When you think of the best places to elope in Florida, what comes to mind? I bet I can guess….
It’s either the classic destination white-sand beach wedding OR a “princess wedding” at Disney World.
One of those things, I love the idea of…the other… well, I am probably not your perfect match. Can you guess which? 😅🤣😂
Keep reading to find out!
(And a random side note–as of early 2022, as wild as this sounds, while I live in the South, I have never done an elopement in Florida. I’ve loved my travels through the state, and had an absolute blast doing some family-based travel lifestyle photography there, so feel this longing to photograph an elopement there in my soul. Longing for sun-kissed sand and vibrant, dynamic skies? Let me know! I would be so stoked to plan & photograph your Florida adventure!)
So as a way to entice you to consider America’s most southeastern state, here are the best places to elope in Florida that I’ve had on my “YESSSSS! Let’s goooooooooo!” list, I’m just waiting for you! 😁
Where to elope in Florida…beach edition:
This state park is home to the incredible Florida Key’s landscape, but this beach is specifically known for the constant (and year round) yummy sea breezes. There are outlandish sunsets, clear waters, and tremendous nature to be seen (both animals and plants!) The park will close if max capacity is hit, so plan ahead and arrive early to make sure nothing goes awry. Your wedding experience at Bahia Honda could include kayaking, snorkeling, star gazing, camping, and so much more! There are accommodations, too!
This 54 acre park has 5 reservable spots for weddings and other spots for private parties. This spot not only has incredible beach front locations and ensured privacy, but it also is a National Historic Landmark. The historic fort is very unique with plenty of brick staircases, archways, and tunnels to explore. The park is beach front on the very edge of the Florida Keys with palm trees and beautiful woodsy trails.
3. Bradenton Beach-
If you’re looking for a little more natural beach experience, check out Bradenton Beach! What if you rented a sailboat for the week or leaned into the slow-pace of “Old Florida” on Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria Island for your Florida elopement? Imagine a sunset beach ride & swim on horseback. This beach is known for it’s fishing piers, quaint shops, sugar-like sand, and fewer tourists to share the space!
4. Amelia Island–
At Amelia Island, you can absolutely create the feel-good elopement experience for you with so many different types of locations available. The uncrowded beaches provide the perfect beachscape backdrop to share your vows. Quaint parks with picturesque, moss-draped live oaks. Historic buildings, intersecting with protected outdoor spaces, with a celebration ending at one of the local breweries (pirate vibes anyone?!)
5. St. Augustine-
This city is overflowing with picturesque history and claims to be the oldest city in the United States! This north-Florida city is perfect for exploring and has incredible beaches. This would be the ideal location for a weekend-long wedding experience. Start it off with amazing food in the city and a stroll down the oldest street in America, Aviles Street! If you two are into history, bike through some of the amazing historical spots and stay the night at one of the charming bed and breakfasts that St. Augustine has to offer. The next day, spend the day at the beach and in the water! Share your vows at St. John’s 41 miles of beaches and sail off after on an afternoon sail cruise. Sprinkle in warm smiles, exciting dolphin spotting, and a romantic carriage ride to end the day.
The Hidden Spots to Elope at in Florida
If a rustic location feels like you then check this out. Woodsy surroundings, tall oak trees, and hanging Spanish moss help paint a picture of the magic in Riverbend Park. There are endless trails to explore in this area and a unique ruin of an old fireplace within some grassy fields.
2. Vero Beach –
This secluded town is the perfect spot for an intimate vow exchange AND the adventure to create the ultimate adventure experience. Vero Beach has rivers to kayak, trails to explore, secluded beaches and endless scuba diving to be had. The best part of this area is that the variety of scenery is only a few minutes away from each other!
If the beach isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe a more woodsy setting like Matheson Hammock Park would suit you best! This spot kind of reminds me of a rustic enchanted forest!
Want water but not into beaches? Here is a list of springs to elope at in Florida!
If you’re looking for a different vibe than the typical white sand beaches of Florida, what about eloping in a spring?
This water is so clean you can see straight through it. There are no motorized vessels allowed, which makes for a great home for manatees during certain seasons! Imagine sharing your vows within this breathtaking water wonderland by paddle boat, kayak, or canoe?!
2. Madison Blue Spring State Park, Lee –
Located 10 miles outside of Madison, FL. This spot is a popular swimming hole but would make for an incredible elopement adventure! This hole is 25 feet deep and 82 feet wide. This water is super clear and would be incredible for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming!
Photo Credit: Dry Tortugas National Park
My personal recommendation on a Florida elopement location: Dry Tortugas National Park
Did you know Dry Tortugas is one of the least visited National Parks in the entire United States? That’s because this park must be visited by seaplane or boat! Located 70 miles south of Key West, this National Park is 100 square miles and is home to Fort Jefferson, bright blue water, and incredible coral reefs. With some advanced planning, I think that this National Park could be one of the best places to elope in Florida!
And I would be SO stoked to not only photograph your elopement, but also dig in to the planning details as your elopement concierge to make sure your adventure is the best, sampling all the history, nature, and experiences you love in your travels ❤️️
Have you thought about the Everglades?
The subtropical wilderness is a landscape of mysterious treasure. It is home to all kinds of wildlife like manatees, crocodiles, and even the Florida panther. What if your elopement experience included a boat ride through the everglades? Not only share your love, but also be surrounded by vast, wild, nature. You will need to get a permit for the park, but I can totally help with that!
Where to NOT elope in Florida: Disney
Listen, I understand that Disney is some people’s cup of tea, but it isn’t mine. 😜 If it is your style, I am truly so excited for you. I want to empower you to choose Disney and embrace what is right for you. But, I believe that there are endless other options that could feel like you without the distraction, cookie cutter details, and, immense cost of an amusement park wedding or elopement. I would love to chat with you about some other ways to incorporate magic besides Disney.😉
If you’ve read this whole thing and are still not convinced on Florida, maybe you should check out some other location lists that I have written to see if any of those locations are more aligned for you and your partner…
The hidden awesomeness in the South: Check out the TOP Tennessee Locations
Got Georgia on your mind? Here are my favorite Georgia locations!
Want some ideas on other locations I love? Follow me on Instagram for inspiration–you’re always welcome to drop me a DM too!🙌