A Wedding in the Garden

This weekend, the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden created a brand new memory – our first-ever wedding.


Susan and Frank are volunteers of Homeward Bound. Susan walks dogs, feeds and provides companionship to our sanctuary dogs; Frank is an awesome talent who helps to keep our vehicles running. Susan also sought help for her beloved Stella – a story shared here.


Artistic, and completely unconventional – Susan chose the garden as her venue. There were probably more than a few raised eyebrows over the decision to have a wedding at a rescue, but in the end, I think everyone would agree it was a perfect place and a perfect day.


The garden is peaking, but waited just long enough to play host to the event.


Susan loves fall – so Maria and I arrived early to ensure that fall was on full display. Grapevines and garden flowers draped the arbor;


twig wreaths added a fall touch to the training pavilion where the reception was held…


and the simple bouquets were from the garden.


About 100 invited guests and a couple of special dogs (Susan’s Stella among them) were joined by uninvited guests: frogs and lizards (much to the kids’ delight) –


and the farmer’s combine which chose Saturday to begin the harvest. Thankfully, they stopped working about 90 minutes before the ceremony.


The garden has always been a special place to Susan – she has followed its progress in person and on this blog since nearly the beginning.


I was touched (and terrified) that she would trust her photos to me and Rob. I’ve tried not to share too many personal shots here as she has not seen them yet, but I’ll hope she that she won’t mind my few selections. We were all touched by their decision to request donations to Homeward Bound in lieu of wedding gifts. What a completely unselfish and generous act on behalf of the dogs.


The garden was always meant to be a place for fond remembrances. The love that filled it on Susan and Frank’s special day is a reminder that it is also a place where we create new memories. An unattributed quote: “The garden is a mirror of the heart.” Saturday, the garden mirrored two very devoted hearts. What a joyous day it was.


Congratulations to Susan and Frank with this hope: “The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.” – Walt Whitman


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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

33 thoughts on “A Wedding in the Garden”

  1. Perfect….in every way…
    Thank you for sharing…the memories that were made…
    Take Care…You Matter…

  2. Dear Audrey, Frank and I will treasure these photos and your words forever. We are so very grateful and thankful to you and Marie for the many hours you gave in creating such beauty for our special day. And to Rob and you for your sincere, heart-felt kindness and dedicated commitment to holding our wedding forever within both of yours’ gifted photography. Thank you, and Thank you Homeward Bound…You have become my second home.

    1. Susan, it was truly our pleasure. It’s nice to be able to return some of the gifts you have both bestowed on us, and we were all honored to be a part of such a heart-filled and joyous occasion. I had the opportunity to meet some of your “other family” – you are all truly blessed.

    2. Susan, we were honored to host your wedding in the HB garden. I so enjoyed meeting Frank’s family and your two sisters. Both your families were so gracious. Thank you for letting us be witnesses to such an extraordinary event between two wonderful people. Perhaps in the future we could host an anniversary party.

  3. What a wonderful day for two volunteers in a place that is such a large part of their lives. It makes perfect sense to be married in such a beautiful garden. Handsome groom + Beautiful bride + gorgeous garden = beautiful wedding memories.

  4. What a beautiful, beautiful wedding. Congratulations to Susan and Frank and may they have a wonderful, long, long marriage.

  5. What an unconventional event venue, but it was beautiful and obviously near and dear to their heart. Congratulations Susan and Frank!
    By the way, what kind of plant is the one with the purple flowers (the hummingbird photo)?

  6. Wow Audrey, you and Maria outdid yourselves this time – spectacular decorations in an already spectacular venue! Much love and warm wishes to Susan and Frank, I am so happy for you!! Susan you looked absolutely gorgeous!

  7. How wonderful! Many warm wishes and a big congratulations to Susan and Frank. Such a beautiful venue too. A place that is always so full of love. What a wonderful gorgeous and.blissful weekend for Homeward Bound.

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