Do you dream about having a seaside ceremony but aren’t sure how to get married on the beach in Florida?
You are not alone! Florida is one of the top locations for destination weddings and 1 in 4 couples opt to have a destination wedding.
Choose a Beach
With over 1200 miles of coastline, you may be wondering about the top beaches in Florida to get married at.
Dreaming about a white sand ceremony in Central Florida or a sunset ceremony on the gulf; such hard choices!
Top Beaches in Florida to get married:
- Clearwater Beach
- Daytona Beach Shores/Ponce Inlet
- St. Pete Beach
- Ft. Myers
- The Keys
- Siesta Key
- New Smyrna Beach
- Amelia Island
- Miami Beach
Of course, there are hundreds of beach gems along Florida’s coast, such as St. Augustine, Palm beach and Little Gasparilla Island.
First, decide between Panhandle, Atlantic Side or Gulf side.
The gulf coast beaches in the panhandle offer some of the clearest water, calmest waves and whitest sand in Florida. In general, North Florida’s climate is much cooler than South Florida. One the coldest day of the year, Destin temperatures range from 46F to 61F.
Atlantic beaches are more traditional east coast beaches with great surf and cooler waters. There are Atlantic beaches with white sand, such as New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. Beach driving is also permitted in certain parts of the Daytona Beach area, so be mindful of this when planning a location. East Coast beaches have a wonderful sunrise.
Gulf Coast Beaches
In general, gulf coast beaches tend to have calmer waves, white sand and more turquoise waters. The sunsets are wonderful on the gulf coast. Clearwater Beach is one of the most popular destinations on the gulf coast.
The Florida Keys offer a distinctive flair for beach weddings. Traditionally, the Florida keys are not known for beaches but instead for its knee deep aquamarine waters and island lifestyle.
Best time to Get Married on the Beach in Florida
Have you set a date yet? Not so fast! One of the very first things to consider when planning to get married on the beach in Florida is the best time to get married in Florida.
Between hurricanes and summer thunderstorms, you may have heard about Florida’s crazy weather.
The best times of the year for Florida weddings are March through May and November through December.
Best Time for a beach wedding in Florida
Wondering how to get married on the beach in Florida may leave you questioning the weather. Will it be too cold during winter or between March and May?
Luckily, Florida isn’t known as the sunshine state for nothing! Florida winters are extremely mild and rarely dip below freezing.
The great thing about getting married on the beach in Florida is that Florida has a very temperate climate, meaning that most of the year is very mild.
March through May offers some of the best weather for an outdoor ceremony. The average highs during these months range from 74 in March to 85 in May. Pair those highs with the ocean breeze and you will adore the weather in March through May and November through December.
Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, most hurricanes will occur between August and October, so November is still a good time to get married in Florida.
Worst Time for getting married on the beach in Florida
The worst time to get married in Florida is July. If you must have a beach wedding over the summer, schedule your ceremony in the morning. While Mid-August through October is peak hurricane season, here are some of the characteristics that make July even worse for getting married in Florida:
- Daily thunderstorms in the afternoon
- unpredictable weather
- hurricane season
- average high of 92F
- Humidity can reach 90%
- Busy Season
The thunderstorms make Florida one of the hardest places for meteorologists to forecast in the summer months – especially in July. Pair unpredictable weather with sauna-like temperatures and you have one of the worst times of the year for an outdoor wedding in Florida.
With such enjoyable weather during the winter and spring months, I highly suggest you try for a beach wedding between November and December or March through May.
Create a Guest List
One task that gets a lot easier with a beach wedding is creating a guest list. The majority of beach weddings in Florida have less than 50 attendees.
Here in New Smyrna Beach, beach weddings of 50 or less do not require a permit or any extra fees.
One of the biggest benefits to getting married on the beach in Florida is that Florida offers plenty of guest accommodations. After all, it is the second most traveled to state in the country!
You can find great hotels in Daytona Beach for less than $75. Here are some affordable accommodations in Daytona Beach:
- Emerald Shores Hotel
- Daytona Beach Shores Hotel
- Days Inn by Wyndham
Looking for a more luxurious hotel? There are plenty of high end hotels in Daytona Beach as well:
- Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
- The Shores Resort & Spa
- Plaza Resort & Spa
If your guest list is small, you can even rent a beach house. Your guests will have a wonderful experience traveling to Florida and enjoying an oceanside getaway.
If you are traveling from out of state, you will want to arrange your transportation such as flights and rental cars.
If you are heading to Daytona Beach for your beach wedding, you can fly right into the Daytona Beach International Airport and pick up your rental car at their rental car kiosk.
Do not arrange travel for the day of or the day before your ceremony.
Tripadvisor’s Top 3 highest traveler ranked hotels for popular beach destinations in Florida (2019):
- Sandpearl Resort
- Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach
- Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort
St. Pete Beach
- Inn on the Beach
- Gulf Tides Inn
- St. Pete Beach Suites Inn
- Tropical Beach Resorts
- The Sea Spray Resort
- Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota
- Hilton Naples
- Inn on Fifth
- Inn at Pelican Bay
- 1 Hotel South Beach
- The Standard, Miami
- The Setai, Miami Beach
New Smyrna beach
- Black Dolphin Inn
- Atlantic Plaza
- The Riverview Hotel & Spa
- Hard Rock Hotel
- Quality Inn Daytona Speedway
- Holiday Inn Daytona Beach on the ocean
- Cornerstone Beach Resort
- Tiki on the Beach
- Gullwing Beach Resort
- Amelia Schoolhouse Inn
- Residence Inn
- The Ritz Carlton
Key West: H20 Suites Hotel, Orchid Key Inn, The Gardens Hotel
Hire a Company to Organize your Beach Wedding
Once you have chosen a beach, set the date and written your guest list, you are probably excited to plan all of the fun details.
Whether you are envisioning a lavish south beach ceremony or an intimate ceremony with the crashing waves as your decor – there are beach weddings for everyone!
Hiring a company to help you plan and organize your wedding day will make wedding planning even more of a breeze. You can have an officiant only ceremony, a simple arch/decor or a full set up with chairs.
A beach wedding company will help you file your marriage license, set up the decor and coordinate/perform your ceremony. The cost for this service will depend on your ceremony and budget, usually between $500-$2500.
Plan Wedding Attire
Wondering what to wear to your beach wedding? Most beach weddings are very casual, sun dresses and short sleeve button ups are completely fine.
A great tip would be to include a guest dress code with your invitation. Many people do not know what to wear to a beach wedding. Some guests may show up in jeans and sneakers if they aren’t sure what to wear.
I have seen many guests wear 6 inch heels to a beach wedding, luckily shoes are optional!
The best wedding attire for brides at the beach have the following characteristics:
- Breathable Fabric
- right length without heels
- won’t blow up in the wind
- Skip a long veil
- Chiffon, Charmeuse or tulle fabric
Be sure to consider the weather during the season of your beach wedding. Will it be cooler? If so, invest in a formal jacket for your dress.
Groom attire for beach weddings should ideally have the following characteristics:
- Doesn’t require dress shoes
- Can get sandy/wet
Beach wedding attire is much more casual but avoid going too casual. Avoid jeans and cargo shorts. Short sleeve button ups work very well pair with nice chino shorts, for a more casual look. I wouldn’t recommend renting a suit because you are likely to get wet and sandy.
Marriage License and Paperwork
Your wedding officiant will help you with the legal filing of your marriage license but be sure to have your drivers license and social security number ready. If this is your second marriage, you will need the date of your divorce or spouse’s death. Once the license has been filed, you have 60 days to do the ceremony. In Florida, there is a 3 day waiting period for state residents unless you undergo a pre-marital course. As of 2019, a Florida marriage license costs $93.50.
Permits & Fees
The company your hired will usually take care of the permit for you. If you are planning the wedding on your own, be sure to check with the county of your wedding to see what they require. Fees and permits can vary by county and park. Some counties may even require insurance for your vendors or special permits for your vendors.
|County||Under 50 guests||Over 50 Guests|
|Volusia County||Free/No Permit||$100 Application fee for permit|
|Pinellas County||$50-$150 depending on park & Insurance for vendors||$100-$150 depending on park & Insurance for vendors|
|Lee County||Free/No Permit||Free/No Permit|
|Nassau County||Free/ No Permit||Free/ No Permit|
|Dade County||Varies/ Photographer needs permit||Varies/ Photographer needs permit|
|Siesta Key||Zone 1 requires a permit||Zone 1 requires a permit|
Beach Wedding Timeline
Planning a wedding can be be time intensive and stressful. Planning a beach wedding can be done in much less time and they are often much less stressful to plan.
12 months before – Book beach wedding package
9 months before – Find a florist, Finalize guest list and send save the dates
6 months before – book hair and make up appointments and transportation
3 months before – send wedding invitations and make sure guests have booked their accomodations
1 month before – confirm all appointments and accommodations, finalize seating chart (if needed)
If you are planning a reception or dinner after your beach ceremony, make a reservation at the restaurant or book your reception venue within the timeframe they require.
Types of Beach weddings
Usually 10 guests or less with an officiant to perform the ceremony. There isn’t an aisle, arch or any decor to plan.
Intimate and simple
Many beach weddings will have minimal decor such as an aisle way lined with foliage or shells, tiki torches or a heart in the sand. These simple ceremonies may usually be customized with a unity or conch ceremony to add an extra special touch.
Arch and chairs
Some beach weddings may have a decorated arch with florals or fabric. If you have 10 or more guests then you may also opt to have foldable wedding chairs that are usually decorated with linens.
Cost $1000 and up
Budget & Cost
While the average cost of a traditional wedding in the US is over $20,000, beach weddings are usually between $500-$2500.
Like any wedding, beach weddings can range from DIY and affordable to lavish and expensive.
Hiring a Photographer
Whether you are planning an elaborate beach wedding or an intimate ceremony for just the two of you; you will most likely want to remember all of those fleeting moments.
Your beach wedding package may already include photography, be sure to make sure the photographer has a quality portfolio.
What to Look For
It is important not to rely on hobbyists or family friends when it comes to wedding photography, even for a low key beach ceremony.
Look for a photographer that has good reviews, a solid portfolio and shows great responsiveness.
Do you want more candid images or more traditional imagery? Would you like the photographer to bring a second shooter?
Photographers vary in cost and style. Find a photographer that is a great fit for you and your needs. Some photographers charge one fee that covers everything and others charge a sitting fee and then offer prints, wall art and digitals for sale.
If you are looking for a basic photography package that includes a certain number of digital images, the average cost is between $250-$500.
If you are looking for a higher end experience and a fine art album, the cost can easily be in the thousands.
I would highly recommend you prepare to purchase a wedding album of your photographs, whether you buy a basic one from the store or have one crafted by a photographer.
And that’s How to Get Married on the Beach in Florida
Getting married on the beach in Florida is easy, fun and memorable. You will need to decide on a location, date, guest list and which vendors to hire and then you are on your way to enjoying a dreamy beach wedding in Florida.