When you envision a destination wedding, you’re probably thinking of somewhere exotic that takes multiple flights to reach. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you just got engaged and are starting to think through wedding day logistics, don’t rule out Florida as a location quite yet!
And if you choose to get married in Florida and need support from a local team for your wedding photography and videography, we have professionals available across the state. Contact us to find out about our packages and the latest promotions.
We are BIG fans of destination weddings because they can extend beyond an evening and into an entire weekend. This will result in an unforgettable vacation for your guests, topped off by an incredible wedding.
One of the best ways to make a destination wedding more affordable for all of those in attendance is to consider hosting the wedding a little closer to home: within the borders of the United States.
When you travel from one side of the United States to the other, the varied environments and cultural norms all make for a very interesting nation! That means that there are plenty of options of where you could do a States-side wedding (which is outside of the state where you currently live and an entirely new experience for you and your loved ones.)
According to The Knot, “Traditionally, a destination wedding is a ceremony that's hosted outside of the couple's hometown, which requires travel for most (if not all) of those involved. These weddings are commonly associated with picturesque locations, like the South of France or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
In 2019, nearly one in four couples hosted a destination wedding, proving that they're a great alternative to a traditional ceremony. But of those who planned a destination wedding, only 17 percent would consider their location to be tropical, and just 11 percent said it was held in another country.
This indicates that the majority are actually domestic weddings—or, as we like to call them, "domestination weddings." With plenty of charming wedding venues throughout the United States, it's not surprising that domestination weddings are a trend on the rise. While some couples select their location for its sentimental value, others are choosing their wedding city simply because they like it.”
Many of the large cities could be the host of your big day and we think that there are many reasons to have a destination wedding in Florida. From the accessibility to the weather and widespread activities, Florida just might be the location for your dream wedding.
When you think about the location for your destination wedding, it's beyond the options for all-inclusive hotel venues or prices of local florists. You need to think about the surrounding logistics. It's the sum of these that all help tie up the wedding experience into a pretty bow. From the plane ride, to the way that your guests will spend their downtime, here are reasons to have a destination wedding in Florida.
1. Getting to Florida takes an easy airplane ride. No matter where you’re going in Florida, from Orlando to Miami, it’s typically not a difficult flight pattern when visiting from other states.
Ranging from two hours from New York to five hours from California, most of your guests will be able to get there within a fairly quick non-stop flight experience. Some of the best parts about choosing Florida as the location for your destination wedding? Your guests won’t need passports, plane ride prices won’t be astronomical, and any jetlag symptoms will be manageable!
Tip: If you’re flying with your wedding dress, make sure it’s in a sturdy and thick garment bag so that your fiancé doesn’t get a sneak peek. Try to board as early as possible and ask the flight attendants about the best options to store your dress. They might have room in the first-class coat closet or could lay it on top of a row of bags in the overhead compartment. It’s a lot of fun to travel with your gown because everyone will know that you’re getting married!
2. Soaking up the sun can be done year-round. The temperature in Florida ranges from 51 degrees Fahrenheit in January, up to 82 degrees in July. The average across the state throughout the year is a perfect 70 degrees Fahrenheit! If you dream of a beach wedding with your toes in the sand or want a glamorous view of a sparkling skyline from a swanky rooftop, the weather is one of the top reasons to have a destination wedding in Florida.
Tip: you do need to keep humidity in mind, so make sure you and your guests are prepared if you’re planning to be married outside in the peak summer months. This is typically also a popular time for tourists (which means more crowds and higher prices) along with the potential for hurricane season. Spring or ‘winter’ (Florida-style) may be best.
3. Obtaining a wedding license if you’re from out of state is not complicated. Remember: a wedding is a legally binding contract! Each state has their own guidelines and its important to do your research so that you’re prepared in advance. According to visitFlorida.com:
“To get married in Florida, visiting couples need only go together to the nearest clerk of the circuit court office to obtain a marriage license. Marriage licenses are good for 60 days. The standard fee is $93.50, which can be reduced to $61 for Florida residents who have completed a premarital preparation course. It's not necessary for residents to obtain licenses from their home county. It can typically be paid by cash, charge or personal check. As soon as a license for getting married in Florida is obtained, a wedding ceremony can be performed anywhere in the state.”
4. Experiencing a taste of culture with the diverse cultural activities can help build a dynamic and memorable agenda. Whether you and your guests want to spend a few days leading up to the wedding riding the rides at Walt Disney World in Orlando, or enjoying an Art Walk across downtown Miami, Florida will help to meet the needs of anyone and everyone!
From the Cuban food and Latin music to the hot nightlife and exotic animals, this cultural hotspot is so much more than just crystal blue waters and sunsets behind palm trees…although, there’s that, too!
It’s likely that many of your guests already have Florida on their travel bucket-list and this will give them a great ‘excuse’ to cross it off! Many cruise ships go in and out of Florida so your guests could also extend their trip and turn it into an even more extravagant experience if they choose.
Tip: When you plan a destination wedding, think about what an agenda will look like. Plan to have a few key activities leading up to the wedding that you can offer for your guests to enjoy. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming or planned minute-by-minute (since your guests are on vacation, too). Some of the best memories of your destination wedding will be made with your guests in local settings; experienced outside of the stress of the wedding day. Your guests will make some special memories and have deepened relationships with one other, too!
5. Enjoying your honeymoon doesn’t have to be an added travel cost. The term ‘weddingmoon’ refers to a wedding and honeymoon combined into one. From our experience, you will be on such a high from the hustle and bustle of the events leading up to the wedding day, the most seamless and low-stress honeymoon option will be welcomed. Combining your wedding and honeymoon into a cohesive experience will help to increase the time that you can spend decompressing after the big day, all while enjoying one another's company in a cool new place.
If you don’t want to add on additional flight-fare or travel stresses to get to another location for your honeymoon, just switch up your surroundings. Say goodbye to your wedding guests and book a different hotel for the days that follow your wedding or rent a car and drive down the coast to another city for some new activities.
Tip: The event space where you’re getting married or hotel where you may have a room block for all of your guests might offer a package that will allow you to extend your stay for your honeymoon. Depending on what they offer you, this could be an appealing option. If some of your guests are also extending their stay, don’t feel pressured to entertain them after the big day. Switch up your room, go to different spots on the hotel grounds, and spend some extra time together with your mate in more private locations like the spa. Most people will understand that the newlyweds need their alone time.
We hope this was helpful for you to learn about the reasons to have a destination wedding in Florida! Our team members are intimately familiar with the local spots and can help bring more joy to your wedding day by making you feel comfortable in a new location.
If you need support from local professionals, we have wedding photographers and videographers located in:
Get to know our team and see their portfolios here.
The Joy Team