April 14, 2020
Getting married on Long Beach Island is a dream come true for many couples and their families. But for those wishing to have a unique ceremony experience, a Barnegat Light House State Park Wedding Ceremony with Ol’Barney as your backdrop is the perfect solution. A Barnegat Lighthouse state park wedding ceremony is not that hard to pull off, but you will want to keep on reading before you attempt to pull one off. All you need is a little bit of how to information. So, if you wedding day ceremony dream looks something like this… read on!
While you cannot get married inside the light house, you can get married on the beach with the ocean or the lighthouse in the background. There is also a small gazebo in the park. And recently, Barnegat Light built an outdoor pavilion that can hold larger wedding guest counts in the park down the street–more on this in a minute under backup and rain plans.
This is a NJ State park, and so having your Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Wedding Ceremony does require a special permit and 30-days notice. You can download the application and mail it in right here. I would start the process by calling the park at (609) 494-2016, just to ensure that your date is available. You will be given a time slot for your ceremony (no worries, though, typically there is not a huge amount of demand for these ceremonies). You will have to let them know who is setting up your ceremony space and give them a point person to meet with the park director on the day of the wedding. For most couples this will be the company they hire to place and arbor and appropriate seating at the spot where you would like to get married. I highly recommend a company like Rustic Drift, or hiring a wedding planner for Wedding Day Management (at the least) to handle this aspect of your event to ensure it runs smoothly.
Here’s where your choice of venue becomes very important. If you have a guest count small enough to fit in the small gazebo located just east of the park, along the parking lot, you can simply use that if the weather is a bit on the sour side. I would plan on having umbrellas available for guests, to assist in getting them to and from their car. This, along with the pavilion in Barnegat Light, make for great backups in the case of mildly bad weather. You will need a backup in case of severe bad weather. This usually involves your venue. You will need a permit from Barnegat Light township for either the gazebo or the pavilion, which you can download here.
You will want to have a very detailed wedding website for your Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Wedding Ceremony to inform guests about the logistics involved. I also highly suggest that you have a texting/messaging system in place. And because no one (NO ONE) likes a group chat, I highly recommend WedTexts. This will allow you to prepare ahead of time a way in which to text guests at the last minute if a change is necessary or if there is a last minute logistical challenge. The app is easily setup on your phone, and is worth the investment you will make (the cost depends on the number of phone numbers you will have in it). This will allow guests to receive messages from you (you can even schedule them in advance) without having to worry about a group text situation where everyone is commenting or asking questions.
You will also want to have made, or rent, signage that will help direct guests to your ceremony location. You will want to make sure they know where to find a bathroom or drink of water.
I would suggest that you plan to start your Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Wedding Ceremony 15 minutes after the time on the invite. So, with that in mind, you will want to provide guests with certain amenities to ensure their comfort. For example, a shoe valet where they can swap out their shoes for flip flops and grab a glass of water or lemon-aid. Be sure to include a small trash can in your setup so that guests do not accidentally leave their cup or water bottle on the beach. You will want to make sure your guests are dressed properly, and with footwear that is appropriate for the rather long walk from the parking lot to the ceremony space. In addition, you might want to let guests know that parking can be (especially on beautiful days–fingers crossed you get one) can be a harder. Not impossible, but letting guests know that this is not a valet parking-type situation will help to ensure they arrive on time for the ceremony. Your amenities station might include, depending on the time of year, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, and bug spray. I also like to add a small tube of itch relief cream to my bathroom basket for any guests, who upon arriving at the reception, find they got bit by the NJ mascot. Just be sure to assign someone (an usher, older cousin, or wedding planner assistant) to monitor the station. You would be surprised how many normal park guests (not wedding guests) will think that your cute lemon-aid display if for them, and help themselves to a pair of flip flops. You know, it is Jersey after all. All it takes is one person, standing next to it, asking people kindly if they are here for the wedding.
If you are interested in learning more about beach weddings on Long Beach Island, you will defiantly want to check out this post on how to plan for the perfect beach wedding and to learn about the right way to plan one!
Thank you to the photographers who allow us to use their images on our site:
Ashley Mac Photographs, Heather Palecek Photography, Idalia Photography, Jessica Erb Photography, Susan Elizabeth Photography, Delaney Dobson Photography, Ann Coen Photography, Lovesick Inc., K Hulett Photography & Melanie Cassie Photography
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