Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Today I have a special treat for you. Last November I had the pleasure of photographing Breanna and Dekker’s beautiful ranch wedding in San Luis Obispo, California. It was a wonderfully fun event with all sorts of great details and TONS of great people. Usually when I write my blog posts I like to include information about the couple and all the little sweet things that made their wedding uniquely theirs, however today I’m going to do something a little different.
Recently I requested a “quick little blurb” from Breanna about their wedding story to share with a publisher. She immediately responded back to me and said Dekker would really love to write it instead. I figured, no problem! I just need a little snippet about how they met and about some of the cool elements of their wedding day, it doesn’t have to be poetry. But then not an hour later I got Dekker’s “little blurb”. And it was beautiful. It WAS poetry. So today, it’s Dekker’s story that I share with you all. Sit back and enjoy…
“Breanna and I met under the desert stars of Southern California. We were dressed in pearl snap shirts, warm whiskey, cold beer, and ol’ dirty cowboy boots. Neither of us imagined the Country Western Festival would be a sweet foreshadow for our marriage one year later.
It was the first weekend I was not on call at the hospital in over three months. A friend of mine, Raymond, had an extra ticket to a country concert. I packed my scorpion belt buckle, stingray boots, and headed out to Palm Springs, CA. Breanna, from Seattle, was visiting her best friend, Colleen. Colleen was Raymond’s wife. Breanna and I became friends over the three day festival. It was simple. It was easy. And, not long after the country music was over, I could not stop thinking that it was also perfect.
Thus, I pulled the classic guy move when he sees something he wants…I stalked her. I rolled the dice and through the most embarrassing, clumsy email via Facebook, I asked her out to dinner. She said yes. And I had to get a plane ticket.
I flew from Orange County up to Seattle. The date was perfect and soon I was flying from Southern California to Washington every other weekend. Four months later, Breanna and her entire family came to California to celebrate Christmas. I proposed to Breanna and we soon started the wonderful, dreadful, amazing, psychotic, insanity of wedding planning.
The Wedding was everything I had hoped for and more than I imagined. Most importantly, Breanna said, “it was perfect”.
The look on Patrick’s face [Dekker’s college friend] as he came driving up and around the dirt road, was the same wide eyed, mouth open, face of surprise shared by all the guests arriving onto Holland Ranch in San Luis Obispo. It may have been the warm autumn day, smells of tri-tip rotating on the massive rotisserie, or the mountains standing as ancient gods looking down on the stables, or maybe the ongoing acres of fields with tall grass waving and dancing with the crisp wind.
Or, it may have been that the path to parking was intercepted by a massive white horse with the nervous groom mounted atop. Her name was Pearl. She was a two thousand pound all white Spanish Norman. Her sides were ticklish, so the second I put the slightest pressure with my boots, she would jump forward, and hopefully I was still on her when she did so. I had no idea where Breanna was hiding; she had the challenge of riding bareback, in her wedding dress, on a pure feather white horse named, Angel. Guests smiled, laughed, and, shaking their heads in disbelief, took their seats at the second tier down below from the barn.
As the small gathering of seventy guests were seated in simple wooden chairs, framed in old painted mason jars with long stem white roses, they looked upon the large metal arch way that seemed a tunnel to the pastures and mountains beyond. My father, and our minister, Miles McKeever, walked alone down the aisle to stand at the altar and under the arch. He wore blue jeans, gator black boots, blue denim shirt, and black cowboy hat. He was joined by my brother and best-man, Captain Ty McKeever, and Breanna’s grandmother, Eleanor “Nana” Griffin.
I squeezed my soft boots delicately against Pearl. She answered with a startling vault and dirt kicked up as we swirled down from the barn, curled past the guests in a smooth canter, and halted right by the arch. Soon, the piano played the soft theme from “Legends of the Fall”. There was my future wife. Led by Breanna’s father, Greg York, Breanna’s wedding dress floated and danced, Angel’s pure white mane blending as snow.
During the ceremony, ancient poetry was recited and biblical psalms were read by loved ones. The words from Miles were balanced against the two heartwarming songs rewritten for Nick and Jason to perform with stunning vocals and sweet acoustic guitar. Next came beautiful custom rings, I pronounce you man and wife, so say we all, and Kiss the Bride. Breanna and I mounted our pair of white horses and rode off with the sunset, just as the fairytales say.
The reception was in a large, rustic barn. We had a special and very secret dance routine planned. We enjoyed wonderful food, fine toasts, and soon came dancing and then…singing. It was my dream to sing for my wife, even though I have never done it before. I spent months working with my friends on playing guitar…I also had never played guitar before…
The first song my brother and I picked up ukuleles, and joined by Nick and Jason on guitar and secondary vocals, we sang “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. This was then followed by my own versions of “Cupid” and “Words of Love”. The most nerve racking and anxious moments I have ever been through and even now, when I think of how embarrassing it was, I get embarrassed all over again.
The evening winded down with the smells of leather boots, too much beer, smooth whiskey, wild dancing, cigar smoke, sweet kisses from my wife, and unchecked laughter filling the barn. Never a more perfect night. Never a more perfect wedding.
Never will I love anyone like the gal I met at a country western show.”
Much love and thanks to this wonderful couple, their amazing families and all of the awesome guests who rocked my world over this fantastic mid-week wedding celebration!!! xoxo, Amy
Holland Ranch Wedding