Weddings are exciting, sometimes so exciting that people forget about the legal side of things. Fortunately, nowadays the process is not too difficult, especially in the state of Florida. We’re here to help ease your wedding stress so you can focus on what matters – celebrating love. Read on to learn tips and the step-by-step process of a legal wedding in Florida.
- The state of Florida offers a marriage preparation course. The marriage preparation course is intended to educate couples on what marriage is truly like. The course teaches conflict management, financial basics, and how to handle marital responsibilities. If couples take the class, they get a discount on the marriage license. Additionally, they can pick up their license with no waiting period.
- In Florida, if an individual has married more than once, they must prove that they are eligible for marriage. If they are a divorcee, they must provide documentation that their last marriage is legally over. If they are a widow or widower, a death certificate must be presented.
- Outdoor weddings are popular in Florida, because of the tropical weather and beautiful beaches. Ensure that any outdoor weddings have the proper permitting to avoid disruptions or fines.
- Marriage licenses in Florida have spaces to sign for two witnesses. However, signatures in those spaces are not legally required. On the other hand, if there’s a chance that someone may contest the marriage, witness signatures are a good idea.
Apply For A Marriage License
First, apply for a marriage license from your county’s Clerk of Court office. The license does not have to be from the county that the wedding is taking place in. It just has to be from an official county Clerk of Court. The application is fairly straightforward, but when you turn it in, have someone at the clerk’s office review it. A once-over is always a good idea, just to avoid any delays or flukes.
In Florida, applicants must have identification to submit alongside the application. Traditionally, this consists of one form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and a social security number. In lieu of a social security number, it is possible to use an alien registration number.
When the application for a marriage license is approved, there is a waiting period of three days. For example, if an application is submitted and approved on Monday, the license can be picked up and used on Thursday. The license is valid for 60 days after it is issued.
An officiant must conduct the ceremony for it to be legally valid. Officiants for weddings include a wide variety of options.
- Ordained ministers or other ordained religious persons such as a rabbi
- State judge, even retired ones
- Public notaries of the state
- Clerks of the circuit court.
Register The Marriage
Finally, the officiant registers the marriage certificate with the County Clerk’s office within ten days of the ceremony. That’s it, you are now legally married!