The ultimate guide for your elopement in Florida – tips, venues and location ideas

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!

what is an elopement

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

1) 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.

how to elope in florida - campfire on the beach

2) 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.

3) Why you should plan an elopement in Florida

how to elope to florida legally

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!

4) 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!

how to elope in florida key west

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 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!

how to elope in florida in the everglades

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.

Pro tip: There are TONS of amazing, beautiful and inspiring places to elope in Florida.
I have a long list of other places you might consider for your elopement in Florida!

5) The most beautiful elopement venues in Florida

If you want something accessible – at least to exchange your vows!

Key Largo Resort

elope in florida key largo resort

Cauley Square

elope in florida cauley square venue

Naples Princess Cruises

how to elope in florida naples princess cruise boat

Casa Tua

how to elope in florida casa tua venue

Adventures unlimited

how to elope in florida adventures unlimited venue

6) The best time for an elopement in Florida

Eloping in Florida is and experience that will definitely change depending on the time of year you choose to plan it. the peak season (July and August) will bne the busiest months and the theme parks, attractions and beaches will be most crowded. Fall, winter and spring are best if you’d like to avoid the crowds while still enjoying the warmth and nature of Florida.

winter florida elopement

Winter

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.

spring florida elopement

Spring

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.

summer florida elopement

Summer

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.

fall florida elopement

Fall

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.

7) What is the cost of an elopement in Florida?

High-end elopement

Travel to and from Florida: $1 000
5 nights in a high-end accomodation // $2 500
Elopement photographer // $7 000
Private chef or full board // $1 000
Officiant // $500
Florist // $500
Rentals // $500
Wedding dress and accessories // $4 000
Suit and accessories // $1 000
Total for a high-end elopement in Florida: $18 500

Budget elopement

Travel to and from Florida: $1 000
5 nights in an airbnb // $1 000
Elopement photographer // $5 000
Food // $250
Officiant // $250
Florist // $200
Wedding dress and accessories // $2 500
Suit and accessories // $500
Total for a budget elopement in Florida: $10 950

Avoid the stress, family drama and financial chaos that comes with traditional weddings. Surrender to a “just us” adventure elopement instead.

amber, elopement photographer

Hi! I’m Amber, your elopement photographer, planner and guide.

Together we plan your dream elopement itinerary in Florida over 1, 3, 7 or 12 days.

Let’s plan your all-inclusive adventure elopement in Florida

8) What to wear for your elopement in Florida

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!

how to elope in florida and pick the perfect wedding dress

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!

how to plan an elopement in florida

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.

how to elope in florida

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!

9) 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 mentionned 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 accomodation

Accomodations vary widely in Florida and you will want to pick the perfect one for your needs and budget. AirBnB, Booking.com, Kayak and TripAdvisor are all great ressources 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!

10) Other elopement vendors in Florida

Interested in adventuring with me as your Florida elopement photographer?

Fill out the form to get started!

11) FAQ

If you decide to elope in a National Park in Florida, you will need a permit. Seasoned adventure photographers will know they need to ask one and you won’t have to worry about it, but in case you’re eloping on your own, don’t forget to ask about permission and permits for the area you chose.

An adventure elopement is a day just for you, when we will go off the beaten paths to find an amazing place for you to exchange your vows. It can be in a beautiful rainforest, or by the sea. The main thing is that you will enjoy this day just like if it was a holiday…except you will get married!

Storms can happen and they can be very violent in Florida, so safety is a big thing when planning an adventure elopement. I will be checking the forecast everyday a week before the date we chose, and if a storm is coming or there will be torrential rain, we will postpone or prepone the date of the wedding. I always block 3 days before and after the wedding for safety!

Absolutely! Intimate weddings and elopements can be shared with your loved ones!

From the end of November to mid-May, Florida is an absolutely beautiful state with warm temperatures and not too much humidity.

Generally, planning an elopement in Florida is something that can be done pretty quickly, especially if you’re getting married off-season (avoid July and August at all costs to avoid crazy high temperatures). So anytime between 1 to 3 months prior is the best time to start planning!

If you decide to legally get married, then yes, you will need an officiant. However, if you prefer to go all in with the adventure and make your elopement day a symbolic wedding day (and get married beforehands in your town) then an officiant is absolutely optionnal.

Yes, yes and yes! I know some of the most beautiful places on earth can’t be accessible by car, or even 4 wheels drives. I hike with my family since I’m at age of walking and I will hike with you to your ceremony location – with grand pleasure!

12) The lastest elopements


How to plan your peaceful elopement in Florida with me

I.

Schedule a non-sales call

Everyone truly hates sales calls (me included) so I refuse to fo them. We simply chat about what your dream day and travel plans look like to see if we’re a match!

II.

Book your date

We find the perfect date together and you’re officially booked!

III.

I’ll plan your dream elopement

From itinerary planning to vendor suggestions all the way to helping you with permits, I plan everything.

IV.

Live your adventure

You live a peaceful, meaningful wedding day on an itinerary that’s custom created just for you.

V.

Relive this day forever

I deliver your pictures and your choice of album from my collection, to remember this adventure, and share it for years to come.

Let’s plan your peaceful elopement

Where you can be you. Feel. Breathe in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket list dream.


elopement adventure in france

Need more inspiration for your elopement?

Check out this brand new article about the best places to elope IN THE WORLD

Have I won you over with Florida yet?

Florida is such an amazing destination for an adventure elopement!

As an elopement photographer, planner and guide, I offer a range of option that all include planning and photography, from 5 hours all the way to your ultimate 14-day elopement and honeymoon gateway in Florida. As part of my photography service, I will help you choose and plan the perfect elopement day(s) from crafting the whole day program to helping you choose amazing vendors and book your accomodation and flights.

Contact me now to get started!

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