An Intimate Food-Focused Rehearsal Dinner at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara

Planned by Jane Gerwin of Jane Alexandra Events.

Andrew and Taylyr Gans rehearsal dinner

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

Years before Taylyr Malyszek would meet Andrew Gans, she worked with his younger sister Emily in Venice, California. "She and I became good friends, but lost touch after moving to different jobs," notes Taylyr. "Cut to 2016, scrolling through Bumble, I matched with a gorgeous red-headed man, Andrew. After chatting, we quickly realized the coincidence of me knowing his sister and set our first date. We met at the Hudson in West Hollywood and we were smitten ever since!"

Just over four years later, the couple went on a week-long wine-tasting trip in Sonoma, California. Their first night at a family-owned bed and breakfast Beltane Ranch, Andrew arranged dinner al fresco. "Always great with a surprise, he underplayed the evening’s plan so I just believed we were eating a nice dinner out in the nice grass area by our room," shares Taylyr. "When we walked out to dinner, it ended up being a beautiful stroll through the vineyard until we turned a corner and there it was, the most gorgeous dinner setup ever! Under a massive 100-year-old oak tree, there was a stunning long wooden table, decorated with candles, flowers, and Champagne. Andrew proposed, I sobbed, and we celebrated by drinking Champagne till dark in the vineyards of Beltane Ranch. It was heaven!"

The couple decided to tie the knot at Santa Barbara's San Ysidro Ranch on May 6, 2022 with only 34 guests. "Our vision for the entire wedding weekend was intimate, ethereal, and romantic. Since our wedding was on the smaller side, we really wanted to use that to make it feel very personal and special for us, and each one of our guests," explains the couple. "We wanted them to not only know, but be able to FEEL that if they were there, they truly meant the world to us. And, we wanted that to translate through in all of our events, including our rehearsal dinner!"

So, the couple teamed up with planner Jane Gerwin of Jane Alexandra Events to make their dream wedding and rehearsal dinner come to be. "[She] was an absolute life saver on more occasions than I can count," reflects the bride. Andrew and I had a general idea of what we wanted, but really enjoyed being open minded with Jane’s suggestions. She was crucial for helping us translate our vision into real life! She understood things that we didn’t even know how to put into words and turned them into reality."

"Andrew and I love nothing more than an extravagant, yet intimate evening with some of our closest friends and family—extravagant in the food, wine, and cocktails, but intimate in the setting and choice of company," shares Taylyr. "We love being surrounded by the ones we love most. Going into wedding planning we knew we wanted somewhere that captured both the high-end food, atmosphere, and service we so love while also feeling private and intimate. San Ysidro Ranch gave us all of that with the lush and romantic charm we were looking for."

Ahead, see more details from Andrew and Taylyr's charming rehearsal dinner, planned by Jane Gerwin of Jane Alexandra Events and photographed by Jenny Quicksall.

San Ysidero Ranch

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

San Ysidero Ranch floral home

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

"When we first walked onto the property, we were immediately in love," share the couple of their rehearsal dinner venue. "San Ysidro Ranch is a setting like none other. It offers a lush and stunning property, with a private and exclusive feel. Our favorite thing about the venue had to be the fact it felt SO incredibly intimate, as if we were having the most stunning giant family dinner, but with food, service, and views that were beyond compare. Taylyr is also from upstate New York, so having the beautiful expanse of lush, greenness was very special because it brought an element of home in the almost countryside feel."

rehearsal dinner seating

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

rehearsal dinner décor

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

rehearsal dinner décor

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

"Andrew and I were so thankful for our choice of location. San Ysidro has many different areas where you can host your event, but we chose the Wine Cellar and Patio which was perfect for what we wanted," shares the bride of the rehearsal dinner setting. "The indoor portion offered a beautiful, quaint almost Italian feel, while the outside was lush with trees decorated in cafe lights. It made the evening feel like an opulent, yet intimate family dinner which is what our goal was!"

rehearsal dinner florals

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

"The floral goal for the evening was ‘springy and bright.’ For our wedding day we went with more spring blues, greens, and whites. But after discussing with our florist, we decided we wanted something different for the rehearsal night," explain the couple. "So, we went with spring reds, pinks, oranges, and accents of greenery in the arrangements. They were designed to feel romantic and a bit wild, but with purpose."

rehearsal dinner menu

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

"The food was just unreal," Taylyr remembers. "San Ysidro Ranch is known for (among other things) their incomparable food and service, so the meal was just stunning in all aspects. Since we are such big food and wine lovers, it was so important that shined in this event, and we were so happy with how it turned out!"

The evening began with passed appetizers including whipped goat cheese and honey-marinated fig crostini, applewood bacon, gorgonzola, and potato croquettes, and beef Wellington with sauce Béarnaise. The first course of the seated dinner was an arugula and heirloom tomato salad, followed by a second course of diver scallops. For the entrée, guests could choose between goat cheese and pear-stuffed chicken breast, rosemary marinated rack of lamb, or a vegetarian option. The meal finished with a Meyer lemon tart with fresh berries and elderflower chantilly cream.

rehearsal dinner bar

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

Indoors was an open bar serving an array of beverages for guests. However, the couple decided against a signature cocktail and put together a wine-forward menu. The bride adds, "We served our favorite celebratory bottles, including Bennett Lane’s Feasting Wine, MAXIMUS, which holds a special in our relationship as we always drink it for life’s celebratory moments."

Andrew and Taylyr rehearsal dinner outfit

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

Taylyr picked out a strapless white Katie May dress with a draped back for the event. "I knew I wanted something chic and timeless for the rehearsal dinner," shares the bride. "This dress was perfect because it was simple enough, but made me feel sexy because it fit my body so well! I also loved that depending on how I was feeling on the day, I could add or take away accessories to tailor the look to my preference."

The groom donned a custom grey three-piece suit by Balani Custom Suits for the day. The bride notes, "Andrew’s rehearsal look actually took more planning than mine, as he went multiple times to try on, fit, design the perfect suit!" He also wore his late father's shoes as a special sentimental touch. "Andrew’s father was a well-known Las Vegas performer and impressionist, Danny Gans, and he was known for always wearing his signature black and white Shipton spectator shoes," explains Taylyr. "So, Andrew wore those on the rehearsal dinner night to honor his father."

Andrew and Taylyr embrace

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

"My favorite accessory of that evening was a big chiffon bow I wore in my hair with a low ponytail," adds Taylyr. "It was such a fun flare to add on to my otherwise simple, elegant look!"

One tip from the bride? "When choosing your photographer and videographer, try to choose someone who fits with your personality. You’ll be taking photos and videos for a large portion of the day, so choose someone you can have fun with! Our photographer Jenny Quicksall and videographer Miguel Garcia were the best. Jenny and her second camera, Travis, kept us laughing the entire time and made us feel so comfortable. We were even sad to be done taking photos if you can believe it!"

rehearsal dinner

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

speech at rehearsal dinner

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

maid of honor rehearsal dinner speech

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

While the couple decided against having live music to let the space shine, speeches brought entertainment to the night. "Andrew and I each had two best people. So, we split up speeches and had one best man and maid of honor speak at the rehearsal night (and the other two speak at the wedding reception)," notes the bride. "It was SO fun and special listening to the speeches that night. The laughter, love and joy just being with the ones you love and listening to them was a moment we will never forget!"

cheers at rehearsal dinner

Photo by Jenny Quicksall

A final piece of advice for couples planning their own wedding weekend? "Compromise! Remember it’s BOTH of your special day, so make choices together and compromise on things," shares the bride. "There were certain things that I knew were high priority for Andrew that I didn’t feel so strongly about, so I would let him take the lead on those decisions. And vice-versa for things that were more important to me."

Wedding Team

Venue San Ysidero Ranch

Planner Jane Gerwin of Jane Alexandra Events

Bride Outfit Designer Katie May Mary Kate Gown

Bride Shoes Amina Muaddi 

Groom Outfit Designer Balani Custom Suits

Groom Shoes Shipton Black & White Spectators Shoes

Wedding Bands and Engagement Ring Happy Jewelers

Floral Design Jocelyn Girouard

Invitations Aerialist Press

Catering San Ysidero Ranch

Cake San Ysidero Ranch

Rentals Theoni Lifestyle Rentals

Videography Miguel Garcia

Photography Jenny Quicksall

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