The sunny climes and white sand beaches have been tempting lovers for a century. While traditionally a popular same-sex honeymoon destination, the state has now soared to the forefront of areas to consider when planning a same-sex wedding itself.
In addition to a wide range of potential venue sites, the state offers a variety of transportation alternatives, deejays, tropical flowers, event planners, beach locations, and gay-friendly bakeries to make your nuptials truly memorable. Fortunately, your first step—obtaining your marriage license—is the easiest. The state of Florida has seen to that.
There are eight simple steps to follow that guarantee to take all the guess work out of the process.
- Locate your local county courthouse. The key word here is county. In Florida, we have a Supreme Court, District Courts of Appeal, and trial courts as well. None of those will be a help in obtaining your marriage license, however, which is the sole domain of local counties of which we’ve got 67 in our state. If you’re visiting Florida and don’t know the county in which you’re located, visit floridabar.org/DIVCOM/PI/DirEntries.nsf/WCities?OpenView to find that information. Appointments are not necessary at any County Clerk office in Florida.
- Gather necessary documents. You will need a state driver’s license or passport, and an original birth certificate or Social Security number.
- Pay a fee. Currently it costs $93.50 to get a marriage license in Florida. For Florida residents, the cost is reduced to $61.00 if you have completed a pre-marriage counseling session. The license fee is payable in cash, via credit card or by check, so come prepared.
- Wait at least three days. In Florida, there is a three-day waiting period between the time the license is issued and the marriage may take place. Your license remains valid for 60 days from the date of issue.
- Prepare your vows. Regardless of what kind of wedding you have planned, from simple courthouse nuptials to elaborate formal events, you’ll want to personalize your own wedding vows.
- Get married within the state of Florida. A variety of officiants can perform the ceremony in a variety of venues. Many excellent choices for both are included among our advertisers here. EnGAYgedWeddings.com has a complete list of not only ceremony venues and marriage officiants and ministers, but also caterers, florists, bartenders, transportation, entertainment, deejays, formal wear suppliers, bakeries, and makeup artists. Marriage licenses issued in one county in Florida are good for ceremonies in all counties in Florida.
- Have your marriage license signed, dated, and filed with the court within seven days of the wedding. This service is typically provided by the officiant, but not always. If not, return to the Clerk of the Court and submit the document yourself.
- Await the certified copy of your marriage license. It should come in the mail within four-six weeks. You will need this certified copy to change your name on your driver’s license, opening up new banking and investment accounts, and order new monograms on your towels.
All that’s left is to enjoy your honeymoon. Hopefully in Florida, where gays and lesbians are welcomed and blessed. For expanded details on a picture-perfect wedding, visit floridaagenda.com and discover what else the state offers in the way of celebration.