How to Elope in Panama City Beach
It’s easier than you think!
By: Laura Jennings
With our white sandy coastline and turquoise colored waters dubbed as the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches, it’s no wonder more than 2500 people get married in Bay County alone each year!
Bay County is home to the popular Panama City Beach, covering 18 square miles and boasting 9 miles of sandy white shoreline. So what do you need to know and do to get married on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches? It’s actually easier than you think! There are no permits required and no extra fees to get married on the beach here. And my personal advice- get married at sunset! The sunsets here are absolutely picture perfect and each and every one is a little gift from above.
WHERE DO I START?
First, you need to apply for your marriage license. You can start the application online, but you MUST finish it IN-PERSON, together at the Bay County Clerk of Courts office located in the courthouse in Panama City. This process will take about 20 minutes and you should go prepared with a government issued photo ID and know your social security numbers. You must be 18 or older.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
The cost of the license is $86 and payment is accepted at the time of application by cash or credit card. No personal checks will be accepted. You will have 60 days once your license is issued to get married and have your license returned to the clerk by your notary/ officiant. *Please note the clerk’s office no longer performs marriage ceremonies.
IS THERE A WAITING PERIOD?
If you are NOT a Florida resident, there is NO WAITING PERIOD to get married after your license has been issued.
If you ARE a Florida resident, there is a 3 day waiting period after you apply for your marriage license. This waiting period may be waived if you elect to take a pre-marital preparation course. More information can be found on the Clerk of Court Website.
OK, I HAVE MY MARRIAGE LICENSE AND AM READY TO SAY “I DO”. NOW WHAT?
The Fun Part! Honestly, once you get your marriage license, it’s smooth sailing from here and this is where the FUN begins!