AMERICAN WEDDINGS BLOG
Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.
Published Friday, Aug. 12th, 2022
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.
Got one? Whew! There will be a few more boxes to check, but the hardest part’s over.
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.)
To purchase a Boca Raton marriage license, visit the Palm Beach County Clerk Office
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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