May 1, 2017
The Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Sciences, often referred to by locals as “The Foundation” or “The LBIF,” is one of LBI’s most unique wedding venues. I would argue that it’s one of the few industrial spaces in all of Ocean County, and in New Jersey, at large. Today’s BWE Venue Spotlight is going to let you know exactly why an LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences wedding might be the perfect wedding venue for you.
There are not a lot of highly unique wedding venues in New Jersey, but in my opinion, an LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences wedding reception is one. If you are interested in a fun, industrial-chic (Yes! That’s totally a new thing–I just invented it!), wedding reception filled with gorgeous views of the Barnegat Bay and a fun artsy, creative, causal, industrial vibe, then an LBI Foundation of Arts and Sciences wedding might be right up your ally.
The LBIF is located at 120 Long Beach Blvd, in Long Beach Township, on the northern half of the island and was founded in 1948. It has grown into a full-year community operation that provides art and science education and provides “a place for learning, free expression, and the exchange of ideas and understanding.” Their mission: “To promote the arts and sciences on Long Beach Island and in the surrounding communities by enlightening, educating, and stimulating thought and discussion about current trends in the arts and sciences and by providing broad educational and cultural programs for all ages.” During the summer months, the LBIF operates as a summer camp and artist’s retreat. They have some of the most amazing studio spaces for artists in all of NJ.
You will have a few different options when choosing a ceremony space for your LBIF wedding reception, unless (fingers crossed) it rains. I’ll tell you more about your rain plan options later in this blog. You can choose the Coast Ave. beach (on the ocean). This spot is a simple one block walk for your guests. They would park at The Foundation (even if you’ve tented the parking lot, there is still plenty of lot left over for parking). The ramp over the dune is extra wide there, and has handicap access (no steps). It’s also wide enough to accommodate the delivery of your ceremony rentals without extra man-power. Another bonus, this stretch of beach is fairly wide and accommodating even in the event that your ceremony is planned for high tide and in the event of a little pre-wedding beach erosion (both happened to occur last fall to a wedding I’d planned, and this spot allowed us to not worry about either).
Another ceremony option is the back deck of the LBIF, facing the marsh. This spot is on the property, and would fit about 60-75 guests for a wedding ceremony. There is very little shade, and in the afternoon, it gets full sun. But if you time your ceremony perfectly, during the golden hour (that hour before sunset), you will have the most amazing golden light ever!
This is a more complicated option, because it’s not that large, so it depends on your guest count. Also many choose this space for their cocktail hour, so it’s not possible to flip from ceremony to cocktail unless your guest count is really small (think no more than 50).
Brides who are looking for another amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience for their wedding ceremony can also choose to have their ceremony at the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. There’s nothing like getting married behind Old Barney! There is also plenty of parking, and it’s a quick 10-minute drive for guests to head over to the LBIF after the ceremony.
No one hopes for rain on their wedding day. Believe it or not, your planner and photographer are both wishing for overcast skies (fewer harsh shadows). But if it does rain, it’s my job as you wedding planner to know (well in advance) what the plan is. We do our rain plans 4-6 months ahead of a wedding and in many cases, we know the rain plan (in less detail) before even booking your venue. In the case of a LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences wedding, your rain plan will likely depend on your guest count. If you are having over 100 guests, you will want to rent a tent for your event anyway. This will allow for multiple options and a more accommodating floor plan. If you have between 100-120 guests, I would say you are safe using the gallery as your rain plan. Just know that your entire event will be in this one location; your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. If it doesn’t rain, typically you would have a beach or lighthouse ceremony, followed by cocktail hour on the back deck, and reception in the gallery. If you have 130-150 guests, and rain, then you would have your ceremony and cocktail hour in the gallery, and dinner in the tent. You may choose to forgo the tent, if you are ok with having your guests view your ceremony form their dinner table seat. This is not an unusual situation, but it’s not optimal, and I always want my couples to know their options before hand.
The LBI Foundation of Arts and Sciences was not designed as a wedding venue. So there are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking of an LBI Foundation of Arts and Sciences wedding. You will be able to fit about 100 people inside. If your wedding is bigger, you can tent the parking lot to add additional space. This will add about $4500-5000 to your budget depending on the type of tent you choose and add-ons, like flooring, lighting, fans or heat, and generators. The LBIF holds a number of weddings each year. The space is available for a fee. The fee includes use their kitchen and tables and banquet chairs. If you prefer you can rent tables and chairs to completely transform the space.
The LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences is one of those spaces where you are going to hire vendors for a lot of different services. Primarily, catering and liquor, but those will be just the beginning. You will likely want to bring a wedding planner on board to assist in the management of your wedding vendors. This will ensure that all the “moving parts” come together the way you want. Check out Becky and Bobby’s LBIF wedding. And if you are interested in an LBIF wedding, with a tent, check out Tiffany and Jon’s wedding blog!
I hope you enjoyed this BWE Venue Spotlight featuring The LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. If you’d like to see a few of the weddings that we have helped plan at the LBIF, please check out Becky & Bobby’s wedding (no tent) and Tiffany & Jon’s wedding (with a tent). I would love to help you plan your LBIF wedding! So, if you are planning an LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences wedding, contact me here! If you are considering other LBI wedding venues, download my Guide to LBI Wedding receptions here!
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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