Ship Bottom, New Jersey
Going into the week of Caitlyn and James’ wedding, unfortunately the forecast kept going from bad to worse. It looked like there were going to be thunderstorms all day, and I began to mentally prepare for all possible scenarios and rain plans. However, as I drove through scattered rainstorms on my way to LBI, suddenly the clouds cleared and it was nothing but sunny, blue skies!
As the day went on, it seemed like we were bound to experience some sort of unfavorable weather — people arriving at the venue were saying they drove through hail storms on the Parkway, and couldn’t believe it was still somehow sunny at the venue.
Long story short, we didn’t get a single drop of rain for the entire day! Sweet Caitlyn and James were able to have their dream wedding day, with their ceremony on the stunning rooftop of their venue just like they had hoped and prayed for. From start the finish, it was an absolutely perfect day full of so much laughter and love for these two.
Caitlyn and James first met on Hinge! As Caitlyn tells it, “James was the first and only person I ever met in-person from a dating app. We were totally strangers! We texted for a while, and then finally went on our first date — we got ice-cream and went to the movies! I thought it was kind of weird that he wanted to go to the movies for our first date (you can’t really talk) but he couldn’t drink because he had a training the next morning. We had so much fun. We instantly clicked and I knew he was special. The rest is history!”
Cait was completely surprised by James’s proposal! “He proposed on October 23, 2021 on top of a mountain! We had plans to go hiking with my best friend, her boyfriend, and our puppy. We hiked Reeves Brook Loop Trail and when we got to the top to take a picture on the peak, he got down on one knee! My BFF caught it on the camera and we had champagne on the top of the mountain to celebrate. Then he surprised me and brought me to Source Brewery in Colts Neck, and all of my friends and family were there. It was the happiest day of my life!”
Together these two live in Brick, NJ. “After a year of dating, it was time for James to move out of his rental and buy a house so he asked me to move in with him. One month after buying the house and moving in together, we adopted our puppy, Willow!” Caitlyn and James both love the beach, hiking, watching sunrises and sunsets, traveling, trying new restaurants, going to breweries and wineries, binge watching shows (even though Caitlyn says she never pays attention), and staying in with takeout.
Similarly to Caitlyn and James’ “how they met” story, Hotel LBI was actually the first venue Caitlyn and James toured! They instantly fell in love. It had everything they wanted, and everything was in one place — from hotel to ceremony to reception — making it an easy and enjoyable experience for their guests.
It was simply an absolutely beautiful day celebrating these two, and I am so happy for the new Mr. and Mrs. Whalen!
Photography: Jill Sahner Photography
Venue: Hotel LBI
Hair: White Opal Hair Co.
Makeup: Make Me Up Eva
Band: The Benjamins
Gown: Martina Liana, Bridal Suite Boutique
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
Tux: Chazmatazz Formalwear