It’s really happening! You’re getting married—congratulations! For so long you have been dreaming of getting engaged…and then wedding planning reality sets in. Have you realized that planning a wedding is more stressful than you ever imagined? Has your carefree fairytale started to seem more daunting than anything resembling romance?Do you and your partner want to just scratch the elaborate plans and elope in the Florida Keys? If an intimate Florida elopement sounds more and more like it’s for you, then read further.
A destination elopement in the Florida Keys is a great way to create a destination vibe within actually leaving the country. There are amazing Florida Keys wedding planners who can help you put together your elopement, but what else do you need to know before jetting off to the beach with your beau in hand? We’ve got the answers.
The 411 On Elopements
If you check Wikipedia, it’ll tell you than an elopement is “a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving hurried flight away from one’s place of residence together with one’s beloved with the intention of getting married.” Sure, that’s true, but these days an elopement is better described as a couple deciding to keep their wedding ceremony as simple and intimate as possible. Simply put, you, your partner, and an officiant are the only people who have to be present at your ceremony. Naturally, you may want to invite a very few close friends and family members, but once your list exceeds 10 guests, we’d say you’re just planning a small wedding, not an elopement.
Often, these are indeed “destination” weddings at gorgeous locales, which is why planning to elope in the Florida Keys is becoming so popular.
The Upsides To Eloping
Whether or not you should elope really depends on the couple. There are many reasons for choosing an elopement over a traditional wedding ceremony and reception. Couples may choose to forgo a large wedding because it’s grown so expensive to invite people to watch you walk down the aisle. Others might find large crowds to be stressful and overwhelming, so they choose to get married in private. Others still might find that their families don’t get along, that this isn’t the first time down the aisle, or that large weddings simply don’t interest them. Your reason for eloping is unique to you, and there is no right or wrong way to get married. The choice is entirely up to you.
Make It Legal
Good news! It’s super easy (and cheap!) to elope in the Florida Keys. There is no waiting period to get your marriage license if you are not a Florida resident, but if you do reside in the state, you will have a three-day wait. You can get your marriage license in any county in Florida and head over to Key West (or any other part of the Keys) for your elopement, and you don’t even have to have a witness present—it really can be just the two of you saying your vows to each other, along with a Florida Keys wedding officiant. The last of the great news is that a marriage license will only cost you $93.50 (in cash or check), so as long as you are over 18 and have a valid photo ID, you’re set to go.
Like we said before, you can get your marriage license in any county in the state, but if you want to pay a visit to the actual Florida Keys courthouse, here is the address:
MONROE COUNTY COURTHOUSE:
500 Whitehead Street Key West, Florida 33040
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (except holidays)
Telephone: (305) 294-4641
It’s important to note that there are several days throughout the year when the courthouse will be closed. You can find all of that information here.
Let’s Do This
Just because you are eloping and having a very intimate ceremony doesn’t meant you can’t still get amazing pictures and have a wonderful party. A lot of couples plan destination elopements on Key West’s sparkling beaches, and if you want help arranging a venue and booking certain vendors, there are several Key West wedding planners who specialize in elopement ceremonies. Soirée Key West offers packages for couples looking for a low-key affair, so all you have to do is show up with your beloved and get ready to spend the rest of your life together. With all of that money that you will have saved, perhaps you can head out on a lavish, all-inclusive honeymoon after you seal the deal.
Where To Elope In The Florida Keys
We’re naming just a few here, but some of our favorite places to elope in the Keys include Smathers Beach, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Little Palm Island, and the many private beaches located throughout the Keys.
So, dear readers, if your new wedding fantasy is to elope in the Florida Keys, head off to the beach and let your toes sink in the sand while you marry the love of your life. Don’t forget—just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t register for amazing wedding gifts. And a huge congratulations from us at Zola!
Featured Photo Credit || Krista Photography