It’s relatively easy to travel to the Florida Keys from just about anywhere in the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen and are trying to avoid the hassles of traveling out of the country for your beach wedding, the Keys offer a fabulous domestic solution! Known as the America’s Caribbean–they have gained in popularity in recent years as the costs of air travel outside the United States have increased. When you can enjoy the same tropical climate, with sunshine almost year round–why not look to this area when thinking of a beach wedding or honeymoon?
Main Areas of the Keys
The geographic areas of the keys consist of the Key Largo area, Islamorada, Marathon which is in the heart of the keys, the Lower Keys, and finally, Key West which is the southernmost tip of the Continental U.S.
4 Great Wedding Destinations in the Florida Keys
Cheeca Lodge and Spa in Islamorada
The only family owned and operated resort of its size in the keys, the Cheeca Lodge and Spa has been around since the early 1900’s when it was formerly called the Olney Inn. Currently owned by the Johnson family, it underwent a $30 million renovation in 2005 and is now the elegant resort that it is today. It is located in Islamorada, which is known as the sports fishing capital of the world, and has lots of watersports activities available at the resort including charter fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailboat trips, etc. Cheeca Lodge and Spa can accomodate from 10 to 200 people for an unforgettable beach wedding and reception. 1,100 feet of palm-infringed beach including Cheeca’s renowned “Leaning Palms”, make for an incredible backdrop for your barefoot oceanfront ceremony.
Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort in Marathon Key
A luxurious beach front resort located in the heart of the Florida Keys in Marathon, and offering two and three bedroom beach front homes, Tranquility Bay can accomodate weddings of up to 70 guests. It was was voted in 2008 and 2009 as the best place to have a wedding in Marathon. It’s a picturesque setting on the Gulf of Mexico and would make a great backdrop for your beach wedding. It has been featured on the Travel Channel with host, Samantha Brown, as one of the best luxurious resorts to stay in the Florida Keys.
Little Palm Island Resort in Little Torch Key
If you plan on having a smaller, more intimate beach wedding–Little Palm Island has wedding packages for up to 40 guests. It’s a hidden treasure in the Florida Keys and only accessible by boat or sea plane. There are no telephones or televisions and no guests under the age of 16 years. It has been an escape of choice for presidents and high profile celebrities as well as savvy travelers. With only 30 guest suites, consisting of thatched-roof bungalows and private oceanfront verandas, Little Palm Island has been hailed as “Florida’s most secluded and romantic retreat” by Travel and Leisure Magazine.
The Reach Resort in Key West
A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The Reach Resort has just completed at $32 million renovation and, it boasts one of the most picturesque Key West lodging experiences as it is located on the only natural beach on the island of Key West. With 150 guestrooms and 76 suites, many with private balconies, The Reach Resort would make a great choice for your Florida Keys beach wedding.
Tranquility Bay Resort, Marathon
Florida Marriage License Requirements
To have a legal wedding ceremony in the state of Florida, you will need to obtain a marriage license at any County Clerk’s Office within the state. A blood test is not required. A waiting period of three days applies to Florida residents only; there is not a waiting period for non-residents of Florida.
Proper identification is necessary, such as a valid Driver’s License or Passport. Copies of applicable divorce decrees are required. Both the Bride and Groom must be present to obtain the license. Fees for a Florida marriage license are subject to change without notice so, check with any county office for current license fees.
In the Florida Keys, the Monroe County Clerk’s Offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, excluding holidays. Your license will be issued immediately and must be used within 60 days. More information may be obtained from the Monroe County Clerk’s Offices – Key West 305-292-3458 or Marathon 305-289-6027. They can also be reached on the web Clerk of Court for Monroe County.
Weather in the Florida Keys
Generally speaking, the weather in the Keys can be described as tropical almost year round. For a complete listing of average temperatures (highs and lows) as well as avearge rainfall, click on each of the areas below:
Key Largo Weather
Lower Keys Weather
Key West Weather
The Best Sunsets on the Planet can be found in the Keys. If you are easily romanced by the dramatic glow of the sun’s rays as it sinks down into the horizon, you won’t want to miss a single sunset during your beach wedding. I’ve got to say that, even after seeing the sun setting over the south rim of the Grand Canyon–and it was pretty amazing–there’s not a better sunset anywhere in the world than those I’ve seen in the Keys.
Sunset in Key West
Captain Robbie’s Marina, Islamorada
Seven Mile Bridge, linking Marathon to the Lower Keys
The Dock at Pigeon Key