FAQ

Why choose Tide the Knot Beach Weddings?

Perfectionists. Attentive to detail. Eclectic, upscale designs. Driven to exceed your expectations. Fun and personable staff. Wish for it, we'll customize it. Stunning photography. Glowing testimonials from our clients. Round the clock responsiveness. Cool company name.

In case we're still on the fence, how can we learn more about your reputation, designs and services?

  • Feeling like you need to stalk us before booking with us? Totally encourage it. Check out our Facebook page. Then there's Pinterest. Oh and we're getting the hang of Instagram, too. Best of all, we're proud of our 5 star client reviews:  770+ happy couples on Wedding Wire , 495+ on Facebook, and another 180+ reviews on Google. When in doubt, call or visit us.

Where is Tide the Knot Beach Weddings HQ located?

Our Design Studio is located at 13443 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708. right on the beaches and close to our vibrant downtown, and just about 30 minutes from the Tampa airport. We love visitors!

What types of events do you host?

Weddings, vow renewals & commitment ceremonies. And if you were wondering, of course we do same sex weddings, have since the dawn of time! And in 2021, we just started hosting micro wedding & reception all inclusive events in Madeira Beach! You asked for it, so we delivered!

What Florida beaches can we get married on?

We do Florida Beach Weddings along the Gulf Coast of Florida, which is the west coast, along the Tampa Bay region. We do beach weddings on Clearwater Beach, St Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Sunset Beach, Pass-A-Grille, and the beaches of Sarasota-Anna Maria Island, Lido Beach and Siesta Key. We are very happy to consider other beaches and even other venues of your choice-such as in a downtown St Pete park or your own private estate.

When is the best time to have a Florida Beach Wedding?

Florida is the sunshine state so every day is a perfect wedding day. Well, except the weekends and holidays-it's a sea of tourists then! Friday and Saturday sunset ceremonies are the first to fill up, often a year in advance. And we are closed on Sundays for one day of rest - Sunday Funday! To avoid the crowds and hottest temperatures, consider mornings & evenings during the week and the cooler months of the year. While it may be cold in other states November-February, Florida is typically boasting warmer weather, making these ideal weddings months.

How soon should we reserve our Florida Beach Wedding date?

As soon as you are engaged! We can reserve your date a year or more in advance. If your plan is to Elope to Florida, call us and we can squeeze you into our calendar, even if only 3 days away!

How do we reserve our Florida Beach Wedding or Vow Renewal?

You can visit our Ceremony Design page to make your initial choices and submit your deposit.  If you'd prefer a more personal experience, we'd be happy to assist with your reservation via phone or in our Design Studio.

How do we pay for services?

Three Payments - non-refundable deposit at reservation, non-refundable midway deposit and final payment 30 days before your ceremony. For weddings booked less than 90 days out, we'll take both the initial deposit and midway deposit at the time of reservation, so you'll just have two payments.  We accept credit cards, checks and cash. Mark your calendars for these, a $50 per day late fee will be assessed for each day midpoint deposit and final payment is late, and if the payment is 5 days late your wedding will be cancelled. So don't be late! Feel free to make additional payments at your convenience on our Make A Payment page or via phone.

Who picks the location for our beach wedding?

The location is your choice, though we will certainly recommend our favorites, like Pass-A-Grille Beach in St Pete and Sunset Beach in Treasure Island. We go to most beaches, County/ State Parks, some hotels  (with hotel approval), condos and beach houses along the west coast of Florida.

Can we get married at the location where we are staying?

Depends! As long as you obtain permission from the hotel/condo or rental home owner. Be advised additional fees may apply for use of their property. We typically don't recommend hosting your ceremony behind a hotel or condo, as it can be more crowded than other locations. A ceremony behind a rental home or cottages can often provide a more quiet setting. Confirmed parking for Tide the Knot staff is required to host your ceremony behind a private residence.

Will there be other people on the beach?

Absolutely! If you are concerned about crowds, the winter months of November-February would provide you with not only less people but also incredible weather. Throughout the rest of the year, avoiding holidays and weekends will provide you a quieter beach experience overall. We also recommend beaches like Pass-A-Grille Beach and Sunset Beach, two of our favorites for seclusion.  Rest assured, in all of the weddings that we have done we haven’t had any interference with beach goers.

Everyone says I should have my wedding on a Saturday, why do you recommend weekdays over weekends?

Simple, it's way less crowded. This day is about you two, not your guest preference. Friends and family are already committing to travel for your ceremony, get the ceremony you envision and let them enjoy a long weekend vacation after your ceremony! (plus cheaper flights, hotels, and restaurant prices) Want a quieter, more romantic wedding experience? Skip Saturday and pick a weekday morning or evening! This has been our advice, as wedding experts, for a decade. But some of you still need a Saturday date, and we are eager to support your wishes. It's more expensive hosting a wedding on a weekend, so we've had to impose a $300 fee for Saturday weddings, with one exception: the morning slot of 11 AM will be exempt.  Ouch, why the fee?
  • Our west coast beaches are voted top in the nation, hence visitor counts are record breaking
  • Drive times to & from the beaches are double that of a weekday due to weekend beachgoers
  • Parking is impossible for our crews, so we are having to head to the beach 4-6 hours ahead of schedule to find parking, and that equates to paying staff increased wages for idle time as well as hefty parking fees
So if you want that quieter wedding experience AND to save money, pick a weekday, weeknight or Saturday morning time for your wedding. You'll beat the heat & the beachgoers and benefit from the morning beauty of our gorgeous beaches.

Is there a fee required to get married on the beach?

Yes most beaches require permit, travel and/or access fees. This can vary from $250 - $425. Small price for a sliver of paradise. We'll get the permit for you and you pay the tab. And if you select Saturday afternoon or evening, there is a $300 fee assessed to cover our expenses, as we work much harder & longer for you navigating tourists and traffic!

Who performs the ceremony?

We have a professional team of female & male officiants, all with the credentials to legalize your union. We promote equality and can NOT honor requests specifically for male officiants, so if this is a deal breaker for you, then you can remove our officiant from your wedding package at the time of booking and hire your own male officiant. Want a Spanish or German speaking Officiant? Consider it done! Upon request, we can secure a specialized officiant for an incremental fee of $175, includes phone and/or email consultation with officiant for customization.

What does the ceremony consist of?

Casual, non-religious, yet thoughtful and romantic exchange of your chosen wedding & ring vows. Also includes one optional and complimentary ceremonial ritual-our Sand Ceremony. The Sand Ceremony allows couples to scoop sand from the beach and pour it into a glass keepsake, symbolizing your union. A sand ceremony table can be added for a more formal ritual, without all the sand on your hands.

Can we include children, friends or family in our ceremony?

The more the merrier. A guest can read a poem, prayer or even sing. Kids can join you for the sand ceremony. Family promises can be read & gifts exchanged during blending of families. Tell us your special requests in advance so we can coordinate it with the officiant for a smooth ceremony.

Is the ceremony amplified?

Usually not! For most groups around 40 or less, the sound carries easily on the beach. We find the unamplified ceremony to be much more intimate and enjoyable. Some weather elements, like wind or waves, may impact the sound quality - so if you have more than 40 guests or would like to turn up the volume on your ceremony, consider adding on our microphone and PA system for one easy payment of $100.

Can we bring our own Officiant?

Of course! The fine print: Your officiant is responsible for writing your ceremony and signing your license. Upon your request to remove our officiant, with minimum 90 days noticewe'll honor your request, though no discount will be offered. If our officiant is removed with less than 90 days notice, a $100 fee will be assessed. Removal of our officiant also includes removal of our included ritual- the Sand Ceremony.  Our expert advice - keep our officiant for the smoothest experience!

Do you offer discounts?

Yes, we offer a 10% discount on the base package price for an active military duty member, with proper ID at time of reservation (maximum discount allowable is $400). A request to remove our photographer with a minimum 90 days notice is eligible for a discount. Occasionally we are inspired to offer reservation incentives for December-February weddings, or random offers on Facebook & Instagram, so keep an eye open and it just may be your lucky day!  Discount offers not combinable.

Who takes the photos and when do we get them?

All of our Florida Beach Wedding packages include photos taken by our team of professional photographers, who shoot ceremonies for Tide the Knot Beach Weddings in addition to their own weddings. All wedding packages include either 1 or 1.5 hours of photography and access to your personal online photo gallery (with copyright / print release) to instantly view, download and share your photos. Gallery will be available to you approximately 4 weeks after your event. Raw images will not be provided and advanced editing is not available. A photo USB may be requested for a $175 fee +7% sales tax (great gift idea!). Our team is amazing, as evidenced by our website & social media posts!  However, keep in mind our wedding packages are priced competitively because our photographers shoot a short amount of time, without client consultations and provide NO customized advanced editing support. So if you are seeking hours of photography, in multiple locations with a personalized experience, then we do suggest hiring your own photographer - and it won't hurt our feelings! It's all about YOU!

Can we hire a Tide the Knot photographer for additional time?

Sure can! You can add 1/2 hour extended time on the beach during your wedding. 90% of our couples go this route, to ensure ample photo time on the beach. Plus it provides wiggle room for couples / guests that are tardy to the wedding and / or in situations in which rain is encountered. We can work around the tardiness and weather and still get a full hour of photos done when we have that 1/2 hour buffer. And for those of you that are prompt, well then you'll just have more time for posing for the camera! Should you be looking for additional services like Getting Ready sessions, First Looks and Reception photography, we highly encourage you to hire your own photographer - we'll provide a $300 discount to your package to remove the ceremonial photography time.

What is the copyright release?

Per US copyright law, your wedding photographer owns the copyright to your images. We provide you with the copyright release, which allows you unlimited personal use and reproduction of your pictures. You can put them on a website, Facebook, email them to friends and family and print them in the sizes that matter most to you.

Can we provide our own photographer?

Yes you can! This is actually a great idea! We'll remove our photographer and provide a $300 discount provided you give us minimum 90 days notice.  Many couples choose this option to be in control of the photography aspect of the wedding - from Getting Ready to First Looks, the Beach Ceremony and even Reception/Celebration moments. Having one dedicated professional with you for hours on your big day provides you with continuity in shooting & editing styles, an advocate for your wishes, a creator of a personalized timeline of events and unlimited touch points throughout the planning process.

Can we double dip in photographers?

Strongly suggest that you do not attempt to use our included photographer PLUS bring your own. You'll have a hot mess with 2 strangers competing for the same shots as well as different styles of shooting and editing. Just choose one for your best experience. If you choose yours, give us minimum 90 days notice, and we'll provide a $300 discount. With less than 90 days notice, discounts are not available. Should your photographer suddenly appear at the beach without notice, we reserve the right to dismiss our photographer, without a price reduction. Trust us on this one!

Are guests permitted to take photos during our event?

Permitted, yes. Encouraged, no. We suggest an Unplugged Event, and we even have signs you can add to your ceremony to advise guests to keep all phones & cameras in hibernation mode. Guests tend to be greedy when it comes to taking photos at a wedding, and while their intentions are good, it causes distractions, delays and interference in your photography. You'll be able to share your wedding photo gallery with family & guests, so encourage them to be present at your wedding.

Can we hire a videographer?

Yes, you can hire your own! Just give us a heads up before the day of so we can reach and discuss any logistics.

Can we bring our own decorations for the beach?

No. Tide the Knot Beach Weddings will provide all the decorations to make your special day a breeze. You may bring guest favors.

Do I really need chairs for my guests? It's only 15 minutes....

If you want unobstructed photography on your big day, yes you do. Picture you and your partner standing, and your guests are all standing, oh and then there's your photographer, also standing. Hmm. You do the math.

Are rehearsals included?

No. Not needed. Beach weddings are simple.

How much trouble will I be in if I am late to my own wedding?

Surely not the way you want to start this chapter in your lives! Should you or your guests be late to your event, causing a delayed start, you may have your event shortened at the discretion of Tide the Knot Beach Weddings. Repercussions are less photography, less photos & the evening lighting may impact quality of photos. We will remain on the beach for the time we were originally scheduled with you, and must adhere to our scheduled departure time in order to satisfy all contracted clients. Tardiness causing Tide the Knot staff to remain on site past our contracted time will result in a minimum $500 fee. If you read this and feel like tardiness is likely in your group, then add a 1/2 hour of photos to give you a full hour and half. Wiggle room!

How do we get our Marriage License?

In Florida-Both of you must apply in person, together at the Clerk of the Court. Both must know their social security numbers and have a valid (not expired) State issued photo ID (Driver’s license). Non Florida residents do NOT have a waiting period, and you will receive the marriage license the same day. Fl residents have a 3 day wait.  The fee is less than $100. For the detailed process, please refer to our Marriage License page. Should your travel plans prohibit you from arriving in Florida with time to get to the Clerk of Court's office, you can secure the services of Florida Marriage License Express and handle your marriage license needs quickly via guaranteed Fed Ex services.

Who files the license after the ceremony?

Our officiant signs it, and we mail the license to the appropriate County Clerk of the Court. The Clerk's office will then mail the couple the certified copy. We can also sign the marriage certificate immediately after the ceremony and give to you, should you wish to file it yourself.

What happens if it rains on our wedding day?

Beach wedding companies don't own venues, therefore we don't have indoor space for you to use as a back up plan. It is the responsibility of the couple, if desired,  to have a back-up location in case of inclement weather. If you do have a back up plan available, let us know at least 2 weeks in advance! This doesn't mean we'll use your back up, though having all the details will help us give you the smoothest experience. Should we need to alter the ceremony time, location or decor options, there will not be a price reduction or refund. Rarely does it rain long enough to force a change in plans.  If we are concerned, we'll stay in touch with you the day before and day of your wedding so we can formulate a plan. Rest assured, we are going to marry you, even if we all get wet! We get wet about 5% of the time. If this freaks you out,  get married indoors. We want your business but we want you to be happy, no matter what adventurous conditions we encounter!

Some suggestions to keep in mind for your rain plan:

  • Keep an adventurous mindset. Life isn't always exactly what you imagine, but you can always choose to have a good time with it. We'll continue with the ceremony in light rain conditions and get wet with you if you choose to embrace Mother Nature.
  • Have your wedding on our northern beaches (St Pete, Sunset, Pass-A-Grille, Madeira) and then our favorite event space can be your indoor weather option. Attached to our wedding studio, we are partners with the West Events and have access to the most beautiful back up plan, with the beach across the street. Talk to us directly about this option for pricing and availability.
  • Have your wedding on Sunset Beach, on the southern tip of Treasure Island. You can rent the Sunset Beach Pavilion for up to six hours, for approx $400 and this can double as a covered option for your wedding and an outdoor reception area.
  • Most hotels/condos do NOT have an outside shelter that they will allow you to use, and they typically reserve their indoor spaces for the receptions booked through their hotel staff. Ask to be sure of your hotel's policy.
  • If you are having a reception, the ceremony could be moved to the reception site, but again, ask in advance for approval. Most of our decor will not be permitted indoors, but staff will be.
  • Parties with only a few guests and flexible travel schedules can be “postponed” till the next day or another day of choice, subject to our availability.
  • Rain chances are minimized and sometimes non-existent in the cooler months like November, December, January, February and March, so consider this when booking!
  • Book an extra 30 minutes of photography, this gives you a buffer time to wait out our quick showers.

What about lightning?

Great question! Rain can be fun, lightning not so much. Our team will be monitoring the distance of strikes in the area. We'll notify you if it gets within 10 miles of our location and will require you and your guests to seek shelter in your vehicles should lightning strike within 6 miles of our location, and remain off the beach until lightning is beyond the 6 mile radius. This is a rare occurrence, but we'd rather you be safe than extra crispy.

Can we postpone or change our date ?

Postponement will be considered, with written notice at least 90 days prior to originally scheduled ceremony date.  The new ceremony date must be agreed upon between client and Tide the Knot Beach Weddings. Postponements are permitted for up to three (3) months from original ceremony date, in which the deposit may be applied to the rescheduled date. Beyond this three (3) month extension period, a new service agreement, permit and deposit payment will be required, as the previous agreement will be cancelled and original deposit is non-refunded. Approved postponements will be assessed a $100 admin fee plus 50% of your remaining account balance, payable immediately. Want to get married sooner? We'll check the calendar, and provided we are available, we'll accommodate the request. A $100 admin fee and location fee will be assessed and payable immediately.

Can we change our location or ceremony time ?

Possibly and sometimes, pending our availability, with written notice at least 90 days prior to originally scheduled ceremony date. The more notice given, the better chance we can accommodate, though Saturdays are typically not able to be altered due to other events to consider. Upon approval your account will be assessed a $100 admin fee, payable immediately. In some cases, beach permits are not transferable or refundable, so changing beach locations may cost you a second permit fee.

Can we change our package or components after initial reservation?

Clients requesting changes to the reserved package must be provided in writing at least ninety (90) days prior to scheduled event for consideration. Requested changes will be approved/denied based on ability to accommodate. You will get to add components to your package up to 60 days before your event, via a Wedding Checklist submission.
  • Requests to remove Mini Celebrations (Cake & Drink Bar) with less than ninety (90) days’ written notice will be honored, however there will not be a reduction in price and/or deposits will not be refunded.
  • Removal of live musician, photographer or incremental photography sessions, or officiant (included or upgraded) with less than ninety (90) days’ written notice will be honored, however there will not be a reduction in price and/or deposits will not be refunded.
  • Requests to downgrade the reserved package are not permitted.
  • Requests to upgrade the package are allowed and will be assessed an additional payment of $500, payable immediately, applied to your overall adjusted balance.

What happens if we have to cancel?

Well that will be sad for all of us! Forfeiture of ALL deposits & permits if the event is cancelled. Deposits include, but are not limited to:
  • Popular Package, Design your Own Ceremony, and Reception Planning Services’ non-refundable initial payment made at the time of reservation.
  • Incremental payments for services such as: Live Musicians, Photography, Videography, Specialty Officiants, Cake & Drink Bar and Reception Planning Services.
  • Non-refundable Wedding and / or Reception Planning Services’ Mid-point payments made ninety (90) to one hundred-eighty days (180) prior to the event date.
  • Payments made for use of third party reception facilities.
  • Balance payments made on account will be considered for refund provided written cancellation notice is received at least ninety (90) days prior to scheduled event, subject to the following fees:
    • $500 event cancellation fee
    • 7% Pinellas County sales tax on all payments made
    • 5% fee on total client payments processed to pay merchant services credit card fees

Do you coordinate and host receptions?

As of 2021, yes we do! But only in one spot - at our partner location, the West Events, next door to our HQ in Madeira Beach. We host your wedding on the sand then walk across the street to the reception venue, giving you an all inclusive micro wedding and reception, known as the West Side Affair. Perfect for groups of 45 or less choosing to get married Mondays-Thursdays, boasting deep discounted pricing. Should you have a larger group or want a weekend date, we can be hired to coordinate your reception at this same venue and we'll assist you in building an a-la-carte wedding and reception. Should you be looking for other reception ideas, we can refer you to local area restaurants, hotels, reception venues, rooftop settings, dinner cruises, caterers and florists. We are happy to provide that information once you have reserved a beach wedding with our team.

Can we bring our own vendors to the wedding on the beach?

Yes in some cases, no in others. Notification should be given to us if you hire 3rd party vendors for your ceremony (not reception), such as videographers, musicians, photographers, officiants, caterers, cake suppliers, food trucks, etc. Without advance notification, the element of surprise may lead to complications and/or delays at your wedding, as some vendors require special instructions and/or permits. When in doubt, give us a shout!

Do we need to meet in person before the ceremony?

Typically we never meet until 30 minutes before the wedding, as many of our couples live out of state or abroad. However, for those of you lucky enough to live in Florida or happen to be on vacation, we encourage you to meet with us in our Design Studio.  A beach wedding is intended to be a simple process, so we can typically get all the details worked out via email and phone calls.  We call all couples 10-14 days before the ceremony for a quick review of the details, including meeting spot and time, so we are only ever a phone call away!

Do any of your packages include hotel & meals?

Nope! That would be awfully generous of us, though, wouldn't it? Upon booking your wedding with us, we do email you a list of preferred vendors to assist in search for lodging, dining, hair & make up stylists, etc. We read all 41 of the FAQ's on this page. Now what? You must be very interested in our services, so thank you! Now call (727-490-8005) or email us so we can assist. We'll help you come up with the Big 4: Date, Time, Beach & Wedding Package. Once we help you lock those elements down, then you'll be ready to reserve. Cheers! Planning a Florida Beach Wedding, a Florida Beach Same Sex Ceremony, a Florida Beach Vow Renewal or an Elopement to Florida?  Tide the Knot Beach Weddings specializes in eclectic, elegant, romantic and unique beach weddings along Florida's West Coast beaches. St Pete Beach Weddings, Sunset Beach Weddings, weddings on Clearwater Beach, upscale Pass-A-Grille Beach weddings, Gay Beach Weddings, Renew Vows on Florida Beaches, romantic Siesta Key Beach Weddings. Call Tide the Knot Beach Weddings today, and let us help you Tie the Knot on one of Florida’s beautiful west coast beaches.
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