A Sustainable Wedding Embracing Nature at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, California
"We met while studying sustainable agriculture in Santa Cruz, California, in 2016," Leigh Gaymon-Jones recalls. Her connection with Beth Burzynski steadily grew over time, nurtured by the shared experiences, living and working together for a year and a half, and they began dating. Then, during a ceremony of profound significance, Beth popped the question. "Beth proposed to me on the morning of their birthday, by the side of a lake in Boulder, Colorado," remembers Leigh. "The proposal included prayers, commitments, animal cards and two rings: one for each of us."
Even without a specific theme, their vision was clear: every element of the special day should authentically reflect their story and community. Their core inspiration stemmed from their days at the farm school in coastal California. When their original rustic outdoor resort venue plans fell through just two months before the wedding, Pie Ranch graciously offered their space. Leigh shares, "In the end, we were exactly where we needed to be!"
Fashion became an integral part of their wedding story. Leigh adorned herself in a golden yellow two-piece ensemble by Leanne Marshall, accentuated with ankle-high cowboy boots—a nod to her Texas roots. Beth stunned in a white lace top and high-waisted golden yellow trousers. "We felt fabulous," smiles Leigh.
Their wedding day began with guests gathering under the expansive California sky, surrounded by the picturesque beauty of Pie Ranch. The couple frolicked together on the beach before the festivities, getting in some playfulness during their first look. The ceremony, held beneath a majestic willow tree, featured an altar built by Leigh and their best friend, who acted as the officiant for the day. Leigh explained, "We built an altar in front of the tree, celebrating our lineages and nature." They incorporated a subtle nod to Pride, asking their wedding party to choose colors of the rainbow, creating an "autumnal rainbow" during their celebration. The ceremony decor was simple yet elegant, with floral arrangements and garlands emphasizing the landscape's natural beauty. After the vow exchange, guests waved colorful flags and rang bells, filling the air with joy as the newlyweds recessed up the aisle.
The reception unfolded under a large sailcloth tent with a pitched ceiling, transformed into a breathtaking space by the couple's local farming community friends. The interior was adorned with locally grown flowers, dried garlands, and artistic touches, including a salvaged barn door repurposed as a dessert menu. During the cocktail hour, the altar from the ceremony was moved to the head table, seamlessly connecting the two parts of their celebration.
Their tablescapes were a testament to their creativity, featuring garlands of dried flowers, candles, spray-painted candle holders, family photographs and unique collages representing coastal California animals in place of traditional table numbers. Menus acted as bolstering centerpieces to flank the yellow, orange and white blooms that expertly coordinated with the flowers and foliage lining the expansive head table. "We love flowers, and we had them everywhere! All the flowers in our wedding came from growers in our local community and were of the season," Leigh explains.
The evening's festivities began with an original line dance led by Leigh's mother, setting the tone for an unforgettable dance party. The couple's unique approach to guest gifts, inspired by a Nigerian tradition, left everyone with memorable flavors of their special day. As the night concluded, Leigh and Beth found themselves surrounded by loved ones, under the starry sky, in a setting that held immense sentimental value. Their wedding was a testament to love that defied convention and celebrated the beauty of authenticity.
Reflecting on their wedding journey, Leigh offers sage advice, saying, "If you get bad vibes from a vendor, let them go early. Going to couples therapy while wedding planning is helpful. Be sure to build in a moment to step back and appreciate the beauty of your community showing up to celebrate you and your love."