Wedding Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions for the beach and gazebo weddings, please contact us if you have any questions not listed here. Most beach and gazebo weddings are very simply planned, not meant to be a complicated process, and designed to be a perfect setting for your wedding vows.
Are you licensed and insured as a business?
Believe it or not, this is a very important question in selecting services for your wedding. We are pre authorized and insured in Pinellas County for all beaches and we are a licensed wedding planning business. We also carry business liability insurance and we are registered through the state of Florida as an Limited Liability Company. Please make sure whoever you decide to choose can offer the same documentation and coverage.
How long have you been providing wedding services to couples?
We have had the pleasure of honoring many couples since 2010, from an elopement for two to formal wedding receptions for a hundred or more. We love working with each and every couple, whether you are a planning a sweet and simple beach wedding or something much more elaborate. We offer a variety of wedding packages and services because we know all brides are very different in their tastes and budget.
Does the Officiant provide and charge for a microphone for a beach wedding?
Normally in all the weddings we have done on the beach that are small and intimate, we have never had to provide or charge a couple for a microphone for the Officiant as sometimes the wind and surf make the Officiant sound scratchy and static may interfere as well. From our experience, we feel it sounds much more natural for a small intimate beach wedding without a microphone. If you are requesting the Officiant to provide a microphone to perform the ceremony, there is a 100.00 fee added. If the beach wedding is a large wedding over 50 guests , most commonly there is a dj who provides a professional microphone along with his services.
Do you arrange same sex weddings?
It is an honor to perform a ceremony for each and every couple, and we welcome all couples with open arms!
The only requirement needed is love.
How do we get a marriage license?
Each couple has to obtain a marriage license application at the nearest courthouse. The fee is 93.50 for all couples, but a resident of Florida has a three day waiting period before being able to marry. Out of state residents do not have this waiting period. In order to obtain your marriage license you both must have a valid photo ID present at the courthouse at time of application. Please don't forget to bring your marriage license with you to the ceremony so the Officiant can process your marriage license after the ceremony with the courthouse. You will receive your certified marriage license in the mail about 10 days after your ceremony.
How do we get a marriage license by mail?
A stress free option to obtain a marriage license for your wedding is to purchase a marriage license by mail. We are a registered provider in Florida to provide these to all couples, including Florida residents! This option allows you the option to skip the courthouse visit entirely by filling out a few forms remotely and your Officiant will have your Marriage License in hand on your wedding day! This service is especially valuable for Florida destination beach wedding couples.
What happens if we forget to bring the marriage license to the ceremony?
This has happened on a few occasions to couples! If you forgot your marriage license at a hotel, in a suitcase, or lost it, all of these situations can be remedied, so please dont stress. If you forgot or were not aware to apply for a marriage license, you can visit any courthouse on the next business day after your ceremony and bring it back to the Officiant to legalize the document.
Do you offer couples any discounts?
We offer active Military a 10% discount upon proof of status on beach weddings. We also offer a 10% discount on larger beach wedding packages Monday through Wednesdays. Only one discount may be applied for each couple.
Do we meet in person or is everything planned remotely?
For most weddings, especially destination weddings, everything can be handled by email and phone and there is no reason to meet in person because we make the process very simple. We can be reached via email 24/7 and phone calls are always welcome to discuss any details or questions. We work hard to make it easy for you!
How far ahead should we reserve our Wedding date?
It is best to plan ahead for a wedding, especially if you are a destination wedding couple, so we would suggest one year in advance if you are including guests and a ceremony set up. If for a simple elopement, those can sometimes be last minute and depending on our calendar, we would be honored to fit you in!
What is the process to purchase and pay for our Wedding?
Once you’ve decided on a package, location, date, and time of your Wedding, please confirm the availability through us.. A form is available on the website, and the deposit amount is payable with a credit card,Paypal, check, or money order. The remaining balance is due 21 days prior to wedding date to ensure all details are taken care of in a timely manner at which time a credit card, cashiers check, or money order is accepted.
Where are the locations for a Florida Beach Wedding or Gazebo Wedding?
The beach location is always your choice for a beach wedding, although we can certainly help to guide you if you are unfamiliar with the beaches of Florida. We service beaches in Pinellas County which are the most sought after beaches in the area for a beach wedding. Some of these beaches require a special permit which is not included in our pricing. If you wish, we are able to handle the permit request upon receipt of your payment for permit fee. For the Gazebo Weddings, there are three private locations in the Tampa Bay area dependent on the size and scope of your particular wedding.
Are the locations a private beach or private gazebo?
Every beach in Florida is a public beach so there are no beaches that can be reserved privately. Starting in November there would be a less congested beach and also cooler weather. Most of the beach tourists leave the beaches by late afternoon, so a sunset wedding would have far less people around, and perfect for a more intimate setting. The gazebo locations are totally private, there are no other weddings being performed at the time of your wedding which is a plus factor for some couples desiring an intimate setting.
Can we get married at the hotel, resort, condo, or beach house where we are guests?
It is possible as long as you obtain permission from the hotel/resort, condo or beach house owner. Always make sure to ask the property owners if there is an additional fee for allowing a wedding on their property. Any additional fees are the couples sole responsibility. This option only applies to the Florida Beach Weddings.
Are pets allowed to be a part of the ceremony?
If you are staying at a location where pets are allowed. Public beaches do not allow pets directly on the beach.
Is there a permit required to get married on the beach or gazebo?
Some beaches require a permit, but many do not. Permit fees range in price and would be the sole financial responsibility of the couple. The fees range from 20.00 and up depending on the beach chosen. There are many beaches in the area that require no permit depending on the amount of people, so this is the popular way to go with a lot of couples! There are no permit fees for the gazebo required, only a small rental fee charged by the venues.
Which are the best months to have a Florida Beach Wedding or Gazebo Wedding?
The busiest times of the year for outdoor weddings are March through November. The chances of rain are higher in the summer months, but because of the temperate weather here in Florida, outdoor weddings are popular all year round!
What are the best times to be married on the beach or a gazebo ceremony?
Sunset beach weddings are the most popular times because of the beautiful sunset photography produced, followed by morning beach weddings and elopements but we can arrange your preferred time if desired. Gazebo Weddings can be scheduled into the evening and we can provide candlelight and twinkle lights at additional cost to set the stage for a romantic atmosphere.
What time should we arrive for our ceremony?
You should arrive on the beach 15 minutes prior to your ceremony start time so there is no rush. If you are not familiar with the beach areas we would suggest either a drive by before the beach wedding or to drive out early as there is also parking to consider and sometimes the beaches are crowded, and no beach wedding company has control over this. Please remember to plan ahead, to be prepared, and to be on time so your wedding ceremony can flow smoothly. We cannot stress how important this is in order for us to handle your beach wedding with time on our side to serve you in the best possible way.
Can you describe the ceremony?
A beach wedding ceremony is a loving and romantic pronouncement of your wedding vows. It also includes the sand ceremony and the blessing shells. The sand ceremony has the couple picking up sand from the beach or if they prefer, any color sand they choose, and pouring the sand into a keepsake heart bottle, while the blessing shells has the couple and guests tossing shells into the water after the ceremony with a special wish for the couple. Please note these are always optional but there is no price reduction to remove them from your ceremony, as they are added as a courtesy. For gazebo weddings only, we are able to perform a unity candle ceremony, a rose ceremony, a wine ceremony, and a few others. We can also customize any type ceremony you would like upon sufficient notice of 30 days prior to your wedding date.
Are Florida Beach Weddings "barefoot"?
Many couples ask this question, and it is simply and totally at the discretion of each couple. If you are wanting a more laid back setting, then this would fit right in.
How long does a beach or gazebo ceremony last?
Typically, the ceremony on the beach or at a gazebo location plus the photography afterwards do not extend more than an hour and a half.
Who are your Officiants?
Because beach and gazebo weddings vary in time and date, we have a preferred list of Officiants available who would either be a Florida Notary Public or Ordained Minister secured by Cherished Ceremonies.
Do you have a bilingual Officiant?
Yes, a bilingual Officiant in Spanish is available dependent on your date and time.
Are we allowed to use our own Officiant?
Yes, as long as your Officiant is Ordained or a Notary for the State of FL recognizing the laws in the state of Florida that have to be abided by. Your Officiant is solely responsible for any rehearsals, creating & performing the ceremony, working with you to create your vows, and signing and filing your marriage license after the ceremony. Because you are purchasing a wedding package, there is a courtesy price reduction of 100.00 if you use your own Officiant.
Are rehearsals included in the price?
No, rehearsals are additional and handled by the Officiant and the charge for this is 75.00 if you have reserved a beach wedding package and are using one of our Officiants for your beach or gazebo wedding.
What does the Officiant do with the marriage license application we provide him/her on our wedding day?
The Officiant signs and promptly sends back your document to the County Courthouse and you will receive a certified copy of your marriage license in the mail, usually with 14 days of wedding date.
Can we write our own vows?
Yes, we encourage couples to include their vows as this adds such a heartfelt touch to the ceremony. You can make it short and sweet, fun, or romantic and touching! The most important thing to remember is this day belongs to you as a couple, so make it uniquely and personally yours!
Can our ceremony include our children?
Of course! You may choose your own custom ceremony, its your wedding day, and whatever you decide to do we can accommodate, but we need to have everything in order no less than 30 days prior to wedding day to allow for the Officiant to prepare for your big day!
Can you provide some information on the photography?
The wedding photography packages include images taken by preferred professional photographers and dependent on budget and availability.They are independent photographers with specialized experience in the wedding industry so you can rest assured they are dedicated to producing the best photographs on your wedding day. Every photography package includes an on line photo gallery to share with your family and friends and a photo cd. This will be available to you approximately 3 weeks after your event. Additional photography may be purchased from the photographers that include photo albums and prints. Additional photography time may also be added such as engagement photos, getting ready photos, and reception photography at additional cost. All photos come with a copyright print release which means the photographer has the rights to your images, but is providing you with permission allowing you unlimited personal use of the images including reproduction and the ability to post images on Social Media.
Do you include music for our beach wedding or gazebo wedding?
Yes. You can add a live musician at additional cost of 300.00 for your beach or gazebo wedding ceremony. The most common are a steel drum player, guitarist, or harpist, bagpiper or violinist for either a beach wedding or gazebo wedding. Live singers would be at an additional cost. Please make sure to let us know you would like to add this additional service. As another option, your own recorded music may be added by couples arranging the music selections and sending to us a month in advance of your ceremony by a CD in the mail. We will play the wedding CD as the guests arrive on the beach, the processional and recessional songs. The charge for this service is 100.00 for use of the equipment and a coordinator to execute the playlist for your beach or gazebo wedding. The final option is to bring your own cd player along with your custom playlist and have someone from your wedding party handle this for you on your big day.
Do you set up chairs?
Yes, most of the packages include chairs for your guests. We offer several styles to choose from, the most popular ones being white padded ceremony chairs, bamboo chairs, and crystal ice chiavari chairs and additional chairs can be provided at a cost per chair.
What happens if it rains on the day of our beach wedding or gazebo wedding?
The couple needs to have a back-up location in case of bad weather. From our experience, having a sunset wedding is rarely interrupted by rain. If a shower passes through, it is usually not serious enough to postpone a beach wedding. Most gazebo weddings are in the late afternoon or early evening, and a tent can be rented for a back up plan as a precaution. It is the responsibility of the couple to reserve this option also. The best months with very little chance of rain are from November to early March.
What happens to our payment if it does rain on the beach?
There are no guarantees anywhere with any wedding service because the weather cannot be controlled. If the couple has a back up location, we can hold the ceremony there, or at the reception location as another option. All payments are final once wedding has been paid for and planned and scheduled.
What happens if we have to cancel?
We are sorry, but there are no refunds on deposits, including any deposits to vendors, but we are happy to set a new date for you agreed upon by both Cherished Ceremonies and couple. A new date must be chosen within 60 days of original wedding date in order to schedule you in.