Easy Florida Elopement Planning Guide (From A Photographer)

If doing an elopement in Florida sounds like your ideal wedding day, then look no further. As a Florida elopement photographer, I created this guide to make planning your Florida elopement a lot easier. From using a regular wedding venue all the way to one of Florida’s many beautiful palm tree-lined beaches this guide will help you find everything you need to make your wedding day exactly what you always dreamed it would be. I have visited just about every corner of Florida from the Florida Keys over to historic St. Augustine through Orlando and back to Tampa where I’m living. So chances are wherever you want to be for your elopement, I’ve been there.

How to Elope in Florida:

  1. The best months for the weather to get married are April, May, Late September, October
  2. The best time of day to elope will depend on which coast side you’re on and where you’re getting married but typically near sunrise (Atlantic) or sunset (Gulf) is the best light.
  3. To get your Florida marriage license you’ll need a driver’s license, state ID card, or valid passport, as well as your social security number if you’re a U.S. citizen (you don’t need the actual card).
  4. There is no waiting period in Florida for non-residents and you can get married the same day you receive your license. For Florida residents, there’s a three-day delay.
  5. Florida requires no witnesses for elopements.
  6. An elopement doesn’t mean you have less story to tell, you’ll need a minimum of 4 hours with a photographer [ 1 hour getting ready/first look, ceremony, celebration/creative portraits ]

Groom showing boutonniere

When is wedding season in Florida?

They say some like it hot, so when the humidity hits 200% and it’s 117º out is the best… Okay, fine no one likes that.

December and January are the coolest months, but also have significantly fewer crowds. March is not ideal because spring break raises the costs of all travel, and hotels, and increases crowds. April – May are the best because the days are getting longer and the temperatures are raising, but aren’t usually too extreme. June is the month with the most rain, with July and August being the peak tourist season. Hurricane season begins in June and ends in November, but I have personally always loved September and October.

I would suggest getting married April, May, Late September or October.

What’s the best time of day for an elopement ceremony?

I’d recommend the hours around sunrise or before sunset for your Florida elopement. Sunrises on the beaches on the east coast, are especially magical and have the added bonus of having fewer people around. Sunsets are typically more crowded unless you have a private venue but do provide similar ideal lighting. Intimate weddings during the day bring crowds unless you book a private venue. Midday is not ideal at all, but if you must go for midday then you need a venue with shade.

I would suggest sunrise or sunset depending on which coast you’re on and if you and your partner are morning people or not.

wedding day details: wedding ring and flowers

Where to Elope in Florida

St. Augustine

known as The Ancient City, is located between Northeast and East Central Florida and is convenient to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Daytona airports. North Florida boasts a year-round mild climate perfect for strolling St. Augustine’s delightful historic district, with its cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, bars, unique shops, and bed and breakfast inns. 

Ross Whitham Beach

Located right next to the House of Refuge Museum near Stuart, Florida on the Atlantic side of Florida. This beach is amazing at sunset or sunrise, has a coral rock that looks like it’s straight out of a movie, and is also fairly private compared to other Florida beaches. There is a pier on the other side of the road that is a picture-perfect ceremony shot and if you wanted to have a reception there are plenty of restaurants nearby to celebrate at after the wedding day.

Walt Disney World

Alright, there are a lot of steps to getting married in the parks, and it can expensive really fast. You can technically have an outside professional photographer in Disney but not in Magic Kingdom. So the castle fireworks photos I put above is entirely me showing off. That said Orlando has a ton of beautiful hotels and other places to get married if that’s your thing, and you could definitely have some photos taken on the resort properties with Disney’s permission and a Disney media chaperon for the day.

Vinoy Park in St Petersburg Florida
Gulf Coast – Sarasota, St.Petersburg, Tampa

Gulf Coast – Sarasota, St.Petersburg, Tampa

Beaches, historical buildings, art museums, botanical gardens, amazing parks, and a decent chance of spotting dolphins. There is very little Tampa/St. Pete area doesn’t offer for weddings or elopements. There are multiple airports you can take to get here from Tampa International to one in Sarasota.

Florida Elopement Packages

If you are thinking Florida is your place to be, I would be more than happy to talk about planning and photographing your wedding day. Just fill out the form at the end of this article and we can talk about all the things you’re dreaming up.

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219.405.0385 | info@royserafin.com

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