Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Florida Marriage License or a License from the State in which I live?
You must have a Florida Marriage License if you wish to be legally married at your ceremony in Florida.
If you wish to be legally married in the state you are from, you would need to apply in that state for a marriage license and have an officiate marry you in that state. Then, your ceremony in Florida, would only be considered ceremonial, not legal.
Most clients would like to be legally married in Florida at the time they have their ceremony here.
Note: If you are getting married around a holiday weekend, you will need to check the Courthouse operating hours. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, and the nationally recognized holiday date is on Friday with government offices closed….and….you come to town on Thursday, thinking that you have all day Friday to get your marriage license, that’s not good. I recommend planning to get your marriage license several days before the ceremony, if possible.
How do I obtain a Florida Marriage License?
Excerpt from the StateofFlorida.com Florida Marriage Guide:
Florida Marriage License
Every marriage license is issued by a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court under his or her hand and seal. Marriage licenses are issued by counties and you can apply for your license at any county clerk’s. Click Here for Clerk of the Court contact information by county. You can get married in any county in Florida, regardless of where you obtained your marriage license. To obtain a marriage license you need:
- Identification: a picture ID such as a driver’s license, state ID card, or valid passport; both parties will also have to provide their Social Security numbers, but do not need to provide their Social Security Cards.
- Fees: $93.50. Marriage license fees can be reduced by up to $32.50 if you complete a licensed Florida pre-marital course.
Marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance. You must perform the ceremony of marriage before this 60 days has expired. Blood Tests are not required. There is a 3-day waiting period after issuance of the license before you can get married, unless you have completed the Florida pre-marital course, in which case the waiting period is waived. Florida Marriage Statutes can be found here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0741/0741.html
The normal process is usually this:
- We email back and forth (a lot) about venue choices, what you need in your package, revisions to the package, accommodations for guests, rehearsal dinner info.
- Once your custom package is finalized, I send over a draft of your Contract for Services to review.
- Upon approval of the Contract for Services, I send a link to e-sign your Contract and mark your date off of my calendar.
- Your deposit (1/2 of the total Contracted amount) is due at the time of booking.
- Then, I open your Wedding Planning account and we start to plan all of the fun details!
How do your packages work?
The basic package works like this: I charge a set amount for Ceremony Rentals and you are allowed to use whatever I have in my stock. If you like one set up, but prefer white sheers over burlap, we revise that detail in your Proposal. If you have 85 guests, but I don’t have 85 white folding chairs, we talk about using benches in the front, and folding chairs in the back so that you can accommodate 85 guests using all of my existing stock. It’s better for us to find a way to use all of my existing stock, so that you don’t incur additional fees for outside rentals. If I don’t have something in stock, I have to rent it. I charge you what the rental company charges me. One silver lining to this scenario is that if we *do* have to rent extra tables or chairs due to the size of your wedding, I can often go pick them up for you and return them to the rental company. That can save you $150-$500 in delivery fees. Even a curbside drop-off delivery fee is $150 from a rental company, so the cost can really add up. If it will fit on my box truck, I don’t mind going to pick it up for you at all.
If the item is not in my inventory, and we can’t rent it, then I would have to purchase it. Your fee for that item will be based on the cost of supplies (hopefully I would be able to buy supplies wholesale) and labor to make it or acquire it. I will give you a quote before-hand, so that you know what the cost will be. The new prop would be added to our general inventory for future weddings.
The same goes for the Reception Rentals. There’s a fixed rental amount. The labor fee for the guys, box truck rental, diesel, mileage, fee for assistants and stylists, and the fee for Wedding Planning is additional. I factor those fees in when I am drafting your Proposal. These fees fluctuate depending on the venue choice, number of guests and what’s being planned. (If you have a 30-person wedding, buffet and general seating, no DJ, I probably don’t need an assistant. If you plan to have a 30-person wedding with plated dinner, menu choice, assigned table and assigned seat, all the dances, specific toasts, etc., I definitely need an assistant. If you book at Eden Gardens, I have to add labor due to their breakdown rules.) I will tell you—I run a somewhat lean, yet efficient team. We know what our job is and how to get it done. There is a little wiggle room in time and manpower for emergencies, but not a whole lot.
I tell you the last statement, because it’s something I think you should know. I don’t have a team of 25 people for a 50 person wedding. We know that you are on a budget, and extra labor fees add up quickly. The big florists and rental companies run a wedding day with a lot of manpower. Their clients have the budget to do that. I don’t think it’s overly excessive, but it can be expensive.
I have found one major issue that interferes with the principle of running a lean and efficient team. It’s when a client wants to DIY any of the wedding elements. While I love DIY, and I encourage you to personalize your wedding (of course!), I do have to pull in the reins some on this issue. (Good DIY: Favors, Guest Book, Monogrammed Bar Napkins, Koozies, Welcome Bags, Invitations, Save-the-Dates.) The problem comes in when you have a lot of DIY elements that we have to pick up, install, style and break down for you. If I have to devote a lot of time to your bar set up (“Uncle Dan isn’t answering his phone, call Renee to pick up the bar from his hotel room in Sandestin and set it up”) or your dessert bar (“Aunt Harriet is too hot out in this July sun, and can’t walk all of this stuff down from the hotel room like we expected and needs help, can you set that up?”), then we start to get in trouble on time. Thankfully, I’ve only been in “trouble” and had to revise the plan in order to get a job done in time, verses having a complete catastrophe. So, if I express concern or give you a scenario to plan for, and you think it’s somewhat excessive/laughable/dramatic, please know that my advice to you only comes from experience. And at any time, if you want to know what disaster, heart-stopping, panicked situation that came up and resulted in me giving you my best advice on a situation, please ask.
What do I need to know about DIY Bar?
A lot of our clients decide to bring their own beer and wine . You can assign someone to deliver your beer, wine, and liquor to the reception site. We are usually ready for the bar items at around 1 pm. We will include your designated person with their phone number on the timeline, for convenience. The person you select for the task, will also need a dolly of some sort to carry the beverages down the ramp and beach stairs. Sometimes it can be a long steep stairway down to the beach or venue site, so they need to be able to complete that task in the hot sun, with multiple trips. (You normally can’t get all the beer and wine down to the beach in one trip.) If our work truck is there setting up, you are welcome to use our dolly.
Remember the *No Glass* Rule if you are planning a beach reception. Choose canned beer and decanted or boxed wine, instead.
An ice service is always included through our caterer.
All events must have a licensed bartender. The fee for this person will be included in your proposal.
If you prefer a DIY Bar, please remember to include these items in your Drop-off:
Wine Glasses or Short Solo Plastic cups
Beer Mugs or Koozies (Can koozies are needed for a beach reception.)
Low Ball Glasses or additional Short Solo Plastic cups for liquor drinks
Soda, Lemonade, Water for Non-alcohol drinks
Fruit for Specialty Drinks
Please assign someone to retrieve the remaining bar items at the end of the night. This person would deliver any unused beverages to an assigned car.
If you would like to purchase beer and wine and have it delivered, you might like:
Chan’s Wine World
1735 E County Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
19440 Front Beach Rd
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
What do I need to know about DIY Ipod for the Reception?
A DIY Ipod and speaker for the reception is a great way to save money if you are not planning to dance and do not care to have an emcee for your event. Couples who just like to have music playing during dinner would be safe using this option. You would have someone from your group make sure the ipod is on the right play list for cocktail hour and dinner. If you haven’t rented a speaker from us, make sure you bring a speaker, extension cord and back-up batteries, if required.
An Ipod and speaker at a Reception where you would like to have your Grand Entrance announced, the special dances, welcome and dinner blessing, toasts and dancing is not a good idea. We have DJ options that are very affordable.
How do I pay you?
First, Thanks for choosing to work with us! We appreciate and value your business very much. Your deposit is ½ of the Final Contract Amount Due. You may pay by check or Credit Card, via PayPal. I will notify you by email once your check has been received. Your date is secure once your contract has been signed, if you choose to send a check by mail.
The Final Balance is due 60 days prior to the wedding date.
Checks can be made payable to: Ceremony Design Company.
Payment Mailing Address:
Ceremony Design Company
Attn: Renee Armour
7701 Gulf Blvd.
Navarre, FL 32566
What were my 3 cake choices?
Ruffled Horizontal Lines
We can do a cutting cake in 10”, 8”, 6” (single or stacked).
10” round serves 40
8” round serves 25
6” round serves 10
Your choice of the following cake flavors, frostings and fillings:
Carrot (with or without nuts)
Red Velvet (with or without nuts on top)
Peanut Butter Cup
Do you offer Gluten-free cupcakes?
Yes, our bakery offers gluten-free options. We also have another baker who does eggless cupcakes.
Why do I have to choose my cake tasting flavors at the time of booking?
The bakery we have a partnership with has asked me to provide this information at the time of booking. I place the bakery order right after your Contract is signed and your deposit payment is received because if it’s a busy time of year for weddings, they will book up and not be available.
What were my choices for bouquets?
Option A is a soft, organic, classic bouquet of white flowers with greenery. Option B is a variety of pink and white flowers, with a garden, romantic look. Option C is a variety of white, blue and greens with a seaside feel.
Why do all of my choices have to be made 90 days prior to the event?
It helps to ensure everyone has the information they need to deliver their best quality service or product on the wedding day. There’s a lot of last minute tasks when dealing with weddings. We can remove some of the stress by having decisions made in advance. It helps your vendors make the day extra special for you.
My future mother-in-law would like information about local restaurants and what time to make the dinner reservation. Can you help?
Sure can! Below is a list of restaurants that are very popular in the area. There are a variety of price ranges, style/setting and locations. This list is under “Notes” in your Wedding Planning Account, if you need to access it again.
The Ceremony Rehearsal time takes place at the same time as the Ceremony. So, if we’ve planned for your ceremony to start at 5:30 pm at Inlet Beach, your Rehearsal would be at 5:30 pm at Inlet Beach, the night before. The Rehearsal takes a good hour. It’s nice to cushion the dinner reservation time by 10-15 minutes, so people have enough time to brush the sand off their feet, gather children, restroom break, etc. If the Rehearsal ended at 6:30 pm, I’d say a 7:00 pm reservation time would be appropriate. (Unless the restaurant was 30 minutes away! Then, you’d need more driving time.) Your future mother-in-law is going to need to know the Ceremony location and then plug in the addresses to find the driving distance and approximate driving time between the two places.
A few recommendations for Restaurants:
Scenic 98 in Destin Area:
Pompano Joes (seafood, casual, can be crowded, can have trouble parking during busy season, located overlooking the Gulf)
Crap Trap (seafood, casual, overlooking the Gulf)
The Surf Hut (seafood, casual, overlooking the Gulf)
Vint’j (Wine Bar and Bistro, not beach, but casual-dressy, cozy, very good)
Seagar’s Steak House in Sandestin Resort (upscale, dressy, can be pricey)
West End of 30-A:
Trebeache (Private Room upstairs, fantastic food and staff)
La Playa at Gulf Place (very casual, very beachy)
The Vue on 30-A
Chanticleer’s in Grayton Beach is a great place for lunch/takeout
Grayt Grounds is the place for breakfast
East End of 30-A:
Café 30-A (nice, dressy, seafood, does offer some semi-private and private rooms)
The Pearl at Rosemary Beach (expensive, nice)
George’s at Alys Beach (expensive, casual)
La Cocina (Mexican, casual, affordable, but nice) in Seagrove
Bud and Alley’s at Seaside (Rooftop Bar is great for cocktails/gathering, can be pricey)
Fish Out of Water in Watercolor (pricey, nice)
Great Southern Restaurant in Seaside (Super food, casual but nice)
Restaurant Paradis in Rosemary Beach (expensive, nice, amazing food)
La Crema in Rosemary Beach (Tapas) (truly an experience-there’s nothing like this place around. European feel, outdoor seating with café lights, great wine and amazing tapas—that are very filling! This is one of my most favorite places to eat lunch or dinner, meet, have coffee/dessert.)
Edwards in Rosemary Beach (more formal, expensive, beautiful setting)
Here is a list of the people who normally attend a Rehearsal:
Parents and Grandparents of the Bride and Groom
Siblings of the Bride and Groom
Best Man and Groomsmen
Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids
Ushers, if you have them
Ring Bearer + Flower Girl
Any readers or person you’ve asked to sing. If your ceremony musician is a family friend, then that person would attend the rehearsal.
Officiant, if booked to attend and is available
Do I need to have a rehearsal?
If you have more than 10 people attending your wedding, we do require a rehearsal. It’s included in your package. Even if there isn’t a large processional, we need to meet you the day before to run through what will happen. I find that parents really appreciate the rehearsal as well.
Why don’t you like to work in Destin?
Don’t get me wrong, Destin is fine and I go there to shop. But, I don’t do weddings in Destin.
For the past 2 years I have tried and tried (and tried and tried!!) to find a good spot to do a wedding on Destin beaches, and I have come up empty-handed every time. To use a City of Destin beach, a business must have a beach wedding permit, that costs $500. So that’s not the real problem, though, because I could just pay it, right? The real problem is that they only allow you 30 minutes prior to the ceremony time for set-up. I can’t get the box truck parked, the guys out, and supplies unloaded onto the beach in 30 minutes much less set-up, styled and ready for a wedding. And with a limited set-up window, I have to add on double the labor, which increases your package price.
Parking is another issue. The public parking lots are smaller in size and I have trouble parking the box truck. There’s not any street parking either—which I would totally do, but…you’re in a pedestrian walk-way, and half out in the road. It’s not good. Your guests will have trouble finding parking as well. It’s an awful mess out there. I wanted to find the hidden gem in Destin, but I haven’t been able to. The only place I like to work at in Destin is at the Majestic Sun with Carolyn because she takes extra good care of us.
My reception is at a Restaurant and I wanted to set out menu cards, can I?
You should know that most all restaurants seat the tables reserved for your wedding reception prior to the time of your reservation. No restaurant I’ve ever worked with saved the tables as open until you arrived, unless it was a very early dinner. If you have menu cards, that you want placed at each setting, we can try to have that done for you. But, I have to put it in the hands of the restaurant staff to do right before they seat you. We don’t mind dropping those off to the restaurant earlier in the day, though. Also, your cake will likely need to be sat on the main dining table as you enter, instead of being wheeled out on a table. Most restaurants in our area are limited on space and just don’t offer that service.
How do I make a Rain Tent Reservation?
I can help you with making the rain tent reservation. If I think you needs sides, I’ll let you know. A rain reservation cost is ½ the tent reservation fee, and does not include labor, deliver, set up and breakdown charges. If your tent is $500, and you put down a $250 deposit for the rain reservation, your final bill will likely be around $500. They only charge you labor and delivery fees, if they actually come out there to set it up. You might be surprised at the final bill, if you think that the ½ remaining tent fee is only $250.
All tent calls are made on the Thursday prior to the wedding on Saturday, by noon. They require a 48-hour notice. There are no exceptions and the decision made at that time is final.
What is the best way for us to communicate?
For most clients, we have to communicate by email. In the beginning, there are so many questions, and you are probably deciding if the packages we offer are even feasible for you. That’s totally ok with me. At some point, if you would like to speak by phone, we can set up a call to chat about the details.
Disclaimer // Disclaimer // Disclaimer
If I take your call when I’m driving or it’s at the end of the day, and I’m walking out or not completely focused at my computer with your file open in front of me—-here’s my disclaimer—the change or info you give me might not make it into my notes. If you want to change your menu and add a bartender, please email me to ensure that change is made. My Contract says that all changes must be in writing, but I know that sometimes we speak by phone and make decisions. If I’m at my desk with your file open, and we are making notes on your Timeline or Wedding Planning account—no worries—the changes are being recorded. However, if not, please recap in an email the changes you would like to make, so that it’s in writing.
How do I book hair and makeup?
Some artists do only makeup, some do hair and makeup, and some only do hair. The artist will want to know your dressing location, and what time you need your appointment to be. In order to be able to give them the appointment information, you will need to know what time your photographer arrives. More than likely, we have chosen the number of hours your photographer will be on site when we constructed your package, so we know their arrival time. If you booked photography outside of one of my packages, you can just ask your vendor. You should probably be finished with hair and makeup about 15-20 minutes prior to their arrival. That gives you a buffer if the artist is running late with finishing everyone up. It normally takes about 45 minutes per service. You would figure out your “Be Ready Time,” and relay that to the artist, along with how many people for each service. Then you can make a timeline for who needs to be ready and when.
Moms generally prefer to go early because they have a lot going on that day, as well. Sisters or Bridesmaids with children also prefer to go early, usually. They will be concentrating on getting husbands and kids ready and out the door on time, so they usually like to go early.
You should be next to last or last for hair and for makeup.
If you are driving to a location, please please allow for extra traffic in Destin and Sandestin. One fender bender can ruin your timeline. Choosing a salon close to you or an artist who will come to you on the day-of is the preferred way. If it saves you $35 to go to a salon, but you get stuck in traffic and you arrive only in time to get shots of you putting on the dress as you rush out the door to be on time to the ceremony, then you’ve missed out on bridal shots, candid shots with your girls, you with your bouquet, you with your family prior to the ceremony—and that’s all time you will have already paid for with the photographer–in advance. It’s something to think about.
Who do you refer for Hair + Makeup?
phone 850- 226- 3332
email : Mytartart@yahoo.com
make me blush – http://makemeblushdestin.com/index2.php
Jillian Jensen Holt
Hair & Makeup
The Grove Salon, Amy Parker
Jessica Austin 850-687-3921 cell Make Me Blush
Johnathan Doria 850.346.9860 cell
850.424.3935 Pure & Couture Salon, Destin
Mindy Norris 615.513.9512 on location / Santa Rosa Beach
Jamie Steiner 850-374-0045 Sunkissed.hm@gmail
Brooke Miller 850.586.1989 on location / Pensacola
Anna Maria Moon 850.445.0649 (Bridal Hair to Remember)
Destin / Carillon / Panama City
Bonnie Rich 251.391.4553 cell
Salon Elysian, Santa Rosa Beach / on location
Leila Earnest 850.533.3625 on location
Jillian Jensen Holt 850.293.8930
Cayla Coley 706.968.3382 on location
Amy Parker 850.231.0905 The Grove Salon, Santa Rosa Beach
Denise Hooks 850.326.3988 Salon Gloss, Chipley
Pelli Llewellyn 786.218.3993 on location / Panama City
Jasmine Rizzuto 850.276.3799 on location / Panama City
Kim @ Hue Salon 850.763.0062 Hue Salon, Panama City
Nicole Siemet Drew 850.271.0086 cell
850.774.2780 Bellissimo Salon & Spa, Panama City (Lynn Haven)
Alison Sardina 904.553.9347 on location / Pensacola / Gulf Breeze
Amber Gately 850.832.8650 on location / Panama City Beach
Misty 256.710.4091 on location / Fort Walton Beach
Jessica Salort 850-313-1586 www.glamorousbyjessicasalort.com
Jordan Alysse Missbehavedme@gmail.com Facebook.com/MISSbehaved
When can I meet with you?
I love in-person meetings. Most all of my clients are destination brides, which means all of our communication is by email (often while you are at work). We don’t get a chance to talk by phone very much, either. That’s ok—we make do with planning a wedding by email, but it’s always very nice to meet you and your family in person.
I am available Monday through Friday from 10:30-3:30 pm, if there’s not another wedding planned for that week or appointments scheduled already. I am not available 2 days prior to a wedding, on another client’s wedding day, or the day after a wedding.
If you are down on 30-A, I can sometimes get there as early as 10 am. For the 2 days prior to a wedding, I am completely focused on making sure the items rented are in top shape, packed and ready to load. We have the rehearsal the day before—and frankly, I’m just so focused on that one person that I’m afraid I would be distracted and not myself if I met another client the day before a wedding. After an 18-hour day, I’m completely and totally useless—so the day after is out. Past that, I’m yours.
Please let me know when you’re considering coming into town. I’ll let you know exactly what weddings I have planned during that time so we can make a date.
Our meetings usually last 1-1.5 hours. The latest appointment out on 30-A that I can take is 2 pm.
Do you allow family catering?
No, I’m sorry. I normally discourage any family catering. It’s a mess. We have had several family members deliver a wedding cake or a groom’s cake, and that went perfectly.
Do you set up tents on the beach?
Normally, clients ask about setting up a tent on the beach as a rain back-up. I do not suggest this as a good rain back-up plan. With any thunderstorm, there’s lightening. I don’t want to be under a tent, near very tall metal poles with lightening in the area, and I’m sure you don’t want to either. While it might sound like a good idea, I know that you don’t want to put anyone in danger.
How do I block off rooms for my guests?
Our go-to person for blocking off guest rooms is Kristen Cagadas at Resort Quest. Resort Quest books a variety of room types and beach homes along 30-A and beyond. They consistently offer the best rates, and have a culture of giving excellent customer service. We love working with Lauren and she will do whatever she can to help you and your guests find accommodations.
Wedding Sales Manager
Group Sales NWFL
ResortQuest by Wyndham
546 Mary Esther Cut Off, Suite 3
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548
Do you set- up our venue visit appointments?
I can give you contact information, rate sheets, availability and even pictures of a real wedding at a variety of venues, but I do not set-up or host a venue visit. Most often, a venue has an on-site venue manager who will give you a tour.
If we choose a Beach House, will you help us move the furniture?
Most rental companies have rules against moving the inside furniture. We require the main event to be held on the first floor of any beach house, and our labor guys are not allowed to move any existing furniture from the house. We have helped move the pool furniture at times, but prefer that all of the pool furniture be moved to the side of the house or garage prior to our arrival.
When considering Beach House, please remember…
Guests always arrive earlier than expected (not usually a problem since you generally know the guests, but you should know in case you need to have quiet time prior) and parking arrangements should be made prior to the event in case the subdivision does not allow street parking.
Do you distribute final payments on the wedding day?
If the vendor is booked through Ceremony Design Company, then the vendor was paid prior to the event. If the client booked the vendor separately, then we will have called that vendor to make sure final payment was already made. We make every attempt to avoid distributing final payments on the wedding day. There’s too much going on, and this is a task that can easily be completed prior to the day-of.
Where can I get my wedding dress steamed once I arrive in town?
The Wedding Steamer– http://www.theweddingsteamer.com/
Do you have a Package Guide with your services listed?
As a matter of fact, we have a brand new Issu Magazine that we hope will present our packages in an easy-to-read format, with lots of pretty pictures and valuable information!