Game day Wedding Tallahassee Elopement Ceremony

Game day Wedding Tallahassee Elopement Ceremony


Elena and Ben traveled to Tallahassee for the Louisville vs FSU football game….and to get married.

Elena graduated from FSU and Ben graduated from Louisville. Being that both of their alma matters were playing they thought it would be the perfect time to get married. Elena contacted me to help setup and organize their perfect Game Day Wedding Tallahassee Elopement Ceremony.

We had fun working together to organize details and come up with a game plan for their Tallahassee elopement ceremony. Home game weekends in Tallahassee have a lot going on so I want to make sure we had a plan in place and everyone was on the same page. Elena asked me for suggestions on hotels and restaurants…and I happily offered my Tallahassee favorites.

The football game was schedule for 12pm so to make plans less crazy and keep the ceremony sweet simple and intimate, we decided to have their wedding ceremony the day before the football game. To keep with the Tallahassee elopement theme we planned the ceremony at the Observatory on the top of the State Capitol building!! I arranged for a photographer to meet us at the Capitol and capture their special moment.

Love knows no might as well get married at the highest point in the state capitol.

Love knows no heights…so might as well get married at the highest point in the state capitol.

That Friday I met Ben and Elena outside the State Capitol building downtown and we went up to the top of the Capitol, 22 floors….we took the elevator 😉

22nd stories up to the Observatory and ready to get married!

22nd stories up to the Observatory and ready to get married!

The Observatory is the highest point in Tallahassee and you can see everything. We had the place to ourselves so it was perfect for their intimate elopement ceremony. I officiate a sweet civil ceremony and pronounced them husband and wife. We had fun! After the ceremony Ben and Elena were heading off to a celebratory dinner.

Officiating Ben and Elena's wedding ceremony in the Observatory at the top of the State Capitol.

Officiating Ben and Elena’s wedding ceremony in the Observatory at the top of the State Capitol.

On Saturday before the game the photographer met Ben and Elena to take some fun shots of them together outside the stadium.

Game day wedding shirts

Check out their sweet game day wedding shirts!

FSU won the game, but Ben won the love of his life so I’d say that’s a pretty great game day weekend!

Newly wed

The newly weds getting ready for the FSU vs Louisville game 

Ben wrote me and said, “Thanks you Amanda, and thank you very much for all your help this past weekend! You made the whole thing more fun via less stress!”

Makes me so happy to work with nice couples like Ben and Elena to create a ceremony that is perfect for them. All weddings don’t need to be the same and I’m always excited to create Tallahassee elopement wedding plans– if you have an elopement idea contact me and to put it together!

Small and Beautiful Tallahassee Weddings

Small and Beautiful Tallahassee Weddings


Your wedding is YOUR day! We encourage you to do what you and your fiance want. So many times couples get caught up in what others want and “keeping up with the Jones” that they lose track of what brought them to the wedding. On October 25, 2014, I had the privilege of officiating two small and beautiful Tallahassee weddings.

Leann and Joseph got married at the Piney Z Lodge which is part of the Piney Z community center. There was nice outside green grassy space where the ceremony was held. The inside Lodge had plenty of space for tables, buffet, and dance floor. Leann and Joseph had friends and family helping them put everything together. It was very nice. They had special message next to a picture of Joseph’s mother whom died from breast cancer a few years ago. All the groomsmen wore pink ribbons in her honor. It was very touching. The weather was perfect for their outside Tallahassee wedding and I really enjoyed being a part of their special day.

Inside the Piney Z Lodge for Leann and Joseph's wedding reception.

Inside the Piney Z Lodge for Leann and Joseph’s wedding reception.

Beautiful remembrance memorial message for Joseph's mother.

Beautiful remembrance memorial message for Joseph’s mother.

Me with the beautiful Leann and her now-husband Joseph

Me with the beautiful Leann and her now-husband Joseph

Later that day I had the real pleasure of officiating Robin and John’s Tallahassee wedding. Robin and John had been together for over 20 years and finally decided they wanted to get married. They live in South Florida and traveled to Tallahassee for the wedding because John’s family lives in Tallahassee. The wedding was held at John’s sister’s house off Ansel Ferrel Rd. About 15-20 friends and family were gathered to witness the joyous occasion. John and Robin were so cute! When I arrived and met Robin in the bedroom she told me they had memorized all the vows; including the “repeat after officiant” parts! They were so excited and so in love. The ceremony was held outside in the grass. White chairs were lined up and under neath a beautiful tree. John and Robin impressed me by saying the vows that are typically repeated. After the ceremony Robin’s mother told me, “I never thought I’d see this day. I am so happy.” Tables were setup outside to have a lovely reception and celebration. It was truly an honor to be a part of their small and beautiful Tallahassee weddings.

Me with the very happy just married Robin and John

Me with the very happy just married Robin and John

Outside tables

Outside tables for John and Robin’s reception

So please remember as you plan your wedding ceremony it can be any size, shape, color you want. Have fun with your day! These are just a few examples of small and beautiful Tallahassee weddings I have been a part of. For more ideas about planning your wedding please contact me!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. 

Throughout the country people are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness about Breast Cancer. I’ve seen football players, celebrities, and friends wearing pink in support of this great cause. This past Saturday the bride, Leanne, at one of the weddings I officiated at The Retreat at Bradley’s Pond in Tallahassee had a small pink ribbon on her bouquet. I thought this was a really nice way to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness month being that her wedding was in October.

Leanne's Fall wedding bouquet with a small pink ribbon for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Leanne’s Fall wedding bouquet with a small pink ribbon for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

What are you doing to show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month? What do you think about having pink at your October wedding to show your support?

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.




Clearwater Commitment Ceremony Officiant Talks About Marriage Equality in Florida

Clearwater Commitment Ceremony Officiant Talks About Marriage Equality in Florida


19 States now recognize same sex marriages. Florida and many southern states don’t recognize same sex marriages. I’ve had same sex couples say their minster wouldn’t perform a commitment ceremony. Seems like such a shame.

Currently, myself (Clearwater Commitment Ceremony Officiant) and all A Beautiful Wedding in Florida by A Notary On The Go officiants will happily perform commitment ceremonies for same sex partners, and should Florida pass the law on marriage equality we would gladly notarize a marriage license for any couple at a later time after a commitment ceremony at no additional cost.

We are very glad that popular TV shows like ABC’s Modern Family has helped open America’s eyes and hearts to the idea of same sex marriage.

I get calls from same sex couples wanting to have a commitment ceremony performed in Florida. I received a call the other day from a woman asking me if it was necessary to have an officiant to perform a commitment ceremony. I said the officiant wouldn’t be legalizing anything so no it wouldn’t be necessary. But I went on to explain that an officiant would be helpful in preparing the commitment ceremony vows and could perform the ceremony. She went on to say that it would be for two women. I could sense that she wanted to see if I had any hesitation or how I would respond. I was glad to offer suggestions and was very open about performing a commitment ceremony for her & her partner. We spoke about marriage equality in Florida and the hopes that same sex marriage will be legalized in Florida soon to come. She could see that I was very open to marriage equality and a true supporter. What touched me the most in our conversation was when she said,“It’s all about love.” What could say it better than two people who love each other and want to share their lives with each other. The woman, Marie, hired me as her Clearwater Commitment Ceremony Officiant for her March 14, 2015 Honeymoon Island wedding commitment ceremony. I have been working with her to create a ceremony that makes her and her partner happy. Since their marriage will not be legal in the state of Florida they’ve asked me to notarize a few legal documents prior to the ceremony; which I’ll gladly do for them. Marie is expecting about 140 family and friends to attend their commitment ceremony. I’ve enjoyed working with her so far and am sure her officiating her ceremony will be memorable and fun to be a part of.



A recent article in Orlando Sentinel claims that three judges in three separate cases in Florida could rule any day now whether to overturn Florida’s ban on gay marriages. Marriage equality is good for everyone. Let’s hope that Florida steps up with the many other states in the nation and legalizes same sex marriages….because “It’s all about love”…right?