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How To Elope in Florida

So you’re wanting to elope in Florida? That’s awesome! Problem is: you have no idea how to begin the short and sweet process. Well, keep tight and read this article because I’m going to provide you with all the deets!

 
 

Let’s start out with what it means to elope:

Dictionary.com defines eloping as “running off secretly to be married, usually without the consent or knowledge of one’s parents.” —Which if you ask me, is a pretty outdated definition.—Nowadays, most couples choose to elope not because they are defying their parents (although sometimes that may still be the case) but because they’d rather skip the stresses of wedding planning and instead focus solely on the union of their love!

elope in florida, elopement, happy newlywed couple,
photo by JasTreadway Photography

Step 1 // Obtain A Marriage License!

Now, in order to elope in Florida, you and your boo must be at least 18 years old. And you must first and foremost obtain a marriage license.

You and your future spouse will both need to go to the nearest Clerk of the Circuit Court office to obtain your marriage license. When you do this, you will need to bring with you some money (of course!), your picture ID’s (driver’s license, state ID card, or valid passport), and provide your Social Security numbers (if you remember them by heart, then there’s no need to bring your Social Security cards).

As of the date that I am writing this article, Florida marriage licenses cost around $94 and they have a minimum waiting period of three days—which means you have to wait three days after the purchase of your license before you can get married. However, your marriage license will remain valid until 60 days after the purchase of your marriage license.

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Click here to find your nearest Clerk of the Circuit Court office

 
 

Step 2 // Pick A Location!

Where do you want to elope? Do you prefer a short and sweet courthouse elopement? Are you a couple who likes to ‘beach it’? Or maybe you want to explore one of the many, beautiful state parks that Florida has to offer? Between botanical gardens, springs, and relaxing nature trails, there’s plenty of locations to choose from!

Which ever location you choose, be sure to research the location’s rules and fees (such as entry fees, parking fees, or any other possible fees) before hand!

 
 

Step 3 // Hire An Officiant

Florida requires you to have an officiant present to solemnize your marriage. People who can legally perform the marriage ceremony are as follows:

  • All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel, elders in communion with a church, or other ordained clergy.
  • A minister who has been recognized in the manner required by the regulations of the respective denomination.
  • All Florida judicial officers aka judges (including retired judicial officers).
  • Public notaries of the State of Florida.
  • Clerks of the Circuit Court: Deputy clerks.

*** Helpful Tip: The state of Florida does not legally require that you have witnesses at your ceremony.

beach elopement in Florida, couple kissing on rocks
photo by JasTreadway Photography

Step 4 // Hire A Photographer!

So this step is entirely optional. If you’re a private couple who want to keep the details of this day solely in your memory, then you may choose to skip this step entirely. However, if you’re a couple who later want to share this day with friends and family, or if you want to remember this special day until even after your memory begins to fade, then choosing to hire a photographer is a super important step!

 
 

Step 5 // Purchase A Bouquet & Any Other Details

This one is also totally optional. But if you still want to keep the simple tradition of carrying a bouquet, if want to get your hair and makeup done, or find that you need anything else, then you should check out this article which lists my personal recommendations of professional vendors in Central Florida.

 
 

Step 6 // Elope!

The whole point of an elopement is to keep things simple. So of course, there aren’t many steps to planning one! If you’ve done the previous steps then you are ready to elope in Florida! Now run off and have fun marrying your soulmate!

photo by JasTreadway Photography

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8/01/2019

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How To Elope in Florida

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