LBI Beach Engagement Session | Barnegat Lighthouse | Sara and Dan


Sara and Dan | Engagement Session | Barnegat Lighthouse, Long Beach Island, NJ

LBI Beach Engagement Session. I adore doing engagement sessions in locations that have a meaning to the couple I am photographing. Sara and Dan have a special connection to LBI and wanted to have their session on the island they love. These two met on the island, had many dates on the island and the night Dan proposed they went to Brant beach to see the sunset. The lighthouse was a perfect choice to start the session and then Sara suggested a part of the island I had not been to. So happy she did because it was a beautiful location!

We started their session on the beach in front of the Barnegat Lighthouse. The dramatic sky was impressive and the light breeze was perfect for Sara’s flowy dress.  Sara and Dan snuggled so well together. They did not need much coaching and mastered the poses quickly.  I loved getting to know them better and hearing about their love story. After we finished taking photos on the beach, we took a path in the park that leads you to the dunes. I love the view of the ocean at the top of the path.

New location

Sara had asked if we could go to a part of the island that she loves.  I am always looking for new locations, so I was excited to see this spot. Well, I was surprised and just loved it. We were up in the high dunes. I was in awe. It was just so beautiful. We took photos on the wooden path then headed down to the ocean. The beach was so peaceful, and we had it all to ourselves.  Sara and Dan wanted to get wet, so we had fun getting some shots in the ocean. We laughed so hard when a huge wave hit them and got them soaked.

LBI Beach Engagement Session

A complimentary engagement session is included in most of the Memories by Maria Photography wedding packages. I include them because I value that time getting to know my couples better. It also gives us a chance to work together practicing posing before the big day.  As part of the experience, I also write a blog post to highlight their love story and to showcase their gorgeous images.

Sara and Dan’s Love story

Their love story began 6 years ago on Long Beach Island, NJ, as coworkers. Sara had just started a new lifeguard job and on her first day, she met Dan. Little did they know that at that moment their lives would change forever! Sara and Dan quickly became best friends and talked for hours like they had known each other forever. They shared a similar love for music, movies, values, and beliefs. They never wanted their shifts to end. The two of them soon began dating and before they knew it their feelings for each other had changed from friendship to something else.  However, they did not want to complicate their special friendship so did not take the relationship to the next level. It wasn’t until Dan told Sara how he truly felt that they realized they could not suppress those feelings any longer.

Sara and Dan were so in love with each other.  The next chapter of their love story included romantic dates, endless adventures, couples’ arguments, and teaching each other life lessons. Before the covid pandemic, they accomplished a dream of buying their first home together and started another new chapter of their lives on Valentine’s Day, 2021.

Romantic proposal

On July 3, 2021, Dan and Sara went to their favorite restaurant and then walked on the beach to see the sunset. Sara came home to a surprise she will never forget. In the driveway of their home, Dan asked Sara to put a blindfold on and then guided her through the backyard. Before she opened her eyes, she heard their favorite song playing, “Never Stop (Wedding Version)by Safetysuit”.   When she opened her eyes, she saw Dan on one knee looking up at her with a ring in his hand, candles lit, and rose petals all around them in the shape of a heart. Of course, she said “yes!”  When she turned around she was surprised to see both of their families looking down at them from the balcony. It was the most special moment Sara had ever experienced! Such a romantic proposal!!

These two like going for bike rides, ziplining, whitewater rafting in the Poconos, kayaking, going to the beach, listening to music, going out to eat at their favorite restaurant (Bahama breeze), playing badminton, playing volleyball, and staying at home to watch a movie. Sara loves how selfless Dan is. He will do absolutely anything for Sara, his family, and Sara’s family with no questions asked. Dan is always willing to help everyone. Sara says Dan is so funny and Dan says he loves to make Sara laugh.

Versailles Ballroom at Ramada Toms River, NJ

Sara and Dan are looking forward to their wedding next September.  They are envisioning an elegant church ceremony surrounded by their family and friends. She is looking forward to a first look with her dad and with Dan. They can’t wait to celebrate at the Versailles Ballroom! These two are close to their families and to have them all in one place is going to be priceless!

Long Beach Island is part of Sara and Dan’s story.  It is also part of Dan’s sister and her husband’s story as well as Dan’s parents.  They all met their soulmates on the island.

Click the link and listen to their song. It is beautiful and says so much about their relationship.


  1. Stunning photos!! The couple is so cute together! Reminds me of my engagement session!

leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *