Hi, my name’s Dalton Young, a destination wedding videographer and photographer. I want to talk really quickly about permits. Making sure that your vendors have the right permits seems like something you shouldn’t have to worry about as a bride. You’re right. However, something we like to refer to as due diligence means doing your own research, doing your own homework, and asking the right questions. You will also find another good question that you want to ask about along with permits is going to be general liability insurance.
Let me take a step back. Having the right permits, like you have to have your marriage license and things like that. But specifically where we’re at in the Florida panhandle, Destin, Florida, 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, having the right permits to do business here, not only on a county basis, being registered to do business in the area from a business tax receipt … We have to have a business tax receipt in order to do business, but there’s also certain locations that are more strict about having certain permits, like beach operation permits. So if you’re getting married in South Walton County or Walton County in general, they tend to have a strict policy that they implemented in the last few years for having a beach permit for miscellaneous operations, for doing videography or photography, etc. That’s for the whole county, and this is specifically referring to the beach permit side of it.
If you have a videographer or photographer or any of your vendors doing business on the beach, they have to have a beach permit. If you are at your wedding on your wedding day and code enforcement comes by because you’re having an event, they will ask about your vendors having their permits. If your vendors do not have permits, do not be surprised if your vendors are not able to perform that service. Just something to keep in mind. You want to make sure your vendors have the right permits.
Not only that, there are other small towns, especially throughout the 30A area, that will also require you to use vendors that are on their specific list. Some venues are like this as well. Some venues have preferred lists that are exclusive preferred lists. You have to use someone on their list, or basically, you don’t get to use anybody.
But there are some towns that are like that as well. For some of them, you have to pay, you have to pay as a vendor. As a vendor, we would have to pay to be on their list in order to do weddings in that area on a regular ongoing basis. This also would make sure that we’re on their recommended list. You have to pay an annual due, but you also are vetted, and they do their research. That way it’s not anybody’s coming in and shooting. If you bring someone in that’s not on some of these lists, they will charge your vendor an outside fee for coming in.
So again, just different things to consider just when you’re in the hiring process. Just it’s a simple question. “Hey, do you have general liability insurance?” You may even want to ask for proof. Your venue may ask for proof. Some venues will ask for that proof of general liability insurance. Then depending on where you’re getting married, when you’re going through your whole marriage license or planning any event or anything, you may find out that you get asked by code enforcement, “Do they have beach permits?” You may also get asked the question, “Are they an approved vendor in our community in order to do their work here?” You’re going to see things at the county level, maybe at the city level, as well as in the community, even down to the venue level.
Just most brides just don’t think about this, and that’s cool, but you just have to be aware of it when you’re hiring vendors that are … When you hire us, you don’t have to worry about these issues. But when you hire other vendors who may do this part-time, sometimes they don’t know. Other times, they know, and they just don’t do enough weddings to really justify $100, $150 permit here, $150 permit there, or however much it is. It gets expensive when they only make a few thousand dollars a year doing this, and then they’re going to spend a few thousand dollars a year on permits. That doesn’t make sense to them, so they just simply avoid them because they just don’t do it full-time.
So just something to consider when you’re hiring for your destination beach wedding, whether you’re hiring for a wedding that’s not in the Destin, 30A, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola Beach market, all the way over to Mobile, and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, wherever.
If you’re hiring even somewhere else, these other places may also have these requirements, and it may be different in other states. I’m just speaking specifically for our area. But having tax permits is very common. Having beach permits is very common depending on the county. That’s in order for them to regulate … basically to get their cut too of people doing business on their beaches. So something to consider, something to ask about.
If you have any questions, I’m here to help you throughout the entire planning process. Whether you decide to work with us or not, my goal is for you to have an exceptional wedding day. If I could do anything to help improve that, I would be more than happy to work with you and just give you some information and some quick insights. Feel free to reach out. Again, my name’s Dalton, and we will talk to you soon.
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Photography/Videography: Dalton Young Weddings