Q&A on how to plan a beach wedding in Florida or Georgia!
Why Sun and Sea Beach Weddings?
The staff of Sun and Sea Beach Weddings have years of experience in planning and executing Weddings and receptions. We are a family and friend organization that has been in business in the greater Jacksonville area for over 10 years. We have excellent relationships with the hotels, parks, and vendors in the wedding industry. Our team absolutely loves what we do, and is always available to assist our couples in removing the stress from your planning process. You are in safe hands with us!
Where are you located?
We are located in St. Augustine, Florida. We service the entire northeast Florida coast from Daytona to Jekyll Island, GA. St. Augustine, St. John’s County Beaches, Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Amelia Island and Jekyll Island (Some beach destinations require a travel fee.) Visit our location page for more info.
How soon should we reserve the date for our Florida Beach Wedding?
If you choose a Friday or Saturday sunset, we suggest putting a deposit down as soon as you have decided to ensure your date is reserved. Your deposit goes toward your wedding and is used to reserve your wedding team. We have a progressive deposit system. This means that it is possible that future deposits will be due during the planning process.
Can we meet with you when we get to town?
We invite you to come out to any of the weddings that take place…we can coordinate dates and times for you to come see us in action! This is the best way to meet us prior to your wedding. We also can do sit down meetings by appointment.
How do we book our Florida Beach wedding?
Once you’ve decided the date and time, you can book your event! We require the appropriate deposit for the services requested. After you submit your form, you can choose to pay your deposit immediately by credit card on our website or mail in your deposit check or money order. Please be aware that we cannot hold your date until your deposit is received, so we recommend putting the deposit on your credit or debit card immediately upon submitting your request form. Once payment is received, we will set up your online web portal. From there you will be able to view your invoice, contract, and additional information regarding your selections.
Can we bring our own decorations?
We do not allow significant decorations to be mixed in with our own. However, many couples ask to incorporate small touches, and that is fine. Call to discuss.
Also, we are often asked if we can set up “third party” supplies that are brought to our weddings, such as chairs or tents. Sun and Sea Beach Weddings cannot handle any decorations or supplies from third party vendors.
Do you pick the location for the ceremony or do we?
The location is your choice. However we can easily assist if you need guidance. We go to parks, hotels, condos and beach houses.
There is an additional travel fee for “out of the area”. The fee is based upon the services requested and the distance needed to travel. Some of the locations do have a permit charge and process. These fees are NOT included in any of the Sun and Sea Beach Wedding Packages. Our location page can help identify these locations.
Can we get married at the location where we are staying?
Yes, it is very common for us to marry a couple behind their chosen lodging accommodations.
Are rehearsals included?
No. There is an additional fee of $300.00. Rehearsals must be scheduled no later than 2 hours prior to sunset.
What happens if it rains?
It is the responsibility of the Couple to have a “back-up” location in case of inclement weather. However, Sun and Sea Beach Weddings tries to be very flexible on our schedules. We watch the hour by hour reports constantly, and if we happen to see that rain could be a problem with your scheduled time, we will offer to adjust the timing of the wedding to “dance” around the rain. This is normally a great fix for a common shower.
** If you are having a reception – it can be moved to that location
** It can be “postponed” until the next day. Time based upon Sun and Sea Beach Weddings availability, but the couple makes the final decision.
Some of our setups may not be able to be used in an indoor location, but we will do our best to decorate your chosen backup location. We are not responsible for the weather.
Will there be other people on the beach?
Yes. Most beaches in the State of Florida are public beaches. We cannot “rope off” any part of the beach. There are certain times of the year when the beaches have more beach goers than others.
Even “in season” the Families are usually beginning to “pack up” and leave the beach around 4:00. Then there are usually couples going for strolls along the beach. Many of them “watch” from a distance. There are some areas that are less populated than others. In all of the weddings that we have done, we haven’t had any interference with beach goers.
Who performs the ceremony?
A Florida Notary Public or Ordained Reverend, male and female Officiants. We cater to all requests, so please feel free to discuss your ceremony needs.
What will the Officiant wear? Can we request them to wear a certain outfit?
Our Officiants wear outfits that are appropriate for your wedding. They are normally dressed in slacks and a nice shirt. Please keep in mind that our Officiants must wear clothes that are comfortable for the heat. For this reason, we cannot take requests for our Officiants to be in suits or other outfits that would be too hot.
Can we bring our own Officiant to our FLorida Beach Wedding?
Certainly, as long as he/she is Ordained or a Notary for the State of FL. We will deduct $85.00 from the Package you choose.
Can we write our own vows?
Yes, we encourage couples to be creative. We also include in this package a selection of different wedding/ring vows to choose from. When couples write their own vows, we suggest using “Message in a Bottle Vows.” When you write your own vows to one another, they are very personal and do not sound right being repeated after an Officiant. When you add on “Message in a Bottle Vows”, we place your vows on parchment or tropical paper and place them in bottles by your feet. When it is time to say your vows, we have you take them from the bottle. “Message in a Bottle Vows” are an additional $35.00, and you get to keep the bottles along with a keepsake copy of your vows. If you do not add “Message in a Bottle Vows”, then your vows will be repeated after the Officiant. Beach-side/Oceanside vows are read to each other and not repeated after the Officiant. We prefer to receive your vows via email.
Can we have a friend read a poem?
Yes, you can have a Friend/ Family member read a poem, sing, or lead in prayer.
Who takes the photographs?
Photography is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. A photographer can capture the intimate moments shared by you and your loved ones and make them eternal. Sun and Sea Beach Weddings partners with professional photographers to ensure our couples are delivered quality work. This is one of the most differentiating aspects of our business. We offer such great pricing on professional grade photography through our market relationships. Remember when you do your research to check a companies Facebook and galleries to make sure you are getting the quality work you deserve on your special day.
Although we take several other shots, we will pick the best photographs from the collection. We do not guarantee that you will receive every picture that we take. If there are specific poses that you will want, please let us know prior to the development of your photos. Knowing ahead of time what photos are important to you will help us make sure that you receive the ones you want.
We strive to provide our clients with quality photos… however weather conditions may affect the outcome. If you are scheduled for a sunset wedding and arrive more than 15 minutes late, we may not be able to take the amount of photos included with your package… there will be no adjustment on costs. Photos are generally ready within three to four weeks after your ceremony.
Can we provide our own photographer/videographer?
Yes. You can hire a your own photographer.
If you hire an outside photographer:
We will deduct our fee from the cost of the package. (In order for this fee to be removed, we must know at least (30) days prior to your wedding that you are having your own photographer. If you hire someone else as your main photographer and our photographer shows up on the day of your wedding, there will be no money refunded. Also note that if you hire another photographer, we still retain the right to take photos for our purposes. Make sure the other photographer is aware of this.
If you hire both us and a professional photographer:
Your hired photographer will be running the show! We will act as a secondary photographer and take shots around your hired photographer so not to interfere in his/her work. Also, remember all Florida beaches are public and there will be other people on the beach and in the water. Most people are very respectful of you and your wedding. Some photographers try to move these people out of the way. We cannot allow this to happen.
Do you provide music?
Unless included with one of our packages, all music is À La Carte. The fee is $100.00. We will play mood music prior to the ceremony, the processional and recessional, and music while the photographs are being taken. We can also recommend “live” music from a harpist, violinist, bagpiper, guitarist, steel drummer.
Can we bring our own music or CD player?
We do not allow you to bring your own CD player/music system. When you add music as an À La Carte item or it is included with your package, we provide the amplifier, music on ipod, and a staff member of Sun and Sea Beach Weddings to run the music. Our staff members know what songs to play and exactly when to play them per your instructions that you will detail on this wedding information sheet. It flows more smoothly this way.
Do you provide chairs?
Yes, we do have chairs available on the À La Carte list. Chairs are only included in our Seaside Kisses package. Keep in mind that most of the guests will have a camera or camcorder in hand and do not sit in the chairs provided. We can provide up to 200 chairs maximum.
How do I get a marriage license?
Florida residents have a waiting period of 3 days. But for brides and grooms of Sun and Sea Beach Weddings that live outside of Florida, the state has simplified the process by eliminating the waiting period. Out-of-state residents can obtain a license the same day – they just have to make sure they arrive in time to visit the courthouse during regular working hours, which is Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Couples can obtain a license from any county in the State of Florida. For Georgia weddings, the license must be obtained in the same county as the location of the ceremony. Both bride(s) and groom(s) must apply in person, together at the Clerk of the Court. Both must be 18, or have a parent with them to sign consent, and both must have a valid (not expired) State issued photo ID (driver’s license). If either person has been divorced within the past six months, they must bring a copy of their divorce decree. If it has been more than six months, the clerk will want to know the County/ State and date the divorce was finalized. Of course there is a fee – $93.50 for Florida, and in Georgia is varies by county…but no blood tests!
Here are links for more information
Why can’t you get my marriage license for me?
Florida law requires that the couple appear together in person. For this reason, we are unable to handle this for you. There are services that can assist you from a distance. We can provide that information upon request.
What happens to the license after the ceremony?
Remember to bring your marriage license with you to the beach. After your ceremony the Officiant for Sun and Sea Beach Weddings signs it, and takes it with him/her to mail the marriage license back to the court for you. The Clerk’s office will then mail you a certified copy. This can take anywhere from one (1) to four (4) weeks. If you have questions about this, you will need to call the Marriage License Department where you applied.
Can we turn the marriage license back in?
We ask that you allow us to mail the marriage license back to the court. Marriage licenses are only valid for ten (10) days after your ceremony and they need to be handled immediately. We find that couples generally have so much on their minds when they first get married that it is best for us to handle this. In rare cases, such as with our military and international couples, we will allow them to turn it in themselves. We are not responsible for any complications that should arise if you choose to file your signed marriage license by yourself.
What happens if we have to postpone?
Any deposits/payments will be applied to your new date. Deposits/payments are applicable for up to 6 months from the originally-scheduled ceremony. After that, a new deposit and service agreement are needed. If you need to reschedule, please call us for date and time availability.
What happens if we have to cancel?
ALL DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If you paid in full at the time of booking, and you cancel 45 days prior to your scheduled wedding date, you will be refunded the difference minus the appropriate deposits and any other costs incurred.
Do you handle the reception?
Yes, we would love to assist you with your reception and overall wedding planning. Check out our reception page or call us for more details.
Do you offer a cake cutting or champagne toast on the beach?
Yes, we can offer these services. Please call for more details.
Can we bring our own cake?
Yes. You will also need to bring all of your own supplies, such as a cake table, cake riser, cake cutter, napkins, silverware, etc. You will be responsible for this set up.
Can we bring our own champagne and toasting glasses?
Many beaches in Florida do not allow alcohol, and none of them allow glass on the beach. Call for more details.