Taylor & Ben // Gerry Ranch Wedding
Taylor & Ben met in their ROTC program a few years back—Ben is now a Marine Corps pilot and Taylor is a Navy Nurse. The way their family & friends describe it, once Ben met Taylor he was totally smitten. His sister told me how, soon after they got together, Ben asked her to join him to help Taylor move, and when his sister questioned why, he simply said “because I LOVE HER.” The sweetest.
Their wedding took place on a beautiful, breezy day at Gerry Ranch in Camarillo. When I arrived, I met Taylor’s warm & friendly bridesmaids and then met her dog, Ellie, & her family’s dog, Chloe, who were ADORNED IN DOGGY FLOWER COLLARS. I immediately knew the day was going to be amazing. Taylor has a gentle, chill, and lighthearted energy about her that makes her a total joy to be around, and I was not surprised when I met Ben and found him to be calm, low-key, and hilarious. Before I even saw them together, it was clear why they were drawn to one another.
Taylor popped champagne with her girls and then got into her wedding dress with her pup Ellie by her side (omg.. try not to scroll down to the pictures yet). She was so excited & ready for her first look with Ben, so we headed to a beautiful pathway with a mountain view for them to see each other for the first time. Once Taylor was in Ben’s sight, he looked over at her, smiled EAR TO EAR, & gave her a kiss & then a spin. I admired how relaxed they already were with one another on their wedding day—no nerves & no anxiety, just ready to do the dang thing!
At their ceremony, their friends walked the puppies down the aisle. The dogs seemed to sprint down the flower petal walkway, ready to watch their humans get married. Then, one of the FUNNIEST flower girl moments I’ve ever seen proceeded to unfold: the two-year-old flower girl started walking down the aisle, but then quickly ran the other direction. Then, her mom yelled her name and encouraged her, “come on, come down the aisle!” The flower girl then SPRINTED towards her mom, who then reminded her, “throw the flowers! The flowers!” So…. locking eye contact with her mom, the little flower girl proceeded to SLOWLY, tentatively, dump her entire basket of flower petals straight onto the ground. She looked VERY proud of herself as guests erupted with laughter and she ran down the aisle into her mother’s arms. I was beside myself laughing at the cuteness & hilarity of it all.
Then, accompanied by here mom & dad, Taylor walked down the aisle to meet Ben. Their ceremony was sweet, unique, and meaningful, as they chose to incorporate a few special elements into their union in addition to traditional vows & rings. They wrote letters to one another, which they placed in a time capsule box, & they had their parents attach keys etched with value words onto a rope that connected their hands. It was all beautiful! I’ll QUICKLY mention the *one thing* that went a little awry: the couple left their vow books in the bridal suite and realized mid-ceremony that they did not have them. I locked eyes with my assistant who then SPRINTED to the bridal suite, found the vows, and ran them back just in time for Ben & Taylor to read them to one another and close out their ceremony. It was a good story.. that’s for sure.
After their ceremony, Ben’s military buddies in uniform performed a Sword Arch—a special / funny ceremony where the couple has to kiss (like it’s the secret password) to pass three pairs of swords arched in front of them. After that, it was officially official! They were Mr. & Mrs. Lemisch.
The couple had a sweet first dance as husband & wife complete with a romantic dip, and then sat down at their sweetheart table for dinner. Once the sun began to set over the ridge, we all piled into a golf-cart and set off to sunset chase & take portraits in the blueberry fields & trees. It was SO dreamy up there, the setting sun creating a glow of warm light & good energy as Taylor and Ben basked in newlywed bliss. I couldn’t believe how magical & glowy everything was as we frolicked between the tall, arching trees and the gorgeous, expansive blueberry fields of Gerry Ranch.
Back down at the reception, the couple heard speeches from their loved ones and then CUT THEIR CAKE WITH BEN’S LITERAL 3 FOOT SWORD (loooool). After eating tiny delicious Bundt cakes, it was time for guests to drink, celebrate, and dance the freakin’ night away. One of the funniest parts of the dance floor was when Ben & about 8 friends of his did some sort of competition dance where you had to clap standing up, get on your knees and slap the floor, slap the floor laying fully down, slap the floor sideways, and slap the imaginary ceiling like a turtle stuck on its back. I guess it was a tradition because they ALL knew what was going on.. and I think you were “out” if you messed up. It’s always a riot to get a glimpse into the traditions & uniqueness of different groups of friends, and this dance / competition was no exception.
The night finished out with a sing-along to Bohemian Rhapsody—every single guest belted the lyrics passionately in harmony out on the dance floor. After the last song, Taylor & Ben walked through a sparkler-lit tunnel of all of their loved ones, and into their lives as husband & wife! The day was joyful, love-filled, relaxed, and perfect.
Between the puppies, the incredible couple, their energetic and wonderful wedding party, and all of the other elements that made the day unique, the Lemisch wedding was one for the books. I feel SO DANNNNGG lucky to be a part of such special celebrations like this, and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to get to know Ben & Taylor and be a part of the day they became husband & wife.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Lemisch!!!