. Many venues and resorts offer elopement packages that include all the essentials, making it easier for couples planning a destination elopement.
Q: Do we need a wedding planner for our elopement?
A: Hiring a wedding planner is entirely up to you. While it can be beneficial to have a professional handle the logistics, it’s not necessary for a successful elopement. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can plan your elopement yourself or enlist the help of friends and family.
Eloping in Florida allows you to have a memorable and stress-free wedding experience. With its stunning landscapes, warm weather, and romantic ambiance, Florida offers the perfect backdrop for your elopement. Follow these steps, plan in advance, and get ready to say “I do” in paradise.