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How to Get Married in Florida - Planning a Wedding in The Sunshine State

Published Friday, Aug. 12th, 2022

Two brides stand side by side on the beach, staring out at the beautiful calm ocean. They are both wearing white wedding dresses in different designs, and holding bouquets of roses and wildflowers.

Planning a Florida wedding? This short guide will help -- from finding an officiant to completing the marriage license. 



If dazzling beaches, world class resorts and amusement parks, enchanted preserves, and year round sunny skies are your vibe, Florida is the perfect place to plan a destination dream wedding.


Applying for a marriage license in The Sunshine State will look different in each county, so it’s important to get a head start on the planning process to avoid unnecessary stress. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a short guide to help you begin. 


If you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding in Florida, scroll down for helpful links.


Beautiful Florida beach wedding with flowers and chairs set out in the sand, with the ocean and blue sky in the background



How to get married in Florida in 6 Steps 



1. Get yourself a sweetheart! 

Got one? Whew! There will be a few more boxes to check, but the hardest part’s over.


2. Find a wedding officiant in Florida.


A wedding officiant is the person who conducts your ceremony and signs the marriage license, making things legal.


A friend or relative can perform your wedding ceremony in Florida if they’ve been ordained.




If you want to hire a professional, the state has many qualified independent officiants to choose from. The following people are authorized to solemnize marriage in Florida:


All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law... Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called “Quakers,” or “Friends"... (§ 741.07)


(Find more Florida marriage laws here.)



Aerial view of Boca Raton, Florida

To purchase a Boca Raton marriage license, visit the Palm Beach County Clerk Office



3. Choose a date and a venue...

This tropical paradise is home to white sandy beaches, endless entertainment options including Walt Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, and Universal Studios, plus numerous state parks, world-class accommodations, and thriving nightlife in cities like Miami, Orlando, Saint Petersburg, Tampa and more – making it a favorite for destination weddings. 


Whether you’re dreaming of a big to-do or a romantic elopement for two, there’s something for everyone!



Popular dates, venues, and officiants book up fast, so start early. And remember you’ll need permission (and a permit) to use a public space, such as a city park or recreational area. Permits can take weeks to process, so factor this into your timeline, too. 



Marriage License Quick Facts

3 Day Waiting Period*
60 Day Expiration Period**
10 Day Return Period

*There is no waiting period for non-Florida residents, and Florida residents can attend a premarital course to have the 3 day waiting period waived
** 60 days from the effective date




4. The marriage license. 


Alright, time to make sure your wedding’s legal! We’ll break down each part of the marriage license process, one step at a time: 

Applying for your license


You’ll apply for your marriage license through the Clerk of Court Office. Some offices only allow walk-in applicants, while others require applicants to complete an eMarriage Pre-Application form and schedule an appointment before arriving, so it’s best to call ahead of time. You don’t need to be a Florida resident to marry there.


Requirements to Apply: 


  • The Marriage License Online Pre-Application form can be completed before appearing
  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old, or be 17 years old and meet the requirements of minors
  • Both parties must appear before the clerk with two forms of valid ID
  • Any previously married party must provide the exact date of the last divorce, death, or annulment
  • Couples who have children together who were born in the state must also complete the Affirmation of Common Child(ren) Born in Florida form when applying for a license


If you’re planning a wedding anywhere in Florida, we recommend contacting the clerk closest to your venue to learn more, as these details may vary by county.


Your license will cost between $80 and $100, but couples who complete a premarital course can receive a discount with documentation from their course provider. There’s no fee to register your marriage after the ceremony.

Waiting period

There’s no waiting period to marry for non-Florida residents. State residents must wait 3 days from the date of application, unless they’ve completed a recognized premarital course. 

Using and returning the license

A Florida marriage license can be used in any county in the state, and expires  60 days after it becomes effective.



The license must be signed by each party to the marriage and the marriage officiant following the ceremony, and returned to the clerk’s office in the same county in which it was issued. (We’ll cover this more below.) 


The license must be returned within 10 days of the wedding ceremony. 



Beautiful trees in Ponce Preserve, on the Ponce Inlet in Florida

Florida offers more than beautiful beaches and dazzling nightlife! 

The state is home to 29 wildlife refuges and11 national parks. 

Pictured: Ponce Preserve, Ponce Inlet, Florida



5. Meet with your wedding officiant...


Once you’ve chosen a date, a venue, and have your marriage license details worked out, you’ll be ready to meet with your wedding officiant to plan the ceremony! 



This is when things start to come into focus. You’ll talk about the tone of your ceremony, the ‘vibe’ you want to create for your guests, and any special elements and unity rituals you want to include. You and your officiant might meet a few more times to exchange more ideas, fine-tune a script, or rehearse the ceremony leading up to the wedding day. 


AMM’s website is full of resources to help you decide what kind of ceremony you want, tips on working well with your officiant, and advice on keeping your ceremony authentic and on budget. 


Visit Articles for Couples on our American Weddings blog, or browse general articles by category or keyword. 


6. The wedding day! 

Aside from yourselves, the most important thing you’ll bring with you on the wedding day is your marriage license -- because no license means no marriage. Your officiant won’t be able to perform the wedding without having a license present (even if you have it at home), so make sure it’s with you. 


After the ceremony, you and your officiant will sign the license.


For tips on how to complete the license, head here. 


Once it’s signed, it must be returned to the clerk’s office in the same county in which it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony. Check with your local clerk’s office for details.


After it’s been recorded, you’re officially married! 



Newlyweds on a beach in Florida gaze off toward the ocean




Do you want to officiate a wedding in Florida? 


Visit Weddings by State: Florida. 


We’ve got everything you need to understand the state’s licensing and registration requirements, any ministry credentials and paperwork you might need, and helpful tips for several cities in the state, including Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and more. 




You might also like: 








Will You Marry Us? Gift Box



The Will You Marry Us? Gift Box has everything you need to 'propose' to your wedding officiant! Ask a friend or family member to officiate your wedding ceremony in style with this unique gift -- it comes with everything they'll need to perform your ceremony, including minister credentials for your state, a how-to minister manual, a satin officiant's stole, and more!  See a full list of what's included here. 







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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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