June 2, 2019
Many beaches have strict rules when it comes to protecting the oceanside environment. Long Beach Island is no exception, but with a number of different townships at play, and with different sets of rules for each, I thought you might find it helpful to if I put together a quick little read on how to plan an LBI beach wedding!
A few things I’ve noticed over the years, your guests will leave things behind. Sunglasses, purses, shoes. If you don’t have a wedding planner, you will want to make sure someone does a “beach sweep” after the ceremony is over to pick up theses items and bring them to your reception location. Have them bring these items to your reception, where the DJ or band leader can make a quick announcement for guests who might be missing an item.
It’s also exceptionally important to remember that your guests will very likely leave behind garbage. I see it every time. Please make sure that you leave a cute garbage can for your guests. This will do wonders to plant the idea in their head to simply remember to throw out their trash. Please use a drink dispenser with biodegradable cups and straws. Please do not put out single-use plastic. I like to pre-empt this by not offering bottled water. A drink station is the perfect solution and much more environmentally friendly! I always suggest placing where ever you place your flip flops and welcome sign. Guests can take a minute, pause, swap out their shoes, and enjoy a small refreshment before moving on to the ceremony.
In addition to an environmentally-friendly, you will also want to consider other aspects of your LBI beach wedding and its impact on the environment. Please do not incorporate balloons. May townships have made them illegal. But even if they have not, latex, mylar, and plastic are not a good match with the beach. Confetti at the end of your ceremony is also frowned upon. Some towns ban it outright. While others require it be bio-degradable. But here’s the truth of it: you can not even rely on the packaging to be honest with you. There are confetti companies out there that claim to be biodegradable when they are not. If you want to test your confetti, eat a piece. No joke. Put it in your mouth and chew. If it doesn’t immediately break down, spit it out and do not use it. One last item, those cute paper lanterns that float up into the sky. You’ve seen them. They are featured in the movie Tangled. They are pretty. But, they are a fire hazard and end up as pollution, because you have no way of knowing where they will land, and thus no way to clean them up. In fact, in NJ, they are illegal.
When you are planning an LBI beach wedding and you have chosen the perfect spot, the next steps are:
Ship Bottom and Barnegat Light both require a permit that is approved by township committee. To be on the safe side, you will want to plan the application and get it in around the 6 to 12-month mark for your LBI beach wedding. To be safest, get your permit started as soon as you choose your wedding date! Other towns like Beach Haven, do not require permits. They simply let you know the rules. You can’t ask anyone to leave, because it’s a public beach, and if you are having more than 100 guests, they ask that you please let the police department know (this is simply so they know why there are so many people in one area). Let’s go through it town-by-town.
Long Beach Island is made up of ten different municipalities. But, keep in mind that, Long Beach Township oversees High Bar Harbor, Loveladies, North Beach, Brant Beach, Beach Haven Crest, Brighton Beach, Peahala Park, Beach Haven Park, Haven Beach, The Dunes, Beach Haven Terrace, Beach Haven Gardens, Bay Vista, Spray Beach, North Beach Haven, Beach Haven Heights, Silver Sands, Beach Haven Inlet and Holgate.
So, it’s best to call the one in which you’re having your LBI beach wedding and speak with a human being. Do not rely on a website (even this one) for the most up-to-date accurate information, it’s possible that it changes from time to time. And even though I update this site, it’s your job (not anyone else’s to get permits. Even if you have an amazing wedding planner (such as myself) you can not have them procure your permit. It must be done by the couple themselves, that is the law. In fact, when it comes to this important planning element, trust no one’s word except the Borough or Township authority. While you have them on the phone to talk about beach wedding permits, you might as well ask them about marriage licenses (ya’ know, while you have them on the phone and ’cause you’ll need one of them too, if you live out of state). Get your permit squared away the minute you decide on a wedding date!
If you want to have your LBI beach wedding at Barnegat Light State Park, by the lighthouse, you will need to get a permit form the state park. It’s a really simple process. You’ll want to give them a call and confirm that the date and time you are interested in is available, and then go to their website to download the paperwork. It costs $60.
If you’re reading this and thinking that it sounds like a lot of moving parts, and maybe you don’t need to have that LBI beach wedding you’ve been dreaming of your whole life. Stop. Just contact me. I offer a one-hour free consultation to couples looking to plan a wedding on Long Beach Island. You can pick my brain about every aspect, including the beach. Then, if you want, we can move forward. But even if you do not work with a planner, please use a local company for your wedding ceremony set-up. If they can’t answer questions about set-up and break-down, tide tables, beach erosion, and other things you must consider when picking a beach ceremony location, move on!
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 & Melanie Cassie Photography
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