Florida Marriage License

Are you a Florida bride & groom or traveling to Florida as your dream destination to say I do??

Here’s all you need to know about obtaining a marriage license in Florida {in & around Dade County}:

From the Marriage License Bureau –
In order to become legally married in the state of Florida  both bride and groom must apply for a marriage license in person. There is no residency or citizenship requirement to apply for a Florida marriage license.
After a marriage license has been obtained, the marriage ceremony can be performed. A brief  civil ceremony   can be performed by a Deputy Clerk at any of the  Marriage License OfficesThe marriage ceremony must be performed within 60 days of the issuance of the license.
After the marriage ceremony, the marriage license must be returned to the Miami-Dade County Marriage License Bureau.
Premarital course
The state requires all Florida residents to take a four hour premarital course or wait three days for the marriage license to be effective.  This does not apply to non-Florida residents. A directory of premarital course providers is available online or at all  district court locations.
When applying for a marriage license both bride and groom must apply in person. If one or more of the applicants are  minors, under 18 years of age, additional requirements apply.
All applicants must present the following:
  • One (1) valid identification is required with the applicant’s picture, signature, and date of birth,  a Driver License issued by any state in the U.S., Passport, a U.S. Military ID, Alien Registration Card, or State of Florida ID issued by DMV are acceptable. Anyone issued a Social Security Card must provide their number.
  • All U.S. citizens and residents must provide their  Social Security Number.
  • Non-U.S. Citizens may provide one of the following valid Identifications:  Alien Registration Card, US State issued Driver’s License, or Passport if they do not have a Social Security Number.
  • If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death or annulment must be provided.  If the divorce took place in Miami-Dade County go to the  Family Online Case Search and view the docket link for final judgment date which is date of divorce.

 For more info, visit 

 This link takes you to the online pre-application, which makes the application process   quicker when you stop into the courthousehttp://www2.miami-dadeclerk.com/mlsweb
The information for the office (their address, suite #, hours, parking info) can be found at:
Metro-Dade Flagler Building
Metro-Dade Flagler Building
140 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130     Map
Hours Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Marriage License Bureau,   Suite 1503
Tax-Deed Sales,   Suite 908
Payments for Restitution &
Public Defender Liens,
   Suite 1502
Where to Park




Dear Blogging Friends + Followers,


Another little light bulb went off in my head to raise funds for the J+S PROJECT…

Thanks to Colette at E14t.com for being so amazing to work with, we are ordering new & upgraded Better Half Weddings & Events, Inc. set-up tanks.

Our logo will be on the front in white on a black racer back tank top ♥ We would LOVE your support to BHW and would love to see you rocking our tanks all over the world (cough, friends in NZ ;)!!

Profits will go straight to our J+S PROJECT!

$25/tank top.

Women’s sizing, S-XXXL. 

Support BHW. Support the J+S PROJECT. Please email me if interested in ordering a tank! info@betterhalfweddings.com 

Here’s what the tank looks like + the sizing chart:


Wedding Etiquette Answered: TIPPING + GRATUITY!

A big question from one of our brides this week was

“HELPPPPP! I need advice on tipping etiquette and what vendors/how much should be included in gratuity amounts??”

When it comes to wedding etiquette, gratuity can be tricky. It can be overwhelming beginning your budget tracker & realizing how quickly funds get distributed & disappear. It is CRUCIAL to include tip amounts into your overall budget from the start, so you’re not thrown for a loop on wedding day, realizing you forgot to include gratuity.

So, first things first. Make sure to read the fine print & find out which vendors already included gratuity into their quote/invoice to you. For example, catering companies often do this, adding on tip amounts for their servers, bartenders, etc.

Your day-of coordinator {BHW!} is responsible for distributing tips to your vendors for you on wedding day. Be sure to pre-calculate gratuity amounts and have them in clearly marked envelopes so they are ready to go.

Tips should always be in CASH only.

So after doing some research, we found out who you should tip and the industry average for how much…


{Photo via Google search, 2013}.

Alter Boys or Girls
$10-15 each, or optional church donation.

Limo/Private Car Driver
15%-20% of total bill

Valet Parking Attendants
Minimum of $1/car

Wait Staff
15-20% of catering bill

10% of liquor bill or $25/person

Restroom/Coatroom Attendants
$1.00 per guest

Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists
15-25% of total bill.


Ceremony/Reception Musicians
$20-25 per musician

Event Rentals/Vintage Rentals/Event Styling
10-15% of total bill

Photographer & Videographer
$50-$200 per vendorOfficiant

0-$100 or church donation

You are not expected to tip for arrangement creation, however, a tip of $5-$10+ for delivery & set up shows your appreciation for their hard work.

You are not expected to tip for baking of the cake/desserts, however, a tip of $5-$10+ for delivery & set up shows your appreciation for their hard work.

Wedding Coordinator
10%+ of your total planning bill. They made your day perfect from start to finish!

On-Site Venue’s Coordinator
Optional, up to $50.


How do other vendors feel about these amounts? If you’re a vendor on this list, how much do you feel you deserve in gratuity? Do you agree or disagree with these numbers?

Tipping is in fact one of the most important expressions of appreciation, and most definitely appropriate & necessary wedding day etiquette.



Hot Cocoa Gone Wild!

We’ve been on the hunt for the best HOT CHOCOLATE recipes from all over the globe, and folks, we’ve struck gold!

From Drew’s World Famous Triple Rush Hot Chocolate to

Creamy Vegan Hot Cocoa, to Cocoa Sleigh Ride  & more, this page shares

20 of the yummiest hot chocolate recipes in town! 

Mix up your cup of hot cocoa this season with 20 festive inspirations via



2 of Life’s Favorite Things…


Who doesn’t love the good ‘ol American snack, Rice Krispie treats + everyone’s favorite cookie dough?! Well, the wait is over for the two to be combined…

Check out these savory, ooy-gooy yummies via Steph’s Bite by Bite own personal recipe:

Photo via 



{makes a whole tray of squares}

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 16oz bag marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispie cereal (I used gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray, set aside.

In a heavy bottom pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add in the marshmallows and stir until marshmallows are completely melted. While marshmallows are melting pour rice krispie treats and 1/2 cup chocolate chips in to a large bowl and toss to combine. When marshmallows are completely melted pour it over the top of the cereal mixture and mix with a spatula until cereal is completely coated in marshmallow. Dump cereal in to baking dish and spread out evenly with a spatula that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. I like to push down on my cereal with the back of my spatula to really pack it in and make a firm square.

Set rice krispie treats aside while you make the cookie dough.

In a medium pot melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. When completely melted add in the brown sugar, whisking until sugar is dissolved, then allow mixture to bubble and cook for a minute or two. Turn the heat off and add in the vanilla. Let this mixture sit for 20 minutes to cool off.

Once cool, add in the remaining ingredients, whisking to combine. If the mixture is too thick add another little splash of milk. Spread the cookie dough over the top of the rice krispie treats and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes to set up.

Remove from fridge, cut in to squares, and prepare to eat the whole tray in two minutes flat.

For an extra jazz effect you can melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave for one minute, then use a fork to drizzle melted chocolate over top!








Dijon + Brown Sugar Carrots

These tasty little guys are my absolute FAVORITE!! They’ve become my signature dish & a holiday tradition since I stumbled upon the recipe last fall {& have since made some secret mini tweaks to make it my own}. 


  • 1 (16 ounce) package baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt {I’m not a huge salt fan, so LEFT THE SALT OUT. I thought it was way too salt with added salt, since the dijon brings out enough saltiness. But, it’s up to you! I’d recommend leaving the salt OUT & leave some on the table for people to add themselves.}

* TIP via Shelley: Having a large get together?? I tripled the carrots to three bags of baby carrots & doubled the sauce…if you double the carrots, you’ll probably want to double the sauce glaze ingredients, but won’t have to use it all! Duplicate recipe accordingly. Since I love these, I didn’t mind the thought of having leftovers {and I actually really hate leftovers}…BUT, the dish was cleared clean anyway! They’re always a tasty hit!


  • In a saucepan, bring carrots and water to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain. Place carrots in a serving dish and keep warm.
  • In the same pan, melt butter.
  • Add brown sugar, mustard, ginger and salt {remember, I left the salt out because I thought it made them way too salty – use your own discretion}; cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • WHEN READY TO SERVE: Pour sauce mixture over carrots and toss to coat.

These sweet baby carrots don’t do well when you pour the sauce then let them sit for a while. Try to add the {warm} sauce on your way out the door to your Thanksgiving feast, or bring sauce on the side & add upon arrival/dinner being served. Best served fresh!

HOPE YOU ENJOY! Even non-carrot lovers seem to go gaga over these little gems! 

To view the original recipe, visit 


Inside Out Caramel Apples Slices

Featuring our first recipe favorite of the day, “inside out caramel apple slices,” which we have yet to try but CANNOT WAIT to attempt this one! If you’ve tried it, please let us know how it turned out below in the comments!

We’re using the recipe as seen on TASTY KITCHEN, where they rated this as “easy.” And prep time is only 30 minutes!


  • 3 whole Large Granny Smith Apples (or Any Apple Of Your Choice)
  • 1 whole Large Lemon
  • 2 cups Caramel Squares, Unwrapped
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cups Chopped Pecans (optional)
  • Chocolate Sauce (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Note: these are still sticky and slightly messy, just like a traditional caramel apple. And totally worth it!

  • Cut your apples in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, leaving the walls intact at about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the apples and allow to set. (This will keep them from turning brown right away.)
  • To make the caramel sauce, melt the caramel squares in a sauce pan over low heat, with the corn syrup. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe your apples down, removing the lemon juice as much as possible. (Important: if the inside of your apple is too wet, the caramel won’t stick.)
  • Pour the caramel into the hollowed out apples until just below the top. Sprinkle with pecans (if you desire). Be sure to stray away from nuts if allergies are of concern!!
  • Chill in the refrigerator until the caramel has set, about 20 minutes. Cut into slices and drizzle with chocolate sauce, if desired.


Umm, YUM!!!!! Who doesn’t love something bite sized, easy, and oh-so festive?!

View the original post of this recipe via Tasty Kitchen –




We have a REALLY hard time holding back posting photos galore of events we’re a part of, but this is the only sneak peak we can leak of our OH DEER styled shoot that took place this past Sunday.

Held at The Cooper Estate in Redland, our rustic, wintry woodsy vision came to life.

We couldn’t have made it possible without the support & participation from a handful of AMAZING South Florida wedding professionals, especially Julia Rohde Designs for her co-brainstorming & co-event design.

Michelle March Photography was the angel of the day, snapping away what are sure to be incredible photos. How amazing is it that she shoots FILM?! YA, SERIOUSLY!

So for the next two weeks it will feel like Christmas Eve around here, while we wait for her photos to come back from a lab in California…

Until then, sweet dreams of wintry woodsy goodness, my dear 🙂


FEATURED VENDORS: Thanks to Vivid Diamonds, Salon Utopia, unearthed vintage, Julia Rohde Designs, Michael Burgos Films, Michelle March Photography, Cloud 9 Bakery & Cafe, Sasha’s Bridal Boutique, The Cooper Estate, Llorente Design, A Fox Wedding, Sarah Hopper & Kyle Cameron for making our day everything we imagined it to be and MORE! ♥

Superhero Wedding Inspiration

In honor of Halloween-eve & costumes on the brain, we’re kicking off this beautiful, fall Florida morning with a mix of superhero/comic wedding inspirations.


Weddings should reflect you as a couple, what makes you laugh, what makes you smile, and what makes you YOU.

Some of the pictures are from a quirky-comic-detail-filled wedding that was featured on Green Wedding Shoes, where the couple gave this advice:

“Having a wedding planner is definitely worth it! And also, make it YOU! It’s one of the biggest days in your life, pretend like it’s your birthday party and you get to choose exactly how it will be and who to invite.

It’s so cool when you’ve found the person you want to spend your life with, and it’s so cool to get to plan a big party together and to have the love and comfort to say “I’d really love to bust through a brick wall like superheros for our grand entrance, what do you think?” or “I’d really like to wear bright pink converse for our wedding, are you down with that?” We kicked the rules out the door and because of that had the wedding of our dreams. Our ceremony was so beautiful, it was full of happy tears and celebration, and our reception was a ball! Be happy!”


For the full blog post, visithttp://greenweddingshoes.com/a-superhero-wedding-alex-james/

Photos via Pinterest via Green Wedding Shoes & Hoffer Photography [bottom picture of bridal party].