beach in florida

Your dream Florida elopement – the ultimate planning guide

UPDATED FOR 2024-2025

Many couples dream of eloping in Florida instead of going through the tremendous burdens of planning out a big, traditional wedding.

Since there are many details that go into planning a typical wedding, they are choosing an elopement as a way to avoid the hassles that are in place with a traditional wedding. As a photographer and planner specialized in elopements for introvert couples, I really love the potential of Florida for an elopement.

Many couples see an elopement as the only way to go when they want to start spending their time as husband and wife together right away, and maybe that’s the case for you too! So, let’s dive into this guide and see how you can transform your dream into a reality!

Let’s dive in…

Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime

Amber, elopement photographer

Hey there, I’m Amber! I’m your elopement photographer and planner – your one-stop-shop for absolutely everything you need for a magical, incredible elopement day. 

I offer all-inclusive elopement packages for couples who want to relax and let me handle absolutely everything, as well as options for couples who like a little bit of DIY! I’ll find the perfect place for you to exchange vows, recommend vendors, help you figure out travel and lodging, make a timeline, and more – personalizing each part of your elopement day to perfectly suit the two of you. And of course, I’ll be there to take the photos and document this once in a lifetime adventure.
You aren’t like every other couple, and your wedding day shouldn’t be either! I’ll help you craft a day that’s true to you, authentic, and real, allowing you to immerse yourselves in the experience as you say your “I dos.”

First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:

What is an elopement?

Elopements are intimate weddings planned by a couple to avoid planning a huge, stressful wedding day. They are mainly focused on what the couple wants, and emphasize the ceremony more than the whole fuss around a normal wedding day. Couples plan an elopement to avoid family drama and have a “just them” wedding day without being the center of attention.

Elopements don’t have to be “just the couple and no one else”, actually most elopements involve close family members and friends, and can go up to 20 guests in total. After 20 guests, the principle is the same but it’s called an intimate wedding.

Why you should plan a Florida elopement

Beautiful weather

Yes, Florida is widely known for its warm, nice weather all-year long. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches and the warmth of central Florida pretty much all the time, so this is a great gateway destination for an elopement. So if you don’t know where to elope, Florida is an amazing destination that will allow you to exchange your vows in a warm, beautiful nature.

Amazing history

Florida’s history is as amazing as its landscapes. The art, architecture and culture are a mix of Timucuan, Miccosukee, and Seminole, Cuban and Haitian refugees, European explorers and freed slaves. So you can imagine that visiting Florida is like going back to the past and discovering something new everyday.

Gorgeous nature

When we think about Florida, we mainly think about beaches. And yes, beaches are splendid and beautiful in Florida, and you can definitely elope on the beach in Florida. However, there is so much more than the beaches! You can hike in the Everglades, discover the Florida Keys, Sarasota’s Myakka River Park and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, which all boast with amazing fauna and tropical flora!

how to elope in florida - campfire on the beach

How to elope in Florida legally

You will need to apply for your marriage license. You will be able to do this online for a fee of approximately $85. Since you will also need to schedule the official that will legally bind yourselves marriage, this will need to be completed and paid for too. Once you have this, you can pick the place that you want to get married and there are plenty of great places for couples to elope while they are in Florida.

How to Get to Florida for Your Elopement

No matter where you hail from, Florida’s magic is within reach. So, fellow adventurers, pack your bags and let the journey to your Florida elopement begin – where epic stories are born and memories etched in the sands of time.

From the US

Ah, fellow American adventurer! Your journey to the land of endless sunshine and Florida elopement dreams awaits. Hop on a plane, and let the sky be your canvas. From the hustle of New York City to the charm of New Orleans, follow the stars to the vibrant heart of the Sunshine State. Whether it’s the white sandy beaches of Miami, the magic of Disney in Orlando, or the serene swamps of the Everglades, Florida beckons with open arms. Embrace the road trip vibes or catch a direct flight, but remember, the adventure begins the moment you set your sights on Florida.

From Europe

Greetings, European explorer! If Florida elopement is your desire, set sail across the Atlantic or take to the skies. Depart from the ancient streets of Rome, the romantic canals of Venice, or the picturesque beauty of Paris. Cross the ocean, and let the Atlantic breeze guide you to Florida’s enchanting shores. Miami’s Art Deco allure, Key West’s laid-back vibes, or the cultural mosaic of Tampa Bay – the Sunshine State has it all. Chase the American dream and bask in Florida’s warmth; adventure awaits those with a heart full of wanderlust.

From Australia/NZ

Ahoy, Southern Hemisphere wanderer! Your quest for the ultimate Florida elopement begins with a leap across the Pacific. Bid farewell to Sydney’s iconic Opera House, the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand, or the laid-back vibes of Melbourne. Board a plane, and let the stars guide you to the dazzling coastline of Florida. Sink your toes into the powdery sands of Destin, surf the Atlantic waves in Cocoa Beach, or soak up the rays on the Gulf Coast. Florida’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture await your arrival. Embrace the adventure, for the Sunshine State is calling your name.

Getting Around Florida During Your Elopement

Welcome to the land of endless possibilities, where every road beckons with the promise of adventure. To truly savor your Florida elopement journey, you’ll need wheels. Rent a car and let the highway be your companion as you chase the sun across this tropical paradise. Florida is a driver’s dream. Cruise down the iconic Overseas Highway, connecting the mainland to the Florida Keys – a road that seems to hover above the shimmering ocean. Wind through the canopy roads of Tallahassee, explore the scenic beauty of Route A1A, or venture deep into the Everglades on the Tamiami Trail. Your Florida elopement memories are born on these winding roads.

Did you know?

As a guide and photographer specialized in Florida elopements, I extend a comforting service to all my couples by providing complimentary transportation on their elopement adventure. This ensures that they can fully immerse themselves in the joy of their elopement experience while I handle all the logistics with care and expertise.

Lodging for Your Elopement in Florida

Florida, the realm of possibilities, has an array of opulent choices for those seeking the crème de la crème of lodging for their Florida elopement adventure. From boutique hideaways to coastal retreats and historic splendors, Florida provides a plethora of high-end accommodations to ensure your Florida elopement is a journey of absolute indulgence and adventure.

Boutique Hideaways

Discover charming boutique hotels scattered across the state, each offering a unique, intimate experience. These boutique gems often feature personalized service, elegant decor, and a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a romantic Florida elopement.

Coastal Retreats

Along the picturesque coastline, you’ll find luxurious seaside resorts and coastal estates, promising breathtaking ocean views and direct beach access. These upscale accommodations cater to travelers in pursuit of a dreamy Florida elopement by the sea.

Historic Splendor

Florida boasts historic properties turned luxury havens, offering a blend of timeless elegance and modern comforts. Immerse yourself in the stories of the past while relishing in lavish amenities for your Florida elopement, creating unforgettable memories in the process.

Did you know?

When you book your elopement experience with me, I’ll give you access to my concierge service and recommend incredible hotels and talented local vendors.

The best places to elope in Florida

Florida is an exciting and exceptional state known as the Sunshine State. There are many places that you will find that will give you a fantastic experience.
Here are some of the great ways you can have an adventure elopement in Florida:

how to elope in florida on th beach

Pick Any Beach

The majority of Florida has beaches and couples are able to say their vows right on the beach. You can make it as dressy as you want or as casual as it goes. Even nude beaches allow couples to get married in Florida. There is no end to the choices that you will have!

Key West

Mallory Square or other parts of the Keys are great areas to have say your vows and become legally married. Just by visiting the Keys, you will find a spot that you want to call your own.

how to elope in florida key west
how to elope in florida scuba diving

Scuba Diving

Getting married while scuba diving is possible when you are in Florida. You will most likely need to go to the Keys for this and enjoy all the rest of it while you are there!

The Everglades

Some couples enjoy tieing the knot in the Everglades. You can do so out on the boats that are provided there, or directly in accesible nature paths.wn.

how to elope in florida in the everglades

Did you know?

There is so much more in Florida than its beaches. When you choose to book your elopement with me, I will provide you with a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that perfectly align with your preferences. Allow me to lead you to the hidden treasures of Florida, far from the usual tourist spots.

When to elope in Florida

The best time for an elopement in Florida


December and January are the coolest months in Florida, with temperatures as low as 10°C (49°F), but they can also go quite high. It is not rare to see a beautiful 24°C (77°F) in winter! Sunseekers start to go on the beach at the end of February. So if you’d like to elope to Florida while avoiding the crowds, winter is the best season for you as you will be able to hike freely and will avoid the tourists.


Clearly the best season to elope in Florida! March is dry and sunny, but be careful with the spring break week, when hordes of students are on the beaches everywhere! April ans May both are amazing months to elope in Florida, as the days get longer and brighter, and the temperatures rise as well, making it enjoyable to dip in the ocean and exchange your vows on the beach.


Try to avoid the month of June as it is the rainiest month in Florida. July and august mark the peak touristic season in Florida, so if you’d like to avoid the corwds, try to avoid eloping in Florida during summer. The month of August is the hottest month of the year, and temperatures can sometimes be unbearable if you’re not used to it.


The heat starts to cool down a little bit in September, and the crowds start to disappear after Labor Day. October and November are amazing months for an elopement in Florida since they are still warm and dry (November is the dryest month of the year) while still offering plenty of light in crowdless places.

Example budget of an elopement in Florida

When it comes to elopement budgets, I understand the challenges of providing a precise estimate for vendors outside of my own expertise. The cost can greatly vary depending on your chosen destination and the quality of vendors you desire.

Elopement expenses are significantly influenced by factors like your chosen location. Rather than providing generic budget estimates for vendors I don’t work with, I recommend exploring my elopement packages. They include all-inclusive options, giving you a clearer view of your budget and costs.

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Florida

Florida is not just about its famous attractions; it hides some extraordinary eco-friendly treasures off the beaten path. Here’s a list of five unique, animal-friendly activities to make your Florida adventure truly unforgettable:

What to do on your Florida elopement - Bioluminescent Kayaking

Bioluminescent Kayaking

Paddle through the otherworldly waters of Florida’s bioluminescent lagoons, like Mosquito Lagoon or Merritt Island. As darkness falls, the water comes alive with a surreal blue glow created by bioluminescent microorganisms. It’s like kayaking through a galaxy of stars beneath you.

Exploring the Dry Tortugas

Venture to the remote Dry Tortugas National Park, accessible only by seaplane or ferry from Key West. Discover the historic Fort Jefferson, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and witness the vibrant marine life while preserving the delicate ecosystem.

What to do on your Florida elopement - explore the Dry Tortugas
What to do on your Florida elopement - sinkhole diving

Sinkhole Diving

Dive into the depths of underwater sinkholes in North Florida, such as Devil’s Den or Blue Grotto. These natural wonders offer a surreal and tranquil diving experience amidst stunning geological formations and crystal-clear spring waters.

Cypress Swamp Boardwalk

Step into a mystical world at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples. Wander along elevated boardwalks through ancient cypress forests, spotting wildlife, vibrant birdlife, and lush vegetation. It’s a serene and educational journey into the heart of Florida’s wilderness.

What to do on your Florida elopement - cypress swamp
What to do on your Florida elopement - mangrove tunnel kayaking

Mangrove Tunnel Kayaking

Explore the enchanting mangrove tunnels of the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida. Rent a kayak and paddle through the labyrinthine tunnels created by these saltwater-adapted trees. As you navigate the serene waterways, you’ll encounter an array of wildlife and experience the natural beauty of Florida’s coastal ecosystems up close. It’s a tranquil and mesmerizing adventure that offers a unique perspective of the state’s coastal wonders.

What to wear for your elopement in Florida

What to wear for your Florida elopement

You can elope in style and put of lot of thought into what you will wear, your bouquet and the decor of the site of your elopement.
Eloping in Florida doesn’t necessarily means laid back and casual. If you’d like to be elegant and beautiful on your wedding day, you can do as you want!

The Dress

Elopement dresses are a little bit different from classic wedding dresses as you will tend to hike a lot in them. Try to pick them flowy, lightweight and easy to put on, since you might need to put it on during the hike to the site of your vows exchange. Don’t forget the weather is very hot in Florida, so try to avoid huge, princess-like dresses with a lot of tulle, as you will be hot in them very very quickly!

The Shoes

Walking in the sand is not a piece of cake, so if you’re planning on eloping on a beach, maybe going barefeet might be the best idea. However, if you’re more into an adventure elopement and would like to hike to the site of your elopement, choosing comfortable hiking boots will be the best way to go. Don’t forget you’ll need to be very comfortable in your shoes as you will wear them all day long, and if you wear a long dress, they will be invisible anyways!

The Suit

Light linen suits are always a great option for men, as they are light enough to elope in Florida and not end up in sweat. Like the dress, you need to be comfortable in the suit you will choose, and able to walk in it, at least to the site of your elopement. If you choose something too tight or with many pieces, you might be hot and/or unconfortable and that will ruin your elopement experience.

Other things to consider

Mosquitoes and sun are two of the biggest annoying things when you elope in Florida. So don’t forget to pack a backpack with all the essentials for your hike: water, snacks, first aid kit, emergency battery charger, mosquito repellent, a blanket, sunscreen, and a pouch of water for your bouquet!

Typical food and dishes from Florida

You might want to integrate into your elopement day

What to eat on your Florida elopement - key lime pie

Key Lime Pie

Indulge in the zesty and creamy delight of Florida’s iconic Key Lime Pie. This tangy dessert features a graham cracker crust, a tart filling made from Key limes, and a dollop of whipped cream. Sample it at local diners, bakeries, or beachside cafes for an authentic taste of Florida’s tropical sweetness.

Cuban Sandwich

Florida’s Cuban heritage shines through in its mouthwatering Cuban sandwich. This delectable creation features roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, all pressed between Cuban bread until crispy and delicious. You’ll find some of the best Cuban sandwiches in Miami and Tampa.

What to eat on your Florida elopement - cuban sandwich
What to eat on your Florida elopement - fresh seafood

Fresh Seafood

With its extensive coastline, Florida offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Don’t miss out on dishes like Grouper Sandwiches, Conch Fritters, and Stone Crab Claws. Visit waterfront restaurants and seafood shacks for the freshest catch of the day, and savor the taste of the ocean.

Eloping in Florida – your checklist

Think about where you’d like to go

Florida is huge and will offer different ambiances when it comes to the general region for your elopement. If you’re all about culture and history, choose the city of St. Petersburg for example! If you’d like to experience the best beaches around, head to the Florida Keys and their natural teal blue waters. If you’re more of an adventurer and would love to discover something truly unique, then the Everglades National Park will be perfect for you!

Pick a date

Like I mentioned before, the best months to celebrate your elopement in Florida are May, October and November. They are warm, crowd-less, sunny and beautiful. So once you’ve picked the place you’d like to elope to, pick your date and mark it down!

Book your accommodation

Accommodations vary widely in Florida and you will want to pick the perfect one for your needs and budget. AirBnB,, Kayak and TripAdvisor are all great resources to find the best deals and check out other traveler’s reviews to pick the perfect place to relax after your elopement.

Book your photographer

Since she/he will be the one to accompany you on this awesome adventure, choose your photographer wisely. You will want to pick someone used to shoot in the sun and warmth of Florida, and who will be able to suggest tons of tips and places to exchange your vows (just like me!). your photographer will be the main source of help to plan your elopement in Florida!

Find a place to exchange your vows

And this is where your photographer will help you at first. Finding the perfect place to exchange your vows is not an easy task as you need to take into account the sun and how/where it sets, shadows, light and many other factors that will totally make (or ruin) your wedding photos! Finding the best place to exchange your vows is truly one of the most important part of the planning process, so be sure to choose wisely!

Book your other vendors

Depending on how stylish you want to make your day, you can book a florist, a makeup artist/hairdresser, an official, some decor rentals, a private chef for the evening…your photographer will help you find the perfect vendors based on what you’re dreaming of for your elopement in Florida!

Live your dream elopement

Finally the big day has arrived! Enjoy it to the max!


How to plan your peaceful Florida elopement with me

Process-how to plan an elopement

Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!

Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.


Let’s chat!

Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Florida? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

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