How To Elope In Florida

 Bride & Groom hugging and laughing on beach in front of triangle ceremony arch with floral accents

Ready to learn how to elope in Florida? Ocean views and sunshine await!

The best part is that anyone with a love for the sunshine state — and a valid Florida marriage license obtained by the county of your choice — can elope in Florida.

How to elope in Florida

  1. Obtain a marriage license from a county court clerk’s office (any county, regardless of where you get married, will do!)
  2. Choose an officiant (Florida requires certain officials like a regularly ordained minister, notary or other registered individual)
  3. Have a witness present at the ceremony 
  4. Sign the marriage license
  5. Return the signed marriage license to the county court clerk’s office

Read the Florida government marriage license guide for full details right from the source!

Do you need a marriage license to elope?

Yes — to seal the deal, a marriage license is required to legally marry in Florida.

Who can marry you in Florida

Florida law requires an officiant that follows into the below categories, based on this information from Sarasota County. Friends and family cannot marry you, unless the below applies to them!

  1. An ordained minister or clergy
  2. Florida judge (also applies to retired judicial officers!)
  3. Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court (like eloping at the courthouse)
  4. Florida Notary Public (not from out of state)
  5. Society of Friends or Quakers

Can anyone officiate a wedding in Florida?

Not quite — they have to fall under the categories listed above. But the good thing is that there is no Florida registration for officiants, and if friends or family are an ordained minister, then they can perform your marriage!

How many witnesses do you need?

Just one, and their signature! Yes, the officiant can also be your witness! Your photographer can be a witness too, they just have to be at least 18 years old. You’re welcome to add a second signature from a witness like your best friend, for example.

Can you get married the same day in Florida?

There is usually a 3-day waiting period that applies in most cases so it’s best to plan on obtaining your marriage license three days before you want to elope!

Bride and Groom kissing under the gazebo at the idea garden at Leu Gardens Orlando after their elopement

Best places to elope in Florida

  1. Beach (from the Keys to the ever-famous Clearwater)
  2. Park (check out Anastasia Island)
  3. Garden (Kraft Azalea is one of my favorites)
  4. Museum (like the Lightner Museum!)

See more ideas on where to elope in Florida.

Can you elope in Disney World

Yes, you can elope in Disney World, but you will need to get in touch with their wedding planning department for more information on their policies and requirements!

As a big Disney fan, this is a dream question for me!

Summary: how to elope in Florida

As long as you have a marriage license (obtained 3 days in advance from any Florida county), a location and a Florida elopement photographer, you’re ready!
As someone who helps couples day in and day out with planning their Florida elopements, I’m happy to help you plan it all from the location to the officiant! Just say hi, and keep in touch on Instagram too.

Bride and Groom hugging and sitting in front of pop up beach picnic while bride holds bouquet at New Smyrna Beach Elopement

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