Carlee Blakemore and Jonathan Chiusano began their marriage in harmony – literally. The newlyweds were married August 22 in the little town of Harmony, near San Simeon on California’s central coast. An intimate number of close friends and relatives traveled to the festivities, more than doubling the town’s 18 fulltime residents.
Carlee, daughter of Kathy and John Blakemore, granddaughter of Carolyn and Vick Knight, grew up in Canyon Lake. She was in the cast of many theater productions here and served as Miss Canyon Lake several years ago.
She and Jonathan both graduated from California University, Santa Barbara and spent their junior year studying in Italy at the University of Bologna. After graduation from UCSB, the two traveled to Thailand, where they taught English. Both love to travel and have visited more than 30 countries.
The wedding, held in Harmony’s rustic gazebo, was a mixture of laughter and deep sentiment, with the couple reading personally written vows to one another. Brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, college friends and other loved ones participated and witnessed the ceremony. One who was dearly missed was Carlee’s grandfather, Vick Knight, who died in 2013. However, the bride found a way to include and honor him as well.
As many people know, Vick was known as “Turtle Man,” with a collection of hundreds of the reptiles in many forms. Carlee took a turtle box her Gramp had given her, fashioned a “pillow” out of one of his silk handkerchiefs and attached the rings to purple ribbons for the ringbearer to carry down the aisle.
The day was even more special because it was also the 28th anniversary of Carlee’s parents. Sparing no time for a honeymoon, Carlee was back in class the next Monday morning. She is taking an intensive two-year pre-health professions certificate program at California State University, Fullerton in preparation for medical school. Jonathan is the head brewer for Taps in Corona.