The sun sets slowly along the horizon. A light, salt breeze ruffles your hair. The temperature’s mild, the air balmy.
Seagulls wheel off in the distance, their distant cries mingling with the delighted cheers of your loved one as you and your new spouse lean in for a kiss.
The blues, yellows, and gold of the sunset provide the perfect backdrop for your perfect moment.
If we just described your dream wedding, this post is for you.
Can You Get Married on the Beach in Florida?
If you’re dreaming of a perfect Florida beachside wedding, the good news is that you can absolutely get married on the beach in Florida.
Though the answer is yes, you will still need to put in some time and preparation to ensure that you are properly permitted (public beach), have permission to host your ceremony there (private beach), and obtained the proper marriage license to make sure everything is legally official (all beaches).
Legal Requirements for Florida Marriage
No matter what sort of beach wedding you’re planning, you will want to make sure you’ve met all the legal requirements for Florida marriage.
Scan below to see which scenario best matches your plans.
Do We Need a Permit to Get Married on the Beach in Florida?
If you’re planning to tie the knot on one of Florida’s public beaches, you’ll want to remember that though “public” means the beach is open to everyone, that doesn’t mean just anyone can roll up at any time, block off part of the beach, and hold a ceremony.
Although there are a few Florida beaches that do not require a permit, most local parks and recreation departments require that you obtain one for your ceremony, the costs of which can reach into the hundreds of dollars.
Remember that permits can take time, and the wheels of local government can often grind slowly.
Here are a few examples of the costs and wait times you could face in receiving a permit for a Florida beach wedding.
- Palm Beach County Beaches: $50 per day (but only if you plan to include a professional photographer or videographer).
- Clearwater Beach: $100 for up to 100 guests.
- Miami Beach: $150
As you research, you’ll want to read the fine print. Some agencies, like Palm Beach County Beaches listed above, do not require a permit unless you meet certain requirements. Others include attendance restrictions.
Take your time, research well, and consider working with wedding planning professionals to help you sort through the details!
Do I Need a Florida Marriage License for Weddings on the Beach in Florida?
If you want to get married anywhere in Florida, including on the beach, you will want to obtain a Florida marriage license in advance.
When it comes to obtaining a marriage license in Florida, here are the basics:
- Both members of the couple must be present and age 18 or older
- You both must present valid government ID that confirms your name, date of birth and signature
- Previously married applicants must provide the exact date a divorce or annulment became official or the exact date of the previous spouse’s death
- Licenses are valid throughout the state for 60 days after the issue date
In addition, the couple must read the Florida-published “Family Law Handbook” before applying. Yes, this includes couples who are not originally from, living in, or planning to reside in Florida. But the good news is that the handbook is free online!
Just like beach permits, wedding licenses will cost money and take time to obtain.
In Florida, all marriage licenses are issued at the state level; therefore, no matter where you apply or plan to hold the ceremony, all costs and wait times will be identical.
Visitors can obtain one by going to any clerk of court and applying, bringing the correct form of ID as listed above.
The standard wait time to receive a marriage license is three days; however, Florida residents who have proven they have completed the proper requirements (such as reading the handbook mentioned above), can have this wait-time waived.
After that, all that’s left is to pay the fee and schedule the wedding:
Marriage licenses are good for 60 days. The standard fee is $93.50, which can be reduced to $61 for Florida residents who have completed a premarital preparation course. It’s not necessary for residents to obtain licenses from their home county. It can typically be paid by cash, charge or personal check.
Can You Get Married at a Beachfront Resort or Condo Where You Are Staying?
The short answer? Yes!
In almost all cases, you can absolutely get married at a beachfront resort or the condo where you are planning to stay while you’re in Florida. In fact, many couples choose to do so simply for how much easier this makes the entire process.
There are some details to consider, though.
First, you’ll want to consult with the resort manager or the owner of the residence of the condo rental. They will have information on exactly what requirements need to be met and will likely have their own set of in-house fees they charge for hosting “in-house” beachside weddings.
The good news is that condo and beach house rentals typically don’t charge extra fees other than the original price of the rental. Resorts, however, charge their own fees for hosting weddings. Typically, they have their own spaces dedicated for such weddings and keep their own list of vendors.
On the plus side, your work will be greatly streamlined, since you will only have to communicate with and pay one source: the resort itself. The downside, of course, is that you’ll have fewer options for personalization and deal-making.
Many couples, however, find eliminating the hassle of arranging everything for themselves only heightens their enjoyment of the day.
If you’re looking to work with a team of professionals who can help with all of your Florida beachside wedding plans, look no further.
Book a Florida Beach Wedding with us now!