Florida Destination Wedding
If you have always dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding, or an intimate ceremony in the sun, then a wedding in Florida can make your dreams come true.
Florida makes a great destination for a wedding, from small private services in sunny gardens to a Florida beach wedding to lavish ceremonies in Cinderella's castle, or anything in between.
Anyone can be married in Florida and the wedding will be recognised
in countries like the UK when you return home
The idyllic setting of the Wedding Pavilion at Cypress Gardens
Organising the license
There are no residency requirements at all and you can be married the day you arrange the license, or for up to 60 days afterwards. Florida residents must take a pre-nuptial course or wait 3 days.
To get a Florida wedding license you must both attend the courthouse together, bringing your passports and birth certificates. US residents (non Florida) need to bring a valid driver's license, a valid passport, or a valid Military Identification and their Social Security Numbers.
If either party is divorced then for US citizens, a copy of the Divorce Decree is required if the marriage ended within the last 90 days for Florida residents or the last year for out of state. If you are UK residents and divorced then you must also bring your Degree Absolute.
The cost of a license is approximately $93.50 including tax and can be paid by cash or credit card. Licenses can also be applied for in advance by post, but the passport photocopies submitted must be notarised by a Notary Public not a solicitor.
The Wedding Dress
So, its all arranged and there's only one thing left to get ..... the dress.
Do you buy in Florida when you get there or take it with you?
Its your choice and your wedding planner can advise, but there are companies who specialise in wedding dresses for the sun, which cope well with the travelling.
Using a Florida wedding planner
What type of wedding do you want? Do you want to do all the arranging, or do you want a local Florida wedding planner to do all the hard work for you?
Destination weddings where the bride and groom are non Florida residents can involve a lot of work.
There are local Florida companies who will organise everything for you, but there are also UK companies with offices in the UK and in Florida who can also do the job. You can even buy a Florida wedding package through a holiday travel company.
How much or how little of the ceremony your wedding planner organises is up to you. They can arrange everything from the Florida wedding location, celebrant (Minister or Notary), flowers, photographs, limousines, wedding reception and hotels, down to the table arrangements and hairdressers, depending on your choice and budget.
Note that most of these companies only arrange weddings for Monday through Thursday, and charge extra for weekend weddings.
Central Florida wedding venues
In the Orlando area, popular venues are hotels such as the Cypress Grove, Leu Gardens, Celebration Golf Club, Wyndham Orlando Resort, Hard Rock Hotel or Cafe, Buena Vista Palace or the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels.
You can also get married at other venues such as on the beach, in a State Park, at a traditional Florida wedding chapel, on a cruise liner or in unusual situations like a hot air balloon. The newly re-opened Cypress Gardens also plans to re-introduce weddings in their beautiful gardens.
Walt Disney World weddings
One of the Ultimate Wedding Venues has to be within the Walt Disney World Resort itself. Here you can have themed weddings where you can be married at a number of locations including the entrance to Cinderella's castle.
Or you can be married in the fairy-tale Disney's Wedding Pavilion, on a small island in the Seven Seas Lagoon with views of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom, near to the deluxe Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. You can even have Cinderella's carriage to take you from your dressing room to the venue.
From an intimate wedding for just the two of you (witnesses are not required in Florida) in one of the Disney resort hotels, to huge affairs with a big reception and special viewing areas for the evening fireworks of your choice, all this can be arranged for you. However, there is considerable cost involved, Disney weddings can easily cost $10,000 plus.
There are plenty of companies offering Florida wedding planning services, dress hire or suitable venues to make your special day one of the most memorable days of your life.