Planning A Florida wedding
Now the fun begins!
You may have already figured out where you want to get married, Let's face it, you have been planning this since you were 5 years old. Or you may have no clue! We are here to help you break down some things to keep in mind when planning a South Florida wedding! Whether you are planning a destination wedding or you are a South Florida local, here are some things to help you along the way!
The marriage license
Make sure you plan ahead and apply in advance for your marriage license In the State of Florida, they require a three-day waiting period between applications and the marriage license becoming effective. This only applies to Florida residents. Non-residents do not have to undergo this waiting period. In-state couples who don't want to wait can attend a premarital education program, from an approved provider. Other things to keep in mind:
Both members of the couple must be present and be 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 through the state for 60 days after issue.
All couples applying for a marriage license in Florida must read the state published "Family Law Handbook" before applying. Because the State of Florida marriage license is issued on the state level rather than by county or municipal governments, it is valid in any county, though the county that you apply it will be the one that keeps your license on file.
Other legal requirements
Now that Step one is completed and you have the tools to obtain your marriage license, you must also have n authorized person to officiate your wedding ceremony. In Florida, weddings can be legally performed by Florida notaries of the public, clerks of the circuit courts, ordained ministers and other clergies, and all judges and other judicial officers (including those who have retired). The person who performs your ceremony is then responsible for returning the marriage license to the county that issued it within 10 days of the ceremony. Finally, if you get married on public land in Florida, you may be required to obtain a permit. These permits are issued on the local level, so you'll have to research the specific rules of the county you are considering. Walton County, for example, requires permits for special events such as weddings on county beaches. The rules regarding Florida beach wedding permits vary. Individual cities such as Pompano Beach and Dania Beach require permits, but nearby Fort Walton Beach does not require permits for weddings on its city beaches. Working with a local Florida wedding planner may be helpful in navigating these details.
Changing you Name
After your wedding, you just need a marriage certificate! Locate your nearest Florida DMV to start this process. You will want to call the clerk's office where your marriage license was filed to get copies if one was not sent to you so you can bring it with you. The next stop will be the Social Security Administration's website. Fill out an application for a new social security card. You will keep the same number, just your name will be different. You should have your new card within 10 business days. The biggest step will be changing your bank accounts, especially if you will be having joint bank accounts. Make sure to bring you new license and marriage certificate. Other places you will probably want to notify are:
Post office (if your address has changed too)
Electric and other utility companies
Credit card companies
Schools and alumni associations
Landlord or mortgage company
Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
Voter registration office
Investment account providers
Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
Airlines (to transfer over your miles)
A great way to speed this whole process up is an amazing little website called Hitchswitch. Definitely check them out!
When is the best time to get married in Florida?
Florida is absolutely known as the Sunshine State for a reason. But with all that sun there are still pros and cons. No snow in the winter means really hot summers and a higher chance of hurricanes. The biggest issue with a Florida wedding is rain, but the good thing about Florida rain is it usually doesn't last long! Some months of the year are less busy (and more affordable!) than others, and that's worth considering when you set a date. Some wedding professionals may also cut you an off-season deal! As a general rule, summer tends to be the peak season for the northern parts of the state, while South Florida see more tourists in winter. Keep in mind, hurricane season is at its peak from June through November. To save a little money, get married indoors, during off-season summer months. Since the whole state is surrounded by water there is no shortage of great wedding venue options with waterfront views!
The Omphoy Ocean Resort and the resident restaurant Michelle Bernstein at the Omphoy, provide several modern, gorgeous event spaces with ocean views. There are two beachfront terraces that seat 60 each, and the restaurant has sweeping views via a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean.
The Ocean Key Resort & Hotel in Key West is in an enviable location - right on the ocean just off of Mallory Square. There is a small indoor ballroom that seats 60 for a reception, and a waterfront restaurant with indoor and outdoor spaces, but the real draw here is the Sunset Pier - it sits out over the ocean, provides stunning views (especially of the amazing sunsets!) and can be tented.
Seasons 52 in Palm Beach Gardens is directly on the Intracoastal Waterway and has both a partially-covered waterfront patio (which seats 96, or 150 for cocktails) and an indoor room with windows overlooking the water (seats 150). There are also a couple of smaller rooms with views for a more intimate gathering.
Grove Isle Hotel & Spa is a stunning private island resort in Coconut Grove with many venue options, including open waterfront spaces for ceremonies, a covered deck with open views of Biscayne Bay (the "Ship's Deck"), and several ballrooms with gorgeous ocean views.
B Ocean Fort Lauderdale has several options for view-friendly receptions, including an oceanfront terrace and indoor ballrooms on the penthouse level with sweeping ocean views. As an added bonus, they have a white sand beach perfect for an oceanside ceremony.
But if a Beach Wedding has always been your Dream, we would suggest sticking with October - November Months for ideal South Florida Temperatures. Or Late February- April. December - early February can get on the cooler side, sometimes down to low 60's, which if you are a native Floridian, that can be a little cold and the breeze on the beach can be a tab bit uncomfortable for guests. Work closely with your wedding planner to pick the perfect time for your dream wedding!