Whether local or destination, here’s everything you need to know to plan your Jacksonville Beach wedding.
Congrats! You’ve decided to have a Jacksonville Beach wedding. I could not be more excited for you. If you know me at all, you know the beach is my happy place. In fact, I’d wager a bet that the beach is most people’s happy place, which is why it’s so popular for elopements and weddings! Whether down in the sand or at a private beach rental, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful views, crashing waves, a general sense of calm while simultaneously adventurous. The number one question you probably have is “how do I even plan this thing?” So let’s get right to it.
Do we need a permit to have a beach wedding?
Some beaches require a permit for you to use the space, some don’t. Each county has different regulations when it comes to events held at the beach. Permits can range from $50-$400 and depend on things like location, date, and event size. You can apply for a permit by going to the county website and filling out the application online. Sometimes there is a permit waiting period so keep that in mind when choosing your wedding date. Here’s the skinny on some beaches in the area:
Jacksonville Beach Wedding
- No permit required (first come, first served)
- Chairs, arches, tiki torches all permitted
- Clean up after yourself (obviously)
- Stay away from sea turtle nests
Amelia Island Beach Wedding
- No permit required (first come, first served)
- Must choose beach with public access
- No rice, balloons, string, alcohol, or open flame
- Leashed pets allowed
St Augustine Beach Wedding
- Permit required ($106) – takes 2 weeks to process
- Events over 200 people require special approval from the county, which can take up to 3 months
- Must contact state parks directly to hold events on their properties
**For other Florida beaches, you can do an internet search for the specific beach + “wedding permit” which should take you directly to that county’s website with all the deets.
How do we get a Florida marriage license?
Oh yeah, the marriage license. Can’t forget the legal bit! Whether you are having a destination wedding or are a Florida local, you will need to get that FL marriage license before saying “I do.” Fortunately, it’s a super easy process and the waiting period is only 3 days. For a Jacksonville Beach wedding, you’ll need Duval Clerk of Courts. Otherwise, you can click here for beaches outside of Jacksonville. Florida marriage licenses are valid for 60 days from issue date. Here are the requirements for Duval:
- Both parties must be over 18 and must apply in person
- Must provide 2 forms of ID
- Must provide social security number, if applicable
- $86 fee ($61 fee with proof of premarital prep course)
- Must verify that both parties have read the Marriage License Handbook
What is the best month to have a Jacksonville Beach wedding?
Here are some things to consider: hurricane season (May-Nov), tourist season (Mar-May and Sept-Nov), holidays, and public events. Check with the specific beach to make sure there are no public events scheduled. Since Jacksonville Beach is first come, first served, you want to make sure you aren’t scheduling your wedding on the same day as any festivals or marathons! You should also check for environmental events, such as sea turtle nesting season, which may carry more restrictions.
Tourist season is typically the best time to get married on the beach because the weather is perfect, not too hot and a low chance of rain. Unfortunately, it’s also the best time to be a tourist. To avoid the crowds, try to choose a date at the very beginning or end of the season. Generally speaking, sunrise and sunset are less busy. Weekday weddings are also an option. And don’t forget to check the tides!
If you’re looking to have the beach to yourself, consider a private beach rental or beach front venue (which can eliminate the crowd some) or a winter wedding. The beach in winter is underrated!
But what if it rains?!
I’m not going to lie, it might rain. It rains a lot here in Florida. Fortunately, rainy day photos are romantic, intimate, magical, adventurous, etc. Unfortunately, they are wet. I love a good rainy wedding day photo but it’s not for everyone. When choosing your date and location, make sure you have a rain plan in case you win the rainy day wedding lottery. (Remember, it’s good luck!)
If you’re eloping or having a small wedding, you can wait it out. If it’s just a shower, it’ll pass pretty quickly. You could also move to a covered area, like a pavilion or gazebo.
For larger weddings, you’ll probably be using a beach front venue or private beach rental. They’ll likely have a covered space for this very occasion. You’ll still be able to get married down on the sand but will have the benefit of a backup plan should the rain cause a delay.
How do we book photography for our beach wedding?
Easy, send me a message! I want to hear all about what you’re dreaming up. We’ll talk about your photography needs and create a custom package just for you. As a Jacksonville wedding photographer, I’ve got the inside scoop on Florida beach weddings. Once you reserve your date, I’ll be in contact periodically to check in. Communication is one of my *top* priorities. With me, you won’t ever have to wonder what the next step is. And let’s be honest, you probably have a bunch of things going on, planning a wedding and all. Your photography will just be one less thing you have to worry about.
Happy wedding planning!