The story of Susan and Jason is truly a remarkable one. Susan specializes in rehabilitating wild animals who have been sick or injured and need care, particularly birds of prey such as owls, hawks and other raptors. One of her favorite patients was a rare Golden Eagle rescued from near death on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Her name was Topaz. Susan followed her heart in taking care of this beautiful bird and it led her to so much more.
Follow the rest of their story below and view the entire gallery here, artfully photographed by Diana Maire Photography.
Jason worked at the museum and specialized in handling the raptors. He formed a special bond with Topaz, and as time went on, he gained her trust and acceptance. As Topaz's heath improved, the bond Susan and Jason shared in rehabilitating this marvelous creature began to grow into something more. On St. Patrick's day of 2011, something remarkable happened.It is extremely rare for a Golden Eagle in captivity to lay an egg -- almost unheard of. But at Lindsey, with the care and love of Susan and Jason, that's what happened. On that morning, not only was there the rare gift of an egg in her nest for Susan to find, under it was the ring that Jason would give to Susan to ask her to be his partner in all of life's journeys.
Healdsburg Country Gardens and the barn on site was the site for this ecceltic, magificnet celebration for these two rare birds! Susan incorporated what she called her "wild critters" in the centerpieces, created by Wine Country Flowers, filled with local botanicals and tiny handcrafted hedgehogs, squirrels and owls.
Despite being in the throws of an adoption, Susan's best friend and maid of honor learned wood burning to make the seathing chart and table markers to make things unique and rustic, and she used an ancient redwood circle from a fallen tree to make a guest book with friends and family signing butterflies and sticking on the redwood circle for Susan and Jason to enjoy in their home for years.
This beautiful wedding was coordinated and designed by the highly talented Dreamers and Heroes. The highlight of the wedding's design scheme was a cake crafted by Amber McKinney from Sweet on Cake. A regular on the Food Network's Cake Challenges, Amber is a master of using cake as a medium for sculpture. Susan and Jason said they wanted Topaz at the wedding in the form of the cake, and Amber was thrilled to visit Lindsey and go behind the scenes to photograph, examine the bird, and create a to-scale likeness. Topaz stood nearly 4' above the crowd, and many guests had no idea that the fantastic sculpture was banana cream and red velvet cake.