April 18, 2023
If you’re looking for how to elope in Key West, then look no further! If you’re wanting sunny days in a tropical oasis on your wedding day, then the Florida Keys and Key West is where it’s at for your elopement. If you’re wanting to elope on Mallory Square at sunset then do the Duval Bar crawl, then Florida is the bees knees. If you’re wanting to get immersed in history and spend the day hitting up local distilleries, then Florida is for you. If you’re wanting to watch the sunrise, hit up 7 Eleven for some slurpees, then go brewery hopping, then head to the Sunshine State, babe.
Key West & the Florida Keys is the perfect location for laid back couples that want a little bit of adventure while soaking in the sun.
Once you have your marriage license (skip to the bottom of how to get legally married in Key West), you can literally elope anywhere that will have you! Keep in mind that there may be permits needed from county to county, park to park, or location to location. It’s important that you find a photographer that can help you navigate these waters (pun intended) and suggest locations that fit your vision!
Here’s some of my favorite elopement spots in Key West:
Want some guidance on finding the perfect Key West elopement location? Check out these Key West elopement packages and let me show you how I can help you plan and capture your elopement vision!
Key West is pretty much tropical all year round except for the three days of winter we may or may not have.
If you want to avoid crowds, plan your elopement during an off-season or non-holiday weekend. In the Florida keys, some popular times to avoid for increased travel costs and tourists are lobster mini season (July), opening weekend of Lobster season (early August), and Fantasy Fest unless, of course, that’s your plan (late October).
Florida’s hurricane season starts in June and goes all the way until November; however, this is a total hit or miss (literally). If you want to have a summer elopement, I would recommend an early summer (June/July) as hurricane activity picks up later in the season between mid-August and mid-October. If you’re planning an elopement during this time, consider getting travel insurance.
Speaking of the summers, you can almost always guarantee afternoon rain and thunderstorms. If you want to elope in the summer, I highly recommend doing it during sunrise to avoid the afternoon showers.
If you’re looking to not melt during your Key West elopement, the late fall/early winter timeframe is best. You’re looking at sunny and 75 weather. You might even get lucky and catch a cold front!
Sunrise or sunset, golden hour is king in Florida. There’s no right or wrong answer, but here’s a rule of thumb:
One of the perks of Key West is being able to see the Florida sunrise AND sunset. No matter what you can’t go wrong with a Key West sunrise or sunset. They’re both epic in their own regard.
We can’t forget about our mortal enemies, the Florida mosquitos and no-see-ums. These biting insects are TERRIBLE in the hot summer months. If you want to avoid getting eaten alive, look to get married during the late fall/winter months (November through February).
Need help figuring out the best time to elope in Key West? Check out these Key West elopement packages and let me show you how I can help you plan and capture your elopement vision!
There’s two easy steps for making it totally legal in Key West!
Looking for someone to help figure out what you need and when you need it? Check out my Key West elopement packages and let me show you how I can help you plan and capture your elopement vision!
You’ll first need to apply for a marriage license at the local clerk of court. The majority of counties allow you to do this online. If you’re a Florida local, keep in mind that there’s a 3-day waiting period. If you’re flying into Florida, you can apply and pick up your Florida marriage license same day. Just make sure that you’re in Florida during business hours of the Clerk of Court to pick up your marriage license before your ceremony!
Speaking of money – fees vary by county; however, they’re around $80.
To apply for a marriage license, you’ll need your driver’s license or state ID. Both people must be present. Florida does not require blood test or medical exams.
Once you have your marriage license, you can elope literally anywhere in Florida within 60 days!! Yayyyyyyy let’s do this!
Check with the applicable Clerk of Court before making plans to ensure you have all your ducks in a row.
Now that you have your marriage license, you’ll need someone to make it official. This can be any ordained minister, priest, rabbi or other ordained clergy, judges of the state of Florida, or Public notaries of the state of Florida. You can find a ton of options for an officiant through the Knot!
Heads up – there are two spaces for witness signatures on the Florida marriage license. However, this is not a requirement of the state, but you can totally have your dog sign as a witness!
Once you have the above done, we are ready to rock and roll!
If the idea of eloping excites you, but you’re not sure where to start, let me show you how I can help! Check out the Key West elopement experience!
Florida can be a finicky bitch. One moment its all sunshine and rainbows and the next minute it’s a torrential downpour. I want to ensure that my couples are fully prepared for whatever Florida may throw at us. Depending on the time of year and the weather, here’s a quick list of all the things to have handy for your Key West elopement:
If you’re wondering how your all day Florida elopement could look, here’s an example timeline for an all day elopement!
12:00 – 1:00 PM Getting ready at hotel
1:00 – 1:15 PM First look in lobby
1:15 – 1:30 PM Travel to ceremony location
1:30 – 1:45 PM Ceremony
1:45 – 2:00 PM Travel to Duval Street
2:00 – 4:00 PM Walk around and explore Duval Street
4:00 – 4:30 PM Travel to portrait location
4:30 – 5:30 PM Sunset portraits at Mallory Square
5:30 – 6:00 PM Travel to dinner
6:00 – 7:00 PM Enjoy dinner
7:00 – 7:30 PM Travel to hotel
7:30 – 8:00 PM Jump in pool!
This day is all about you. Your decision to elope means that you value the intimate moments and want to truly enjoy getting married. Your day should reflect what you value as a couple and the things you enjoy doing together. When you’re planning your elopement, be sure to find an elopement photographer that takes badass photos and helps bring your ideas to life. If you feel like we vibe, check out my Key West elopement packages about how we can make your Key West elopement happen!