You said “yes” (or maybe you ugly cried some resemblance of an affirmation), and you were thrilled. Wedding, here you come! But as you began thinking about planning the ultimate wedding celebration, perhaps you found yourself less and less excited about a grandiose affair. The truth is, not every couple wants an extravagant wedding with an enormous wedding party and more guests than you could possibly greet in one evening. For some, an intimate elopement with only your nearest and dearest is far more appealing. And for some, speaking your vows against the backdrop of sun, sand, and surf is an absolute must. If both of these descriptions sound like you, read on for how to plan your sweet Miami elopement.
Zola loves weddings no matter how large or small they may be and we think elopements are the perfect solution for couples seeking a low-fuss affair that they’ll remember for a lifetime. But eloping isn’t quite as simple as hopping on a plane and saying “I do” upon landing (though we certainly wish it were). That’s why we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of all the information you’ll need to make your Miami elopement a successful and memorable event.
A Miami Elopement
Eloping in Miami means that you and your fiancé(e) are foregoing the complicated process of planning a large wedding, and instead getting married alone or with a just a very few close friends or family by your side. (Once your guest list goes beyond what you can count on two hands, we’d consider that an intimate wedding instead of an elopement.)
Whether you and your partner have too much or not enough family, or simply want to be unique or save money, eloping may be just the thing. But it’ll take more than just changing your Facebook status to “married” to make this thing official.
Getting A Marriage License
If you and your partner are over 18, simply go to the Miami-Dade County Marriage License Bureau with a government issued ID (yep, your driver’s license counts); $93.50 in the form of cash, money order, or a credit card; and social security numbers. You must apply for a marriage license in person (but you can fill out the paperwork in your pajamas by going here), and take it to your nearest District Court.
Before obtaining the license, you might have to take a four-hour pre-marital course (this makes your license only $61), or simply wait three days after signing the document before it can be considered valid.
If you’re not a resident of the Sunshine State, then go ahead and march down to the chapel because you’re off the hook. Once you’ve gotten your marriage license, you have 60 days to say “I do” and make it #official.
Having A Witness
Here’s the neat thing: if you’ve decided to get hitched in Florida, you don’t have to have a witness other than your Miami wedding officiant. It’s a dream come true for couples looking to proclaim their love in a private and intimate setting.
The License Bureau offers an in-house ceremony for only $30, and even provides photos for $10 if you choose not to hire a wedding photographer from the area. But ask any of us wedding junkies and well tell you that no money was ever wasted on professional wedding photos. Just sayin’.
If you’d like to elope in Miami, but don’t want to say “I do” in the District Court, there are several Miami wedding planners fully equipped to help plan an elopement elsewhere. They’ll offer advice to couples looking for beautiful backdrops for their vow and ring exchanges. Whether you dream of digging your toes in the sand or walking amongst the romantic gardens scattered throughout the city, there are so many dynamic settings for your Miami elopement all year round.
You can’t spell “love is” without an E-L-V-I-S, but that doesn’t mean that Vegas has to be the place where you elope. This intimate wedding ceremony can be anything you want it to be with the right paperwork and the right person reciprocating those vows. Now that’s a plan we can’t help falling in love with.