Florida Marriage License Information


A valid Florida marriage license is required to be legally married in Florida. The marriage license can be issued at any County Clerk’s office in Florida; it doesn’t have to be the county where you are getting married. A Florida marriage license can be issued as early as 60 days before the wedding. For Florida residents there is a three-day waiting period after getting the license before you can be married. If a premarital on-line counseling course is completed, you can get married on the same day you get your license. Out-of-state residents can be married the same day that they get the Florida marriage license. When applying for your marriage license both parties must be present.

We do offer a convenient Florida mail away license service where you can “Show up and Get Married.” No going to the Courthouse!!! This is extremely popular for families and couples that travel to Clearwater or St George Island Florida to get marriage and don’t want to spend their time going to a courthouse.

Witnesses are not required. There is an optional spot for 2 witnesses to sign the marriage license but this is not required. If you truly want to elope with just you and your fiancé- you can 🙂

The Florida marriage license must be presented on the day of the wedding for notary or minister to complete. Whoever performs your ceremony would send the license back to the county where the license was issued. The county will then record your marriage and send you a certified copy of your marriage license. The certified copy of the marriage license is what you would need to change your name.

Chilly Clearwater Beach Wedding!!

Chilly Clearwater Beach Wedding!!


Geralyn (Brittany’s Mother) had been corresponding with me for over a year in planning her daughter Brittany & now son-in law Kyle’s Clearwater Beach wedding.  Geralyn hired us to handle the ceremony setup including bamboo poles with decorations, sand ceremony and setup, photographer, and officiant.

Clearwater beach wedding ceremony setup. Photos by George Sr.

Clearwater beach wedding ceremony setup. Photos by George Sr.

The wedding was this past Saturday. They rented a beach house on Clearwater Beach. Geralyn corresponded with me about the wedding setup, photos, where to get flowers, hair done, where to go to dinner etc…She was paying great attention to details and I could tell by her messages just how excited and how much this meant to her.  In some of her messages, I could pick up tearful sentiment as she was corresponding about her daughter’s wedding. I let her know that I had a daughter recently get married and sent her my picture of me balling my eyes out at my daughter’s wedding. She laughed, and we continued with Mother-to-Mother correspondence in planning her daughter’s wedding. We enjoyed corresponding and planning her daughter’s wedding. On the day of the wedding it was so nice to finally meet her!

Brittany and Kyle were married this past Saturday at sunset on Clearwater Beach. It was a rather chilly evening. Brittany and Kyle and family are from Illinois so the cold didn’t bother them. They were jumping for joy!!

jumping for joy at their Clearwater Beach wedding. Photos by George Sr.

Brittany and Kyle jumping for joy at their Clearwater Beach wedding. Photos by George Sr.

A multi-colored four post bamboo poles was setup. They performed sand ceremony blending sand into a photo frame.


Brittany and Kyle’s wedding ceremony setup. A Beautiful Wedding In Florida provide bamboo setup with decorations, photographer, sand ceremony, and officiant. Photos by George Sr.

George Sr did the photographs and video. It was a beautiful sunset. He had them strolling on the beach and got a lot of shots of them having fun together.

A perfect sunset for a Clearwater beach wedding,

A perfect sunset for a Clearwater beach wedding. Photos by George Sr.

Family and friends were going to The Beachcomber for reception dinner. Brittany and Kyle were staying in Clearwater Beach until Monday when they were going to begin their honeymoon bye taking a cruise before returning to Illinois.

Geralyn thanked me so much for everything. She couldn’t believe that it came and went so fast. She looked forward to a relaxing Sunday on Clearwater beach. She sent me an email saying “I want to thank you and George again for all that you did.  It’s kind of sad that our brief relationship is over.  I enjoyed our correspondence.  You must get great satisfaction on the positive way you touch the lives of so many people.  I wish you and your family the best.” It’s always nice to know that our hard work is appreciated and enjoyed.

Congratulations, Brittany and Kyle.

Congratulations, Brittany and Kyle! We had a wonderful time being a part of your beautiful Clearwater beach wedding! Photos by George Sr.

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony


When we named our business “A Beautiful Wedding In Florida” little did we realize just how many absolutely beautiful wedding locations that are available to have wedding ceremonies at in Florida. I performed a wedding on Friday night for Amanda and Travis at another gorgeous location,  Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach.  The wedding was on the patio on the 16th floor of the resort. It overlooked all of Clearwater Beach and surrounding areas.  A beautiful blue sky and a light breeze made it the ideal evening for a wedding.


The view of Clearwater from where Amanda and Travis’ Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony took place.

Soft music was played by a harpist as guests were being seated. Looking at the sky and hearing the soft music was like we were in heaven.

Harpist at

Beautiful harpist at Amanda and Travis’ Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony

Travis looked very handsome in his gray suit with lavender boutonniere.  Amanda looked so pretty as she was walked down the aisle by her father. She carried a beautiful bouquet of brilliant orange roses with some white and lavender flowers mixed in. She wore a white dress with off the shoulders neckline and just a small gem stone necklace.

After ceremony guest were invited to reception at the Hyatt Regency.

Amanda and Travis thanked me so much for performing such a beautiful ceremony.

Me with the newly wed Amanda and Travis at their Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony.

Me with the newly wed Amanda and Travis at their Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Wedding Ceremony.

Clearwater Beach Wedding at the Clearwater Recerational Center

Clearwater Beach Wedding at the Clearwater Recerational Center


Last Saturday night, I officiated Nichole and Rick’s Clearwater Beach wedding. The wedding and reception was held at the Clearwater Recreational Center. They had a Hawaiian theme for the wedding. Guest were greeted by Hawaiian’s in costume giving everyone a flowered lei to wear and a shell that would be tossed in the ocean at the end of the ceremony.

Hawaiian greeters at Rick and Nichole's Clearwater Beach wedding.

Hawaiian greeters at Rick and Nichole’s Clearwater Beach wedding.


For the shell toss I said, “On the count of 3 we will all toss our shells into the water & as the ripples touch & intertwine with one another may our love & best wishes also join together for Nicole & Rick.” “Ready 1-2-3- TOSS!”

The wedding was outside on the lawn facing the gulf. They had over 100 guests in attendance. Weddings & Events by Suda coordinated the day of events. Suda had everyone lined up, and was very timely and organized.

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They even had me decorated with Hawaiian lei

Bridesmaids wore mint green dresses all knee length except for maid of honor who was wearing a gown. Groomsmen were comfortably dressed beige slacks, vest and ties. Nichole looked so beautiful. She wore a strapless off the shoulders white dress with a pretty pearl and jewel necklace that just accented her neckline and bead work on front of her dress. They all got their dresses at David’s Bridal.  Nichole had a Hawaiian version of here comes the bride played as she walked down the aisle. She was given away by her parents. At the end of the ceremony the guest were asked to go to the water’s edge for the shell toss. Guest were asked to make a blessing and a wish for the happy couple. Then at count of three toss the shells into the ocean.


The reception was inside following the ceremony. Delectable’s Catering did the catering and  Chantilly’s cakes made a beautiful cake.


Clearwater Beach wedding and Hawaiian themed cake

Rick and Nicole were very pleased and happy with everything. They weren’t going on a honeymoon just yet as they had out of town guest visiting. Nichole and Rick were a great couple,  I enjoyed performing ceremony and being a part of their special Clearwater Beach wedding.

Clearwater area Gazebo Weddings

Clearwater area Gazebo Weddings


Your wedding doesn’t always have to be at a beach to capture a romantic setting for a wedding. How about a wedding under gazebo? I’ve been a part of many Clearwater area Gazebo weddings one of my favorite gazebos is Veteran’s Memorial Park in Oldsmar. It’s such a pretty spot in the park. The gazebo overlooks the water and is a very picturesque spot for a wedding. It can be rented through the City of Oldsmar. Chairs can be setup and shelters are nearby if you would want to have a park reception.

George Jr. performs a sunset wedding in Spanish under the Veteran's Memorial Park gazebo.

George Jr. performs a sunset wedding in Spanish under the Veteran’s Memorial Park gazebo in Oldsmar, FL. Photos by George Sr.

Another beautiful gazebo is in downtown Dunedin. Right near Edgewater Drive next to the Dunedin Marina. The gazebo is shaded and there are picnic tables and a playground nearby for children. The gazebo is nice and large. It can be rented through the City of Dunedin.


The gazebo in downtown Dunedin is a wonderful place for an outdoor Florida wedding.

Downtown Safety Harbor also has a beautiful spacious gazebo. It’s right in the heart of downtown near so many shops and restaurants. It can hold 60 chairs under the gazebo and has space for plenty more on the lawn. Gazebo, chairs, & tables can be rented through Safety Harbor Parks.

Safety Harbor Gazebo at John Wilson Park.

Safety Harbor gazebo at John Wilson Park.

Clearwater area gazebo weddings not only capture a beautiful setting, but can be very reasonable to rent. The gazebos that I’ve mentioned are all near parks and offer something for guest with children. If you are considering a Clearwater area gazebo wedding we can offer a photographer, chairs,  music, ceremony officiant, and more to help you create you beautiful wedding in Florida.

Changing Your Last Name After Marriage

Changing Your Last Name After Marriage


As a Tampa and Tallahassee wedding officiant service, we marry many wonderful couples. We are asked about how the bride changes her last name. I recently changed my last name (was Amanda Doumanian now Amanda Reeves) so I totally understand that it’s a confusing processes, as well as, a pain for the woman! Haha! So we are glad to help with all your marriage license and name change questions please do not hesitate to ask us!

This is an email I recently received from a groom, “We were a little curious how bride will sign her name on the marriage license. She intends to change her last name to mine, so should she sign the marriage license with my last name or her last name now.”

So to clear this up (because we are asked this often), the bride will change her last name AFTER the marriage. Just because you get married does not mean the woman’s last name automatically changes. Today, a lot of woman do not change their last names. When I changed my last name, I made my middle name my maiden name and last name my husband’s last name. There are all sorts of options and in our modern time the woman is free to chose to do what they want.

The bride doesn't have to change her name

The bride can change her last name after the marriage.

If the bride is changing her last name there are a few steps to take and they are all be done AFTER the marriage is legal.  In Florida, your marriage is legal after your Florida Marriage License is notarized by a Florida notary and returned back to the County Clerk’s office where you got the marriage license. After the County Clerk records your notarized marriage license you will receive a certified copy which you will use to get your name changed. Note– if your marriage license is returned via regular mail it’ll take 7-10 days to get the certified copy back OR if you bring it directly to the County Clerk’s Office you will get the certified copy back right then and there.

If you are going on a honeymoon right after the wedding you will use your current ID or Passport then when you return you can take the steps in getting your last name.

Here are the steps (do them in this order) to get your name changed after you are legally married:

1.  Marriage license – get your certified copy of your marriage license. One will be given back to you and if you need/want more you can pay to have extra copies

2. Social security card– you must change your name on your social security card before changing it on anything else. You cannot change your name on your social security card online. You must go to your local social security office to change your name- find yours here. There is no charge to change your name on your social security card. You will need to fill out an application for social security card and bring the required documents. Click here for more details on changing your name on your social security card.

3. Drivers license- contact your local DMV to find out what forms are required to change your name on your drivers license. There will be a fee to do this.

4. Passport- if you have a passport you should go ahead and update it with your new name. Click here for details on how to change your name on your passport.

5. Everything else– bank accounts, credit cards, doctors, insurance, voter registration card, etc.

6. Your signature 🙂 Now that you’re name is legally changed it’s time to practice your new signature!

Getting married is exciting and so is changing your last name so have fun with the process. I recommend making a list and going down the list as you get each one done changed. It’ll make it less overwhelming. You only have to change your last name one time so just do it and have fun with it. And of course, we are here to assist with any more questions your may have!! For more information on changing your license, sunset and sunrise times, and marriage license/County Clerks Office visit our Resources page.