Welcome! If you have landed here it’s most likely because you have decided to start planning your LBI wedding and don’t know where to start! Planning a wedding is difficult, planning a wedding in an area you probably don’t live in is even more difficult! I have lived in the LBI area for 35 years and have been in the industry nearly 15 years. I am here to be your personal guide to LBI weddings!
When you are planning your LBI wedding the first thing you need to consider is the time of year. If you are getting married “in season” (late May – early September) you need to plan on allowing A LOT of time in your day for traffic. Traffic at peak times can be difficult to deal with. Primarily Friday afternoons and before 3 on Saturdays can be particularly difficult. Plenty of people get married during these times but rely on your local vendor teams to help you choose the best locations with minimal travel for things like hair and makeup, portrait and ceremony locations and more. The physically closer you keep your locations during peak season, the better! Around mid October the lights on the island get shut off, this makes travel times much easier to plan for but our beautiful Island does flood and sometimes the main Boulevard isn’t passable. I have had this happen a few times for weddings and we had to make 2+ hour shifts in plans to accommodate for flooding!
Hotel LBI is a great, central location for most!
Choosing a venue is the largest decision you will make. These beautiful 18 miles can be broken down into two area by locals, the north end and the south end, but for this blog I will make it three sections. North, center (where you come on the island via the bridge) and south. There are tons of local venues to choose from but I will highlight a few of my favorites here to keep things easy!
If you want something more quiet and unique – the north end of the island, near the lighthouse, is for you. Daymark and the LBI Arts Foundation are great options for your LBI wedding. Sometimes you can even rent a tent and put it in Harvey Cedars at sunset park, you could contact the township directly for more information.
If you want to stay central for your LBI wedding, close to the bridge and the mainland (where there is close Holiday Inn called the Mainland for guests!) some great options for your wedding venue are the always beautiful Bonnet Island Estate, Mallard Island Yacht Club, Hotel LBI or the Mainland (not on LBI, but very close!) are all stunning options. They are all also owned under the same umbrella of companies that do a phenomenal job with weddings!
If you want to head towards the south end of the island, Beach Haven, where all the hustle and bustle of LBI life is the best venue options for you will be the Sea Shell (the ONLY place to get married on the actual beach and the food is everything you dreamed of!) or Parkers Garage. The Gables can handle a smaller affair and has outstanding food. The Brant Beach Yacht Club is about half way between the center and south end of the island.
As a photographer, I am partial to planning for your wedding portrait location to be an important part of your wedding day. Some people specifically want the lighthouse in their photos. TRUTH – the lighthouse is pretty, but unless it has significance to you personally there are areas of the island that photograph better than the park at the lighthouse. Sometimes the trip all the way from Beach Haven (the south end) to the Lighthouse (the north end) isn’t worth it. Based on where you are staying and having your wedding and the time of year this can add a lot unnecessary travel time to your day. Below I will give you photo examples of what your LBI wedding photos can look like based on location.
North end beaches are large and have texture.
Central and south end beaches are smaller, usually much closer and have great ocean views.
Time of day matters! If you want a ceremony on the beach and your portraits to be directly after remember that based on the time of year there will be FULL sun and that means people squinting and wearing sunglasses and beach-goers in the back of your ceremony photos. This may not matter to you at all and to others its a deal breaker! Work with your photographer to help decide the best time of day based on the sun and the tide for your wedding ceremony (if it’s outdoors) and your portraits!
About 2pm, not a cloud in the sky on the north end of the island.
Sunset! Sunset is best seen over the bay but the cotton candy skies can easily carry over to the ocean side. Use this site to learn the time of sunset for your LBI wedding so you can plan accordingly for photos!
Where to stay is always a thing people ask me! Besides the hotels I have mentioned above rental houses always make for great places because it is easy for everyone and they make for great photos! Here is a great site for rentals!
I have given you LOTS of tips and ideas but if you are still looking for something a little different and more intimate for your wedding the south end of the island has two venues that house events and you can stay there. Andrew and Jason got ready at the Williams Cottage and Mandie and Dell at a house called 101 Center. Both venues allow for parties and will help you every step of the way! This couple opted for a private boat tour of Barnegat Light after they eloped!