FLORIDA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER // FLORIDA INTIMATE WEDDING // FLORIDA WEDDING PLANNING // FLORIDA DESTINATION WEDDING
Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves, being surrounded by your loved ones and the buzz of excitement as you get ready, the feeling of butterflies and warm sand between your toes as you walk up the aisle, and sealing your forever promises with a sea salt kiss. Then at the end of the night once all the champagne has been popped and the light of the day is gone, everyone will trade their fancy attire for comfy clothes. You’ll all gather around a beach fire to reminisce about the day. THAT is an iconic Florida beach house wedding. And it could be yours.
Choosing to get married at a beach house provides a level of privacy and intimacy that you can’t find anywhere else. Not only that, but it’s cost effective compared to staying and hosting a wedding at a large beach resort. Here’s everything you need to know to start planning your Florida beach house wedding—from weather to what to look for in a house, lived and learned tips to legalities. Let’s get into it!
First things first, when should you get married? Florida is sunny year round, but the temps, crowds, and humidity level vary throughout the year. The best time for a beach wedding is Feb-April as the high temps hover in the high 60’s and mid 70’s. Not only that, but it’s the least busy time of year, meaning you’ll have more privacy on the beach—while spring break through the fall is busy busy busy. Starting May, through August, it becomes increasingly hot and humid making outdoor full sun ceremonies and receptions very uncomfortable. Then August – October is hurricane season. All in all late winter through early spring is your best bet for good weather and fewer crowds.
If you’re having young children attend your wedding or staying at a beach house it’s important to be cautious of whether or not there is a pool and to discuss how you will be looking out for their safety. The reality is that 87% of drowning fatalities happen in home pools or hot tubs for children younger than 5 and 23% of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool (stopdrowningnow.org).
Keep in mind you need enough space for whoever is staying at the house and enough space to get ready separately AND enough space for everyone to have privacy when needed. When looking at locations consider not only the number of bedrooms, but common areas and bonus rooms—having that extra space will come in handy!
It’s important to see if the house has easy access to the beach, if you will have to shuttle people to another location, or if you’ll be walking to the beach. Make sure to keep your guests in the loop, that way they can be prepared with proper footwear, water, and sunscreen.
Whether you’re only getting ready at the house or your entire wedding is on the property, it will be the backdrop of your photos to some extent. Some houses are blank canvases that can be enhanced by simple decor touches, while other homes are a vibe in and of themselves.
Nothing ruins a wedding like fines or unexpected costs that could have been avoided—let’s nip those possible hiccups in the bud! Here are some legalities you need to prepare and look out for while planning:
HERE is my curated list of ones that I have worked at and HERE is a website dedicated to private estates available to rent for your wedding.
**Please note rules/regulations with houses change over time so it is your responsibility before booking to confirm with the agencies that events are currently permitted on the property.
Both of you need to come prepared to the clerk’s office with a picture ID such as a driver’s license, state ID card, or valid passport and your social security number. If you’re a Florida resident it is a 3 day waiting period to obtain your marriage license and you have 60 days to get married, but for out of state residents there is no waiting period!
Wherever your beach house/ceremony is located it’s important to look into the noise ordinances of that county. Typically noise ordinances are measured by decibels and the amount acceptable sound becomes less and less the later it gets. If you have a rowdy group of friends and family attending your wedding, consider a more secluded location versus a tight suburb!
Beaches that require a permit can range from $60-$320, while other beaches don’t require a fee; they do operate on a first come first serve basis. Keep in mind that unless you’re getting married at a resort there’s a chance you won’t be the only ones on the beach.
Whether you’re coming from out of state or are from the area I highly recommend at least a day of coordinator. They’ll be able to put out fires as they pop up, help keep your focus on what truly matters, set up/tear things down, and provide invaluable insight/resources! When planning a destination wedding partnering with a wedding coordination company relieves so much stress from planning to executing the wedding of your dreams.
Here are some talented event coordination companies that operate in the Florida Panhandle:
Between living here, learning first hand, and documenting countless weddings here are some things (from one friend to another) you should take into account for your beach wedding!
While processing all of this information try to remember that planning your wedding should be fun and hiring knowledgeable vendors will help eliminate unnecessary stress throughout this process! There are countless options for customizing your wedding day to look and feel exactly how you want by using a beach house as your mini venue. Plus this is not only your wedding, but a once in a lifetime vacation with all the people you love! How cool is that!?
If you’re still wondering where to start or learning all this new information inspired even more questions, ask away! Lean on me!
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