How to Get Legally Married in Florida and Plan Your FL Wedding

Make things legal by following these simple steps.
Melanie Haid
by Melanie Haid
Updated Jul 26, 2021

The beautiful, sunny state of Florida is an ideal destination for beach weddings, high-end party spots like Miami and unique destinations like Disney World; but getting married isn't just about saying your "I do's." You'll want to make sure that your wedding is just as legal as it is a day to remember, so there are a few things to look out for when applying for a marriage license in Florida. Along with there being an application fee, there is also a waiting period to receive the license and an expiration date once granted, so setting up a specific timeline will be very helpful when looking to get married in Florida. If you want to change your name, make sure you also know the steps prior to getting your marriage license to avoid the hassle of changing it later. Here are some things to be aware of before applying for a marriage license in any Florida county to ensure you're prepared.

How to Get Married in Florida

Is there a waiting period to get married in Florida?

There is a 3-day waiting period to receive a marriage license in Florida, but this period is waived if you choose to take the premarital preparation course from a clerk's office in whichever county you decided to obtain your marriage license in. You must have your marriage ceremony within 60 days of the exact date of receiving your marriage certificate, otherwise the license will expire and you will have to reapply, so keep that in mind.

What are the legal requirements to get married in Florida?

In Florida, depending on what county's Clerk of the Circuit Court you go to, there are different legal requirements. You both must show up to the clerk's office to pay the fee and sign, as well as provide photo identification and be able to provide their Social Security number. If you or your fiancé have previously been married, you will also need to provide the marriage record, annulment, divorce record, or death certificate - essential legal paperwork that proves the exact date your last marriage ended. You can also consult the family law handbook for more details regarding situational-specifics, or call the clerk's office in your county.

As well as this, you must be 18 years of age of older to get married. In the state of Florida, you can also get married at the age of 16 with parental consent or written consent of a legal guardian, either of which would need to fill out consent forms.

What's considered a common law marriage in Florida?

Florida law strictly does not recognize Common Law marriages, no matter how long a couple has been together or if it was recognized in another state. Common Law Marriages are void in Florida, so they will not experience the same rights as a legally married couple would.

Florida Marriage License 101

What do you need to get a marriage license in Florida?

In Florida, getting a marriage license requires signing the marriage license application, as well as providing a photo identification and your social security number. You do not need the card itself, just to know the number. Photo ID can be anything from a state identification card to a military ID to your driver's license; this form of identification must have your photo on it, so birth certificates will not work in the state of Florida. Blood tests are not required.

How much does a Florida marriage license cost?

Across any county, marriage licenses cost $93.50. However, if you and your future spouse choose to seek out a premarital course provider to take a basics course on marriage fundamentals, you can decrease the marriage license fee by up to about $30.

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Florida?

It takes 72 hours (three days) to obtain a marriage license after applying. This waiting period only applies to Florida residents - for non-Florida residents, there is no waiting period. But if you decide to partake in a premarital preparation course, hosted by a certified counselor, the waiting period is waived with a certificate of completion of the course.

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Florida?

In some counties, you can get your marriage license issuance started online on the county's website. Here, you are able to expedite the process by filling out any basic, vital information, like your full name, credit card information, date of birth, etc. Either way, you and your spouse will still have to go in person to finish the application process, but filling out some of the forms online can definitely save you time if you're in a hurry.

How do you get a copy of your Florida marriage license?

All marriage licenses and certificates granted by the Clerk of the Circuit Court from 1927 onward are public records available to order from the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics. You can order online, a process with generally takes about 60 days, but if you need the certified copy sooner, you can go directly to the county clerk where the license was issued. VitalChek is the vendor that Florida state uses to order certificates, which has a $15 fee for the service, $7 fee to verify your identity, $4 for additional computer-generated certification; the certificate is then sent to your mailing address.

How to Plan a Florida Wedding

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Florida Wedding

If you're looking to have a beach wedding and bask in the sunny state of Florida on your wedding day, there is plenty of shoreline to make that happen - over 6,000 miles of beach, to be exact. Cities like Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Palm Beach are among some of the more popular cities in Florida, perfect for hosting an upbeat wedding in the sunshine state.

What to Look For in a Florida Wedding Venue

From grand southern style mansions to Miami party spots, there is a little something for everyone in Florida, especially those that love the sunshine and warm weather that the state offers almost year round. You can find all of the venues in any city in Florida at The Knot Marketplace—make sure you check out reception size, whether the venue is covered outdoors or offers an indoor option, and if there are catering options on-site.

How to Find a Florida Wedding Vendor

Depending on what kind of wedding you plan on having in Florida, you'll want to find a vendor and caterer that match the theme of your wedding ceremony. When you're looking for photographers and videographers, make sure to take into consideration where your wedding is taking place - having an outdoor venue might require someone who could work rain-or-shine. Whether you're looking for a DJ, bridal shower venue, wedding cake or anything in between, check out The Knot Marketplace to find everything you need in your city.

The Best Times of Year to Have a Florida Wedding for Good Weather

Florida is a bit tricky weather-wise in certain times of the year; not only can temperatures get really hot in this area, there is also the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes in mid-to-late summertime, so if possible, avoid getting married here in late June to mid-September. It can be very unpredictable, but overall, it's called the Sunshine State for a reason! Warm weather and blue skies are common, but having an indoor space in case of rain definitely wouldn't hurt for your wedding day.

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