Laws for Performing Marriages in Florida

by Heather Leigh Landon

Officiants who can legally perform marriages in Florida include religious officials, notaries and judges.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

State laws define the requirements and regulations regarding marriage ceremonies performed in Florida. The laws also state who can perform marriages and who can be married. Officiants are required to follow the list of requirements as outlined in Florida Statute Title XLIII Chapter 741.07. In general, couples must be over the age of 18, be of the opposite sex and have a marriage license from the county clerk of courts office.

Officiants

According to Florida law, officiants who can preside over marriages include religious officials, notaries and judges. Religious officials include those who have been ordained by a worshiping community, such as a priest, minister or rabbi. Judges, both current and retired, can perform marriage ceremonies in Florida.

Couples

An officiant can only marry a couple if both parties are at least 18 years of age, of the opposite sex and have an appropriate marriage license from a county's clerk of courts office. In some circumstances an officiant can marry a couple under the age of 18 as long as the authenticity of the license is not in question. In Florida, persons can marry under the age of 18 if they have parental permission or are emancipated minors.

Location

Wedding ceremonies in Florida can be performed at any location, including houses of worship, parks, banquet halls, private homes and backyard gardens. Ceremonies can also be performed in a different county from where the marriage license was issued, as long as it is still within the state lines. An officiant can perform a marriage ceremony on a boat as long as it is still in Florida waters.

Marriage License

A couple must obtain a marriage license from a county's clerk of courts office and give it to the officiant before the wedding. The license is valid for 60 days and must be returned, signed, to the clerk of court within 10 days of the wedding ceremony. Licenses must be signed by the couple, the officiant and, if desired, witnesses. Witnesses are not required for getting married in Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Heather Leigh Landon has been a writer since 1988 when she started her career as a stringer for "The McHenry Star News." Since then she has worked for newspapers such as "The Woodstock Independent," "The Northwest Herald" and "Press Journal." Landon graduated from William Rainey Harper College with an Associate of Applied Science in journalism.