Places to Get Married in Florida
There really is no better place to get married or honeymoon than Florida
. Florida truly has it all: Great weather, gorgeous white-sand beaches
, fun attractions, and a lively, tourism-based economy that caters to visitors with an ample supply of lodging, food, entertainment, and great prices. On top of all that, Florida is easy to get to by car or by air, without all the hassles associated with international travel.
Florida Wedding Places
These factors and other have made Florida one of the top destinations in the country for destination weddings, and thousands of couples from all over the United States and Europe flock to Florida each year looking for the perfect spot for their Florida beach wedding. The owners of Kiss Weddings, specializing in Cocoa Beach Weddings
, gave us a rundown of the best places in Florida for a beach wedding.
East Coast Wedding Places
Most popular for Florida beach weddings, the East Coast Beaches of Florida
from Amelia Island
south to Fort Lauderdale
has several destinations that hold their own when it comes to destination weddings.
, in particular, comes to mind as a romantic wedding destination. The oldest continually inhabited city in the United States, St Augustine boasts nice beaches, a historic fort
, and numerous quaint bed and breakfasts for a romantic getaway.
Other popular places along Florida's East Coast for beach weddings include:
- Daytona Beach
- Cocoa Beach
No mention of Florida as a wedding, honeymoon, or vacation destination would be complete without mentioning Orlando. Orlando is one of Florida's primary vacation destinations and is home to Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World, and other theme parks.
If you're a big Disney fan and would like to add an extra touch of magic and romance to your special day you might want to consider a Walt Disney World Resort wedding they have three wedding collection packages to choose from.
Escape Wedding Collection packages offer a variety of settings including Disney's BoardWalk Inn, Disney's Yacht Club Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge, or Disney's Polynesian Resort. Couples can choose any Walt Disney World owned-and-operated hotel for their four-night stay.
Disney's Wedding Pavilion, a glass-enclosed enclave fashioned after a grand Victorian summer house with a picturesque backdrop of Cinderella Castle, is the signature location for couples tying the knot.
Couples can make their fairy tale wedding complete with unique Disney touches including a ride in Cinderella's glass coach, Disney characters at the reception or a rose petal exit. For more information and reservations, visit disneyweddings.com.
Many visitors to Florida are surprised to find that Orlando is an hours' drive from the nearest beach. But don't worry; if a wedding at Disney World is not your thing, it is still possible to have a beach wedding near Orlando if you're willing to drive to the coast!
Places to Get Married in South Florida and Miami
South Florida, which stretches from Palm Beach to the Florida Keys, has some of the best beaches on the east coast for a beach wedding. From the trendy beach areas of Miami Beach and "South Beach" to the palm tree-lined beaches of Ft. Lauderdale, the natural settings of Key Biscayne to the laid back atmosphere of the keys, south Florida has something for everyone. Crandon Park in Key Biscayne has been named one of the top 10 beaches in the country. The very scenic Bill Baggs State Park with its natural beauty and historic lighthouse, also in Key Biscayne, has also been named one of America's best swimming beaches.
Miami is a large multi-cultural urban area with strong ties to South America, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. It is a major cruise ship port, making it popular for Wedding and Honeymoon cruises, and the city can be a ton of fun if that's what you're looking for. Miami's beaches and night life are focused on one area in particular - the world famous South Beach.
Here are a few more of the best locations for a wedding on South Florida Beaches:
Gulf Coast Wedding Places
Arguably the best place in the country for a beach wedding is Florida's Gulf Coast Beaches from Tampa Bay to Naples. This 200-mile stretch of Florida's west coast is home to some of Florida's most pristine white sand beaches, most of which face west for stunning beachfront sunsets. Since 2005, two beaches in this area were named "America's Best Beach" by the infamous Dr. Beach, with Fort Desoto landing top honors in 2005, and Caladesi Island in 2008. Siesta Beach near Sarasota took second place in 2010.
More of the best places for beach weddings on Florida's Gulf Coast include:
Getting Married in The Florida Keys & Key West
If you're looking for something a little slower paced, you can't get much more laid back than the Florida Keys. Anywhere from Key Largo to Key West (about 100 miles apart via the Overseas Highway, which boasts 42 bridges and hundreds of stunning views along the way!) it is almost impossible to find a bad beach. But keep in mind the beaches are rockier with more coral and less sand that elsewhere in Florida and most of the night life and culture is centered around Key West. The Upper Keys are generally slower-paced and are fishing, diving, and water sport Mecca's.
Key West deserves a paragraph all its own. A fishing, shipping, and salvage depot up until the Mid-1800s, Key West is closer to Cuba (94 miles to the south) than to the nearest major U.S. city, Miami (129 miles to the north). It retains much of this isolationist attitude, and even staged a mock succession from the United States in 1982. You can still get a souvenir passport if you're willing to declare your allegiance to The Conch Republic!
More of the best places for beach weddings in the Florida Keys include:
Florida Panhandle Wedding Places
Florida's "Panhandle" region from Pensacola Beach to Apalachicola is home to the Gulf Island's National Seashore and some of the world's whitest beaches. Quartz from the Appalachian mountains, along with thousands years of geology at work, has resulted in beautiful white beach sand that looks and feels similar to sugar (without the stickiness of course!). On a good day, this area also boasts stunning green or turquoise Gulf waters that have earned it the nickname "The Emerald Coast".
The only knock on this area from a wedding planning standpoint is almost all of the beaches face south, which doesn't always make for the best beach sunsets. But otherwise, you can't go wrong.
A few other places for weddings along Florida's Panhandle Beaches include:
Getting a Florida marriage license is actually pretty painless from a legal standpoint. A marriage license can be obtained from any county clerk's office in the State, and is good anywhere in the State. Both bride and groom must be present with proper identification when the license is issued, and there is no waiting period for non-Florida residents (for Florida residents, there is a three-day waiting period before the license becomes valid). A valid marriage license must be provided to the wedding officiant prior to the ceremony taking place. Generally, only ordained ministers, officers of the State courts, or Florida notaries may perform weddings in the State of Florida.
Getting married on a cruise can mean several different things in Florida an while you can get married on a sun set cruise on catamaran or sailboat, which are both very romantic, most people think of a big cruise ship. With so many Florida cruise ports, there are several different things to do for your cruise wedding, here are some generalities. You have to book your cruise first and then the wedding. It's good to arrive the night before embarking and if you're getting married the day the ship leaves make sure you are on time, you will get priority boarding. Guests at the wedding who aren't cruising must leave as soon as the ceremony is over. You can buy flowers, get pictures, have a reception and all ceremonies are performed before the ship leaves port, but not by the captain. If you'd like, a wedding planner can be provided. The bottom line is that your wedding can be as elaborate or intimate as you desire.
Special thanks to Kiss Weddings for providing content and and expert resources used on this page - There are many reputable destination wedding planning companies that specialize in planning Florida beach weddings for out-of-state brides and grooms, and most offer packages that include the wedding ceremony, photography, and decor. Once you have decided on a particular geographic area, check with the Chamber of Commerce or look online for a planning company that suits your tastes and budget. Or simply visit our partners at kissweddingsfl.com.
Photo Credit: Kirby Collins Wedding Photography, Cocoa Beach, FL.