How To Elope In Florida
Updated: Jul 1
Thinking of eloping in Florida? Well, you should because It's a great idea! I've lived in Florida for 10 years, and am a wedding/elopement photographer. Here is everything you need to know about best times of the year, places to elope, and elopement planning from someone who really knows what it's like to plan an elopement in Florida!
Best Times Of The Year in Florida:
Honestly anytime of the year is a good time to elope in Florida. There are always events and festivals happening in Florida because we can accommodate them with our weather. We have amazing weather, and that is why I've chosen to live here and start my photography business here. If you are planning a trip to travel to elope in Florida, December-April, are my best recommended months to come! Most likely you will want to get away from the bad weather up North during those months anyway just like my relatives back home in Illinois. December-April have mild temperatures with dry weather here with temperatures in in the 40's-60's at night and 70'-90's during the day! Now of course it's weather so it may get up to 90's in the day during these times and it may be colder 50's all day, but generally you can expect that these months are far better than Summer and Fall! There may still be a few morning or afternoon showers, but chances are way lower during these months. The nice thing about Florida is that it will rain a little bit, and then the sun will come out and dry everything again!
On the subject of rain and hello humidity, it does rain a LOT in Florida so come just expecting it to rain at some point during the day! Ask your photographer if they have a clear umbrella (or buy one here on Amazon), as they make for great steamy romantic shots in the rain...especially on the beach! The months that we get the most rain are April until October. Hurricane season is also late summer and early Fall, and in the 10 years I have lived here there are always at one or two tropical storms hurdling toward Florida's coast threatening to become a hurricane in August and September. The nice thing about elopements are that you can be flexible with your times. You can go on a beach hike collecting shells and decide when and where to take your vows on your own time.
Check out these photos, all taken on a morning during a big thunderstorm here in Saint Augustine! We just waited until the sky cleared for a few moments and this couples danced and laughed in the rain. They also ran in and out of the ocean waves and swam in the sea during the storm (no lightening of course)! It created a really steamy romantic moment for them kissing in the rain on the beach. HELLO every romantic movie on earth with this moment in it!
Places to Elope:
One of the most popular places to elope, is of course a beach elopement! If the beach is privately owned and you are renting their property on the beach, you rarely need to get a permit and these are the best places to look for when renting. You will need permits and pay fees if you plan to elope on private hotel hotel property and most state park beaches. Think about setting up candles on the beach (always bring battery candles as a backup in case it rains or is too windy and wild for your real ones), a rug to stand on with lanterns, and a beautiful bouquet that will compliment the scenic ocean! You can plan an all day elopement to celebrate with your close family and friends. It is after all you wedding DAY, so why not celebrate it all day long?! Here are other great cities to elope to in Florida and an example of a all day beach elopement in Saint Augustine Beach!
Cities in Florida to Consider:
Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in North America
Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States with it's many local attractions.
Cape Canaveral is America’s launch pad for space flights. They do sometimes get “scrubbed” , but the area is still beautiful!
Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles of local waterways.
Elopements can be anywhere! You do not have to hike 10 miles or jump under a waterfall in your dress. There are other AMAZING places to elope that are NOT the beach! Many venues are now creating packages where you can elope there for 1-3 hours due to Covid and smaller weddings increasing in popularity. You can elope in a hotel garden, you can elope in an urban downtown sidewalk, or you could elope in a brewery!
Just ask yourself:
If the two of you could go anywhere do anything or see anything or experience anything what would that day look like? What would you eat, what would you do, where would you go? Think of an awesome date day. Places meaningful to you. Places you would like to go but have never seen before. Roadtrip. Go Sightseeing. Make a campfire and roast marshmallows and do your first dance around the fire. Eat your dream foods with a private chef in an airbnb. An elopement can be an intimate wedding at the place he or she proposed, on a rooftop, your favorite brewery, or your home. Any style for any vibe! Be authentic to who you are as a couple, and point it towards an intimate wedding experience.
So you have the time of year and the place planned in Florida. What are you forgetting?
The perfect elopement dress (ask your photographer for suggestions of where to rent one! As a photographer I rent dresses and know of place to suggest for my brides)!
A two person cake
A bouquet and boutonnière- pro tip bring a mister bottle to keep the flowers hydrated if you are traveling around for hours on your elopement
A bottle of champagne to toast with glasses
A backpack if you are hiking with some bottled sangria ;)
Some fancy ice water infused with cucumbers and fruit (It's FL ya'll...and it you will want it)
An officiant or Notary. In Florida anyone notarized can legally marry you (I am notary) ...only in the states of Florida, Maine, South Carolina, and Nevada can a notary legally join two people in marriage. You will need to bring your marriage license for your officiant or notary to sign.
Invitations if you are inviting close friends and family
Pick the right photographer first, before you plan anything!
Your elopement photographer is so much more than a person following you around for the day. They will watch guard while you change into your dress on a mountain, they will help you plan with vendors all the details above, and they will be your best friend and witness to one of the most important days of your life! It is so important to find a photographer that specialized in elopements!
Planning to elope in 2020/21 is a great idea! Right now the world has never been so receptive to the idea of a small meaningful ceremonies and elopements. Now more than ever couples are asking, "How do I get married without a lot of people?”
I believe deeply how amazing and wonderful elopements are, and I believe in creating and crafting an entire experience using all of my creativity on you as not only your photographer, but your guide for the day. Elopements are not photoshoots.…they are your wedding day with an amazing and meaningful experience focused on YOU!
You deserve a meaningful and super fun filled day experience from start to finish. Imagine having an amazing story of your adventurous elopement day and telling friends and family the story of “that’s how we got married!” You deserve the exact same options that a large wedding day photographer would offer you. It’s called a “wedding day” for a reason, and eloping is so much more than saying vows and taking portraits!
To learn more about how to have a 6 hour or even 10 hour elopement visit my guide for All Day Elopement Experiences HERE!
I do specialize in ELOPEMENTS and I'm happy to answer any questions you have!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or we can meet in person at our tattoo shop! Getting tattooed as a part of your elopement...also a GREAT IDEA!