EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
WITH A PRIVATE BEACH AND LUXURY FEEL
If you are looking to get married at the Jersey Shore and want to take advantage of all the Long Beach Island area has to offer, look no further. I live a few minutes away and photograph weddings here often. Scroll for a complete tour, what you expect on your wedding day and endless photos from real weddings held at Mallard Island Yacht Club.
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Mallard Island Yacht Club is located at 1450 NJ-72, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 near Dorland J Henderson Memorial Bridge, commonly called the Causeway, to Long Beach Island. As a lifelong resident of the area, I live a few minutes drive from the venue and photograph many weddings here each year. You will arrive and immediately be greeted by the famous red roof and the grand architecture of the building. Even from the parking lot, you have beautiful water views of Barnegat Bay. As you approach the back of the building you are greeted by amazing views, a lush garden, a private beach, an expansive dock, views of the bridge and so much more. The landscaping changes with the seasons and never disappoints. Tucked away you will find the popular shack, once an army barracks then a clam shack until being fully restored. This photo gallery will show you the grounds through every season and type of weather. My goal for this page is for you to get a true sense of what your wedding day can look like under all conditions.
Mallard Island Yacht Club is not like any other venue in New Jersey. This venue has soft and relaxed water views that made you fall in love with the Jersey Shore mixed with luxury and elegance throughout to building. You enter from the parking lot into the downstairs cocktail and after-hours party space, also known as the marina level, or through the front doors up the grand staircase and directly into the reception room. This photo tour will take you through a tour of both the third and fourth floors so you can see the 10 private guest rooms and the impressive 3000 square foot luxury couples penthouse with an ensuite salon. Each private room has its own bathroom and closet space. Some of the rooms have a small balcony that opens over the dance floor in the reception room if desired.
The time you are allowed to enter the venue will change if there was an event the evening before. This will be different for each couple. It is common for some to start wedding day prep of hair and makeup if needed off-site and do the final touches in the salon on premises. Another option is to do all of the prep in the salon if your hair and makeup team can accommodate it. While you are prepping I will start in the couples' penthouse and capture all of the day's important details rings, gown or attire, full invitation suite, accessories, etc. My team and I will come back and forth between the details and where all the prep is happening to capture the full story of your day. Often times part of the wedding party will choose to get ready in the shack, enjoy the outdoors, play some cornhole and soak in the views. While you and your loved ones are relaxing your vendor teams and the staff of Merrimakers will be completing all of the necessary details to bring the wedding you have spent months planning into a reality. Once the pampering is done we head up to the penthouse to step into your wedding attire. Some people like to do a first look with their father, mother or the wedding party. To keep logistics simple we usually do this in the penthouse and have them come to you. Your personal attendant the day of you event will be a huge asset into helping up coordinate this and many other events.
The majority of couples choose to do a first look. They choose this so they can get all of the formalities done and truly enjoy their day and be part of the cocktail hour. You can choose any spot at Mallard Island Yacht club for your first look and you won't be disappointed. Months before your event we will work together to create a full timeline in 15-minute increments of your day. The first look location is left as TBD so that we can plan when I arrive based on the weather. We will account for the temperature, the sun, rain, and wind and make the best decision. I make sure to give you space and a few quiet moments before the hustle and whirlwind of your day begin. This is also a great opportunity to read some private vows if you choose. From the first look, we move directly into your wedding portraits.
Depending on the weather, time, and season I will show you all the great spots for your photos! There are so many amazing locations for portraits on the property. I like to move quickly and efficiently and utilize locations that work for your time of day make sure we will tour all of the grounds. When at their sister location, Bonnet, I have a very specific pattern I follow every time because the light is more consistent there. Portraits at Mallard Island do require a seasoned professional to show you where to jump around to and why. There are endless beautiful spots but I can show you what locations really shine and are optimal at different parts of the day. Through the different seasons, the light creates a variety of looks and options combined with the natural landscape to complement the season of your wedding. We will use each and every location Mallard has to offer but the specifics details of when will vary based on the exact weather on your wedding day. Use this photo gallery to see what portraits will look like through every type of weather and season. While many photographers believe in only showcasing the top 5% of their work that is not my philosophy. My goal is, to be honest, and upfront and show you all of the different and varied options for what your wedding photos will look like through every possible time of day, season and weather. The description I gave above may seem vague and general but it is filled with truth. Let me be your guide on this, you hired an expert so let me show you what will be best.
One beautiful thing about the location of Mallard Island Yacht Club is that we truly always have options. The position of the building and the sanctuary with arches inspired by Rathskeller’s Gothic Architecture and Princeton University along with the covered walkway to the Boathouse Chapel and covered upper-level verandas allow for many places to block both the wind and rain if needed. One of the most frequently asked questions from my couples is always about the weather. The answer is that we can't truly make a plan until the hourly forecast comes out that morning. Dealing with the weather is one important reason that you want to hire a wedding photographer that is local and truly knows how to handle island weather. From full sun to west winds to hurricane season and flooding you want someone who knows what to do in these situations. The positive about Long Beach Island weather is that it's often changing and moving. It's extremely rare we get a day that is all rain, every hour. Often there are breaks in the rain and chances for us to change up the schedule and make do! Certain times of the year west winds can bring some troubles but hiring an experienced vendor who knows the best workarounds will save your wedding photos. If it does rain on your wedding day we will work together to revise the schedule and know that we will need to make quick and efficient decisions all day to utilize the grounds as mother nature allows. We will also do the majority of your photos in the ceremony space and around the grounds of the estate itself. This photo gallery shows weddings that had different levels of undesirable weather from overcast skies to rain. Some had periods of blue skies and outstanding sunsets also so rain does not mean all hope is lost. Overcast skies make beautiful soft and filtered light. We will also do the majority of your photos in the ceremony space and around the grounds of the estate itself.
Previously I mentioned the timeline we customize for your wedding day. Months prior to your wedding planning, we have created a timeline to tell the people involved when to be ready and to meet us in the Boathouse chapel for portraits, this is always the designated meeting place for many reasons. Depending on the weather of the day and the size of your wedding party we will begin with group portraits. We will either use inside the chapel or outdoors if there is some cloud cover so we can avoid the harsh sun causing everyone to squint. We will use the many locations from the chapel, dock, back of the building, sanctuary arches, garden private beach and more. This gallery shows a variety of locations with different party sizes through different seasons and weather.
You put the time, energy, and creativity into decorating your ceremony space so I like to utilize it. When we choose this elderly family members can have places to sit where they do not have to move around often. Sometimes we do use other locations as you can see in the photo gallery. Sometimes couples want extended family portraits those guests are not available during this time. I do not advise we use the cocktail hour for those extended family photos. It is very hard to locate everyone and you waste the majority of your cocktail hour standing around and waiting. For extended family photos, I suggest having the DJ announce and doing them during your reception on the dance floor during course servings or on the covered veranda when the weather allows. If your family is organized and follows directions well we can also use the time you are hidden away. We finalize all of this long in advance when we create your custom timeline.
This is the moment you have spent months or years putting together. You and your partner are about to say I do. As you walk down the aisle or wait for the one you love try to pause and soak it all in. Everyone you love is under one roof. This is a monumental moment in your journey as a couple. The staff of Merrimakers Catering is behind the scene creating gourmet food for your affair, your photographers are here capturing all the big and small moments and everything is falling into place. You can choose a family member, friend, government official, priest or minister to perform your commitment ceremony. This gallery of pictures shows ceremonies from all different times of day and seasons to give you a true feeling of what you can expect on your wedding day as well as ideas for decor possibilities.
You have promised forever to your love and the staff at Mallard Island will create a quiet space so you can sit with your spouse, have a little privacy and sample one of everything from your cocktail hour menu. I know you are excited to celebrate with your guests but with all the talking and congratulations about to come your way this private time is the only time you will get to eat. Mallard Island cocktail hour does not disappoint. The weather decides how much of this part of your special day is in the garden, the sanctuary arches or inside the marina level, the food and drinks will always be phenomenal and delicious. Use the slide show to see what your signature drinks and menu options look like to envision your full guest experience! While you and your guests are enjoying my team and I are behind the scenes coordinating with your entertainment and venue while making sure we capture all the beautiful details of the reception you planned.
Upon your grand entrance to your reception, the time of year and weather will dictate the exact look. In the spring and summer, you can count on some natural light coming in through the windows and fall will mean you walk into a beautiful glowing light from the sun or your candles under the famous Tiffany blue ceilings. Your guests will gather around the dance floor and open-air veranda weather permitting while you make you have your formal dances. Guests will enjoy an open bar, fresh saltwater air, and one of the best meals of their lives. The speeches and cake cutting will take place at times you coordinate with the staff and your entertainment long before the wedding day. Each detail will be ironed out in advance and executed to perfection by Merrimakers. The dancing photos you see here illuminated in vibrant light are an added feature by This Is It Entertainment. This simple step elevates your reception with a touch that cant necessarily but quantified in words but felt in experience.
The sun sets across 72, not behind the venue over the water as most people think. As an experienced professional at Mallard, I will help you decide the best spot for your sunset portraits. As a local, I am very familiar with how cloud patterns and coverage create different levels of color for sunset and the timing involved. It’s a science, and a little bit of luck, to learn and apply but it is one of my specialties. Different times of the year also tend to produce different results. While we can’t truly make the perfect plan till right before your cocktail hour I work closely with your venue team to make a plan to try and get you the best portraits. There are many factors that decide if this is before, during or after the actual sunset time. If sunset portraits are important to you, hiring a local that knows the patterns and locations for Mallard is imperative. We will also make a plan to create beautiful nighttime portraits and use the fire pit in the garden when possible. Use the slideshow here to view the array of possibilities for your Mallard Island sunset photos. You can find the exact time of sunset for your wedding date here.
I know it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite but when couples ask there are always two little spots that come to mind and they aren’t what you expect. While Mallard has grand views and exquisite architecture at every turn for some reason my favorite spot is always this little pathway leading into the garden and the one specific spot the sun always glows in the garden. All of the other locations are beautiful and worthy but no matter the weather these two simple spots are the places I always make sure we don’t miss.
A quick search of Long Beach Island hotels will give you many options. I understand that sometimes we want to skip google and have someone who knows the area give you directions. My suggestions will vary based on the time of year you are getting married. If you are getting married in July or August traffic will be heavy and accommodations harder to find so it’s best you get your guests’ options as early as possible. Since COVID the chowder fest in October has changed but it may go back to its original form. That first weekend in October can also be difficult for guests to find accommodations so notify them early also!
350 W 8th St, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008 Great for all ages and has a pool!
151 NJ-72, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 Great for all ages and close!
119 E 9th St, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008. A more budget-friendly option.
Surf City Hotel
800 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, NJ 08008 A more budget-friendly option.
Sea Shell Resort
10 S Atlantic Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008 A great spot! Beach views, awesome food, and locally owned!