How to plan your beach wedding in Florida
By: Chaplain Robert (Bob) Walker B.Th.
© Robert H. Walker
Jack @ 561-533-5753
Sunrise / Sunset times
Click on the above picture to see a full size view of the wedding arch.
Visit our Youtube channel for a movie slideshow on South Florida wedding venues. We have best beaches, gardens and more formal venues. http://www.youtube.com/user/LuckyBob2010
See the photographer's work online at Youtube.
Have you ever asked yourself how can I go about with planning a beach wedding in Florida? Planning a Florida beach wedding is not that hard when you have someone that knows the South Florida area and the local beaches and does many weddings over the years. There is a great deal of information on this website and look at the top of the page for the navigational links.
Florida is a warm and wonderful place to have a beach wedding. The winter, late fall and the early spring are the best times for you to plan and have your beach wedding in sunny South Florida. The coastal shoreline of South Florida on the Atlantic side of the state has about 580 miles of beach. Florida has in addition to this the gulf coast, where there is an additional 770 miles of beachfront coastline on the Gulf of Mexico fed by the ocean.
You can plan and have your very own beach wedding on the shore with the sand by the sea with the roar of the Atlantic Ocean and the seagulls singing with the wind. With your feet in the sand you can have your family and friends witness your marriage and wedding ceremony as you have your wedding day on the beach. South Florida is usually sunny for most times of the year.
My main area of beach wedding expertise is from Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton for Palm Beach County. Weddings and photography in Broward include Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
There are so many things to plan as you consider your wedding. What with wedding planning with the logistics you have much to consider. When you think about having a Florida beach wedding then I offer here are some wedding planning tips.
- Picking a public beach for your wedding venue in South Florida
- Transportation for the bridal party and their family to South Florida
- Obtaining the Florida marriage license from the courthouse
- Having someone to perform and assist you with planning your marriage ceremony on the beach in South Florida
- Planning with wedding vendors like D.J.'s, with the wedding photographer's and other professionals
- Wedding packages and other extra's to make the wedding day special like wedding flowers, wedding cake, decorated arch as well as butterfly releases.
If you give careful consideration to the above checklist then you are well on your way to a wedding day to remember.
Picking a Florida Beach for the wedding venue:
There is a large variety of public beach parks as well as privately owned beaches as a place to have your Florida beach wedding. When working with a wedding vendor only your wedding budget will determine and dictate your choice of the location of your wedding venue. There are navigation links on the top of the page with pictures and information on the local beaches for a wedding venue and many are free.
You can easily have a nice intimate romantic beach wedding in South Florida on a very modest budget. You must be very cautious and careful if you are from out of the area or from out of state in the planning your beach wedding. I know that many beaches and the local municipalities ask for and require an event permit for gatherings of large groups of people.
If you are able to keep your wedding party celebration fewer than two dozen people, then you can hope that and count on that you will generally be left alone. Beach wedding marriage ceremonies usually and generally last only about fifteen minutes for the actual service. Large groups of people attract attention on the beach with the assorted vendors involved like a DJ and wedding photographers present. This is also true if you have a decorated arch and chairs for the wedding party.
There is a beautiful and natural state park in South Florida that is very wedding friendly. They allow you to rent the park for the evening and you are allowed to bring your own or catered food onto the reception site. You can have your wedding on the beach as well as host the wedding reception and dinner there at the park. The park also allows use of as they have a modest sized pavilion at the Florida state beach park. Ask us about helping plan your small beach wedding in South Florida.
There are also a large number and variety of public beaches that are available for your use that do not need an event permit for a wedding celebration. You need to be careful about decorations during turtle egg season. Digging in the sand to bury the wedding arch maybe a problem certain times of the year due to turtle nesting season.
So far we have no oil on our beaches from the BP oil spill as of September 2010.
The time of day is very important for your wedding ceremony
Saturday is always the busiest day of the week for weddings. Beaches can get busy with people visiting over the holidays and with the winter season and the numerous snowbirds the beaches can be very crowded. The late evening is usually the very best time of the day to perform a wedding ceremony. Late evenings are not too hot and the ambient lighting with the last few hours of sunlight is usually quite good for pictures. The evening around dinnertime is also a good time for the wedding and accompanying ceremony as many of the beach goers and sunbathers have already gone home for their dinner. The late evenings will show that there are usually only a couple of lover's and occasional fishermen or two as a witness to your marriage ceremony on the beach. sunrise weddings can be nice as well and the sun breaking over the horizon can be stunning for pictures.
Transportation of the bride and groom and their bridal party with the family:
If you live here and you are a local in South Florida then you should be very familiar with the local beaches and the public parks available in Palm Beach County and you may even have a favorite spot to go. When someone is from out of state, then planning and transportation of the wedding guests is made much more difficult for the bride and groom. Logistics to and from the wedding on the beach and to the reception dinner is a very important part of the wedding day. Getting to and from Florida either by car or flying is only a small part of the solution to the logistical problem. Trying to get the families of the bridal party to and from the beach wedding venue is also a hurdle to clear.
Many people will try to find and get to book an Ocean front hotel with a room that is beachside with an Ocean view. One can usually use the private beach of the hotel for your very own private beach wedding venue. Most of the hotels are more than happy to allow paying guests to use their private beaches for a wedding venue. The wedding party must be sure that as long as one does not interfere with any paying functions, like a wedding of the hotel in progress, there is usually no problem using the hotels beach. There is a link on the top of the page showing a beach front oceanside hotel that is wedding friendly.
Not every one of us can afford the costly seasonal pricing of a beach front hotel in the busy winter season in South Florida. Rental cars are available and are another possible solution to the transportation problem of getting to and from the beach and wedding reception.
Limousine services to and from the wedding on the beach may also be a solution to your logistics problem:
I am more than happy to give you the names of a few limousine companies that can supply you with professional limo service to and from the beach for your wedding. This wonderful and very useful service can be had for around Three to four hundred dollars for the evening. I do not make any commission if you book the lim. Transportation with a limousine can be a good idea of a small group of a dozen up to twenty of your family and close friends.
You can think of the limo service as a rolling wedding party as many will supply you with drinks including beer and wine as well as with other harder drinks. You do not need to worry about a DWI or DUI citation arrest or getting lost in an unfamiliar area that you are not comfortable and familiar with. The limo company can take you to the beach and to dinner and maybe some sightseeing after the wedding as you can book them for three or four hours of service for the price you pay. The stretch limos can easily carry a dozen people and I prefer the white Lincoln continental limousines as they are very roomy and they look very professional as opposed to the black hummer limo, but that is my very own humble opinion.
So how do you apply for a Florida marriage license?
Florida state residents:
If you are a local Florida resident you can go into any local county courthouse anywhere in the entire state of Florida and apply in person. You must have both the future potential bride and groom present at the time you apply on any weekday during normal business hours that the court is open. The cost of the Florida marriage license seems to be between $90 and 120 dollars depending upon the local county. Cash is king and always works as payment for the Florida marriage license application to marry and they accept checks or credit cards at most locations.
It is a good idea to always call the courthouse or the place you plan to go to obtain your Florida marriage license as rules change at the whim of the county court. There is a three day waiting period for local Florida residents. If you take a court approved pre-marital marriage counseling class in advance, you can get the three day waiting period waived and you get a price break of about thirty dollars.
Check with your local county courthouse for the current rules and the more recent information on obtaining your Florida marriage license information. You can get a marriage license at any county courthouse location and it is valid for anyplace in all of Florida.
Non-Florida residents have many more options:
Marriage license by mail:
If you are from out of state resident, in other words you do not live in Florida; you can obtain a Florida marriage license by mail or in person. You can get your Florida marriage license by mail in advance of your coming down to Florida. The cost of doing this does tend to be a little bit more for the marriage license by mail service. But for the busy professional it is worth it to many people who are pressed for time and cannot get here during the week when the courthouse is open. For those unable to arrive in Florida on a weekday to apply in person for the marriage license at the courthouse, the marriage license by mail is a plausible and very possible solution to their marriage license procurement problem. This tends to appeal to many busy professionals and business people. I can assist and refer you to someone that can help you in the license by mail procedure.
Get your marriage license in person at the courthouse:
You can obtain your valid Florida marriage license at any local county courthouse location in all of Florida. The marriage application shall be valid anywhere and for all of the state of Florida. The cost of the marriage license application seems to run about and ninety to one hundred and twenty dollars depending upon the local county. Cash is king and it always works as payment for the marriage license application to marry and they accept checks and/or credit cards as well at most courthouse locations. Always plan to call ahead to the place where you plan to go to obtain your Florida marriage license as rules change at the whim of the court and the commissioners.
There is no three day waiting period for non-Florida residents. Check with the local courthouse for the most current rules and regulations for your more recent information on obtaining your Florida marriage license information.
Have a wedding planner for your Florida beach wedding:
I suggest Amy as a wedding planner and I have seen her work as she is excellent with decorating for a beach wedding or a formal wedding venue. Call Amy at (561) 577-6686
A professional wedding planner can help you and be of great assistance in the choice of a beach and the local vendors like a photographer. The wedding planner can also be a help in making sure the beach wedding venue is decorated with beautiful flowers and that you have an arch, with wedding music of the bridal march as the bride walks down the aisle.
There are so many things to consider and plan for with your marriage on the beach. A beach wedding has to consider and contend with the outdoor elements like the rain, sun and the wind. It actually snowed here in South Florida once in the late seventies. No, we did not need the snowplows to spread salt on the roads. Always having a plan B is prudent and is very important due to poor weather as the outdoors does not always follow our wishes for the wedding day. You hotel can move the wedding inside to the reception area, if you are booked there and using their beach for the wedding.
Having someone who has vast knowledge of the local Florida beaches and wedding venue areas is a valuable asset to have on your side. Wedding experience is a very useful commodity as is information to have when dealing with someone to help and assist in planning your wedding day on the beach.
Hiring someone over the Internet that you have never met is not always the most confidence inspiring experience.
Wedding packages - A grand wedding ($1,000)
Wedding packages for your Florida beach wedding in South Florida can very well be your very own one stop solution to all of your wedding needs. You as a beach bride will need all the help and information you can get.
Most of our beach wedding packages tend to cost a thousand dollars or even less and you can think of this wedding package as a grand wedding.
Wedding packages for beach weddings in South Florida generally includes:
- Wedding officiant or the wedding clergy needed for performing the marriage ceremony on the beach.
- Wedding photography with a professional wedding photographer and / or video of the ceremony
- Someone to decorate your beach wedding venue with an arch and flowers
- wedding music that is provided on a cd or a live DJ with music such as the wedding march processional and recessional
- Vases for a family sand ceremony (very much like a unity candle ceremony) usage of sand is necessary due to wind on the beach
- Wedding sheet cake
You are going to be sending money to someone that you have never met and that you do not know. You will hope and then pray that they show up for your wedding. You know that your wedding will be a mess if the person you hired does not follow through with the agreed upon plans.
I know of someone that was a former client that had their wedding planner quit just three weeks before her event at the wedding. It was very good for the bride that she was fortunate as she did not lose the deposits that the planner had made to the vendors and it was not a total loss.
Having a wedding planner and using their wedding package can save you a lot of time and some money by not having to negotiate deals with multiple vendors for the special wedding day.
I have been assisting brides in planning and performing weddings since 2002. I have been performed and been involved with hundreds of weddings in formal as well as informal venues.
Let me see what I can do for your special wedding day.
Please call me at 561-964-5036 and ask for Chaplain Bob Walker
Call Jack at 1-561-533-5753
We are Palm Beach Weddings and our main area of coverage is the South Florida area of Palm Beach and Broward counties. From Jupiter, West Palm Beach to Ft Lauderdale and Hollywood with all the surrounding areas of coverage. Let me Plan and perform your beach wedding anywhere in South Florida and ask about our availability.
© Robert H. Walker
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Palm Beach Weddings, LLC
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