May 4, 2022
If it’s meant to be, it will be. That’s exactly how Jill and Michaels love story began and now I am sharing all about their Coastal Wedding at Hotel LBI. Everything from the theme, to the just how down to earth Jill and Michael were, was just perfect.
How It All Began
Jill and Michael met back in 2006 when they were both freshman in college. After Jill transferred schools, they didn’t see each other for a while until 2017 when they saw each other again at a mutual friends party. Throughout that time they were seeing other people, but it wasn’t until 2018 when they were both single that a first move was made. Since then their love has continued to grow into something so incredibly beautiful. It was a beautiful summer evening in Long Beach Island (LBI for short) when Michael surprised Jill with a pre-dinner walk on the beach and a proposal. Jill was completely caught off guard and then was shocked when the rest of their families had joined in to surprise them for such a joyous occasion.
Coastal Wedding at Hotel LBI
Jill and Michael’s wedding was at the beautiful New Jersey wedding venue, Hotel LBI. This gorgeous wedding venue is the perfect wedding location. It’s amazing for any couple looking for the essence of a summer home with luxurious amenities. Even though their wedding was in the beginning of November, they still wanted their wedding guests to feel immersed in LBI. Jill and Michael have been frequently vacation in LBI for years now and wanted everyone to enjoy what they have been able to enjoy for a while. They wanted all of their guests to experience all of the magic that is LBI and all of its glory. Which if I’m being honest, I love when my couples incorporate key components of their love story on their wedding day. It makes it just that much more special and truly individualizes your special day even more.
Getting Ready & The First Look
We started off the day with both Michael and Jill getting ready in their own personal suites at Hotel LBI. Which by the way this is a perfect example why having two photographers on your wedding day is so important. While I, your wedding photographer, may not be able to be in two places at once having a second photographer ensures that we are able to capture every moment. While Jill was getting ready in her own suite, the second photographer is able to be with the groom and groomsmen. Just giving you a heads up if you ever wondered if having a second photographer is ever beneficial!
After getting ready, Jill met up with Michael for their first look. As soon as Michael turned around his eyes lit up by Jill and all of her beauty. She seriously was glowing. He truly fell into a moment of admiration for his beautiful bride-to-be and I just couldn’t contain myself. Ugh, these moments truly do get me sometimes.
Waterfront Wedding Portraits
Of course one of the many positive attributes of Hotel LBI is that it is along the coast. I mean who doesn’t want to have the beautiful view of the ocean right outside your window, right? For Jill and Michael’s wedding portraits, they really wanted photos by the water so off we went. Thankfully for us, the weather turned out to be amazing and the sun was shining. As you can imagine, they booth looked absolutely incredible in front of the camera. True models if I do say so myself and they both were just naturals when it came to posing.
Being Comfortable in Front of the Camera
If you’re someone who’s scared to hire a professional photographer for your wedding day in fear of “looking stiff”, don’t worry. This is a rather common fear that I am ready to put to rest! I can promise you everyone can look good in front of the camera. Being comfortable in front of the camera requires two things: communication with your photographer and practice. Finding a photographer that you trust and feel comfortable communicating your concerns is majorly important when finding a wedding photographer. You want someone who you can talk about likes and dislikes. Not only that but to really trust them to make your wedding day vision come to life.
Number two, practice, is pretty self explanatory. Get comfortable being photographed and being in front of the camera. This is why getting engagement photos done prior to your wedding day can be INCREDIBLY beneficial. Practice can also include the goofy silly poses that you do in front of your bathroom mirror alone. Yes, that counts too – lol. All you have to know is that no matter who you are, you can rock it in front of the camera you just might need to put a bit of elbow grease.
Ceremony & Reception
We went back inside for the ceremony where Jill and Michael were ready to say their vows and get married! I then snuck the newlywed couple up to the rooftop to get some b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l sunset portraits. Not to toot my own horn or anything but…. these turned out amazing! The sky was all different shades of gold and blue and these have to be some of my favorite moments throughout the whole day.
While we were out and about finishing up with some portraits, guests were enjoying a nice cocktail hour. During this time, the ceremony space was being converted into their reception space! The best 2-for-1 deal ever because they truly transformed the space to look completely different which was a major plus. Of course the bride and groom trotted in, hand in hand and with smiles from ear to ear. We spent the remainder of the night eating some AMAZING cake from A Sweet Memory, witnessing first dances and shedding some tears with their speeches. Of course as soon as everyone was finished balling their eyes out from all of the cute moments, the dance floor broke out and we all whipped out our dancing shoes.
If you ask me, dancing the night away is ALWAYS and I mean always the best way to end your wedding night. Just saying. Oh and if you’re loving this Coastal Wedding at Hotel LBI, then you’re going to LOVE this Terrain Gardens Fall Wedding.
For vendors, keep scrolling!
Photography: Jess Palatucci Photography
Florist: MDS Floral
Ceremony & Reception Site: Hotel LBI
DJ/Music: Cityscape & The Park Avenue Horns
Videographer: Bird and Bee from Elegant Music Group
Cake: A Sweet Memory
Hair & Makeup: Beach House Spa
Invitations: The Knot