Irvine Family Heir Weds Susan Jeske, CEO Ms. America Pageant and Former Ms. America 1997
The couple were married in a truly beautiful fairytale wedding rivaling that of Cinderella.
Susan R. Jeske and James M. Irvine were married Saturday, June 2nd
at five thirty in the afternoon at the Irvine Ranch Historic Park, part of the OC Parks, in Irvine, California. The wedding was part of a four-day celebration that had Canadian’s and Americans family members joining together in a beautiful ceremony uniting the couple. Officiating the ceremony was Eric Rees, CEO of the Jessie Reese Foundation an former pastor of Saddleback Church.
The bride is the daughter of the late Charles and Denise Jeske of Littleton, Colorado. She was crowned the first Ms. America in 1997 and is the current owner & CEO of the Ms. America Pageant. The groom is the youngest grandson to the late James Irvine II who inherited about 115,000 acres in what is now Orange County, California and formed The Irvine Company and the James Irvine Foundation. He is the son of the late Myford and Gloria Irvine. Myford Irvine was the President of The Irvine Company for eleven years and the President of the James Irvine Foundation for 24 years beginning when it was established in 1937 until his death in 1959. www.irvine.org
The wedding was a four-day celebration that started off with a family reunion at Hotel Irvine with the delegation of 12 Canadians from the Jeske family flying to attend. The rehearsal dinner was held at Abalone Beach, the private beach located in Irvine Cove owned by the Irvine family. On Sunday, a post wedding “thank you” brunch was held at the newlywed’s new home in Coto de Caza where they hosted around 100 friends and family.
The wedding was held at the Irvine Ranch Historic Park, which is where the original Irvine family home was and is now the Katie Wheeler Library (named after James’s Aunt). James was born and raised in the home as a young boy. The gazebo and gardens were James played as a boy were transformed into a fairyland of roses for the ceremony. Pews were brought in from a 100-year-old church in honor of Susan’s Catholic upbringing.
The best man was James’ son, Jeremy Irvine and the groomsmen were Bill White, James’s older brother and Susan’s brothers Tim and Mark Jeske. The Maid of Honor was Megan Augustin, Susan’s niece from Colorado. Bridesmaids were Susan’s sister Cathy Jeske, James’s niece Tracy Gaede and Jory Irvine, James’ daughter. They were dressed in a burgundy suit and full-length dresses carrying pastel pink, yellow and white rose bouquets. Bridal Attendants were Stephanie Mills, Melissa Jeske, Kimberly Latimore, Debbie Garrett, Lea Petersen, Quinn Fry and Kelly Bennett. They were dressed in marine colored full-length dresses carrying pastel pink, yellow and white rose bouquets. Leading the Bridal Attendants was Stephanie Mills, Ms. America 2015 carrying a stunning custom hand-made brooch bouquet by Jo Anne of Glam Bouquet. The bouquet was filled with over 1500 silver brooches, smaller crystal and rhinestones accent pieces, many that were personal gifts given to Susan from close friends, family and state, regional and national pageant titleholders.
The wedding started with a procession beginning at the entrance to the Irvine Family home with the Boy Scouts from Troop #36 carrying American and Canadian flags in honor of the bride and groom’s heritage. The original troop which included James older brother Bill, was founded by James father, Myford in 1952. Myford Irvine donated and prepared 3000 acres of the Irvine Ranch as the site for the 1953 National Boy Scout Jamboree that hosted over 50,000 troops from all over the world. Myford received the coveted Silver Beaver Award and the Silver Antelope Awards.
Following the Boy Scout procession the Groom, Best Man, Groomsmen, Bridal Attendants, Bridesmaids and Maid of Honor proceeded down the Irvine family driveway and down the aisle up to the flower fairyland garden and gazebo. Trumpeters announced the bride as she arrived in a horse drawn carriage which added romance and beauty to this fairytale wedding.
The bride was escorted down the aisle by her brother Mike Jeske. She wore a custom made Victorian wedding gown designed by world famous designer Stephen Yearick. This historic wedding gown had exquisite crystal beading, ornate detail and show-stopping rich embellishments. It took two years to make of which 180 days (6 months) was used for embroidery, stitching and artwork. More than 10,000 hand-beaded additions were sewn into the couture gown including sequins, pearls and 10 types of multifaceted Austrian Crystals. Swarovski Crystals were used in the bodice and on the sleeves of the gown. Over 100 yards of eleven types of sophisticated fabrics were used and the gown weighed 35 pounds but was strategically constructed so most of the weight was carried by the hips. Fifty people were involved in the creation of the gown which included Stephen Yearick, Leigh Price and Mon Amie’s owner Laurel Mungo.
Susan wore the Irvine Rose Garden Tiara
which was a gift from James. It was a custom made Victorian rose and garland tiara that had over 200 crystals mounted in silver and platinum representing the Rose Garden of the Irvine Family estate in which they were married.
Like most brides, Susan decided to follow tradition and wear something old (antique lace of her gown came from Canada where her mother was born and raised); new (The Irvine Rose Tiara given to Susan as a wedding present from James); borrowed (Givenchy Earrings); and blue (small blue bow given to her by her Maid of Honor Megan, and her sister Cathy was sewn into her waistband) along with a good luck 1953 Sixpence in her shoe representing her Canadian heritage and the year James was born along with her parents meeting on the ship HRM Queen Mary in 1953.
After the couple were pronounced man and wife, guests were invited to an outdoor area that was reminiscent of the Victorian era with Queen Anne couches, chairs and antique furniture. Guests enjoyed passed appetizers and a bar complete with flutes of Chandon California Blanc De Noirs and wines that contained grapes from Star Vineyard in Rutherford, Napa California which Mr. Irvine once owned an interest in.
The blacksmith played a key role in the Irvine Family Ranch dating back to the 18th
Century. Guests were treated to an authentic reenactment and received a hand forged artist heart piece during the cocktail hour. Guests also enjoyed taking pictures with the original Irvine Family buggy with the surrey on top.
The reception was held under a magical one of a kind Victorian wedding tent that was created just for the historic Irvine Wedding. It had 300 feet of hand stamped 18 Karat Gold Victorian trim, with over 150 four-inch flower appliques and 300 gold tassels hand sewn around the border breathing life and authenticity to the setting.
The opulent tent was filled with delicate colors of pastel pinks, blues and gold with flower center pieces of pink and white hydrangeas, pink roses, pink peonies, pale peach stocks, pale pink spray roses, ivory roses and Queen Ann lace bursting out from a three-foot gold stand covered in white roses, green leaves and dripping of pearls on every table that was covered with a blue tablecloth and embroidered pearl lace overlay. Commemorative gifts in honor of Susan and James’s wedding were placed at each guest setting.
Modjeska Bauer’s Candies that date back to the 1800’s and named after the famous actress Madam Helena Modjeska who was friends and neighbors with James Irvine II. He named his daughter Katherine Helena Irvine after her. A ticket to tour her home was included as well as a ticket to tour the Irvine Historical Museum was given to each guest.
After the couple made their grand entrance to the sound of trumpets, they danced their first dance to the song “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. The dinner menu was a tribute to the success of the Irvine Ranch which was the largest agricultural enterprises in the United States and according to an article in the 1910 Los Angeles Times, “one of the greatest cultivated farms in the world.” Some of the items were selected because they were once grown or raised on the Irvine Ranch. Guests enjoyed a cold beet and mixed green salad, slow roasted tri-tip, Cornell style grilled chicken thighs with roasted asparagus, potato salad and Irvine Ranch Baked Beans.
The Irvine Wedding cake was made by Sunshines Cakes and stood 50 inches tall and weighed over 150 pounds. Lovingly wrapped in white frosting that had handmade 30 fondant bows and sugar flowers. It took 130 pounds of flour and sugar to make and the fondant was imported from Italy. Accenting the cake was Swarovski Crystals and edible 18 Karat Gold. The fifth layer of the cake had the insignias of Susan and James initials representing their union in marriage. Guests choose from three different cake flavors. Succulent Chocolate Cake filled with cream cheese and strawberry chocolate mousse; a delectable Vanilla Cake filled with cream cheese, strawberry filling and a vanilla mousse; and Vanilla Cake with white chocolate raspberry filling. It took three weeks to complete with handmade fondant designs and the largest cake layer taking over five hours to mix and bake from scratch. Accenting the cake was cascading fresh flowers designed by Carlos Sanchez from D"Angelus Events.
Guests enjoyed dancing to a live ten-person orchestra to the tunes from the 1930’s to the current pop hits until Susan and James left the party. They walked under a crowd of guests lined up on each side of the walkway holding large sparklers that lit up the night - holding them up like swords – while the couple ran underneath to the awaiting 1950 White Rolls Royce Bentley to whisk them away for an evening of romance.