Category: michele

megan+ derek // Maple Walnut Farm Wedding

Filed in michele, weddings shot by on at

There’s just something special about Megan and Derek that’s hard to put into words. They are so amazingly sweet together. You can tell that they really are each other’s other half. They both become whole when the other is around, and those warm and fuzzy feelings just radiate from them. There was barely a moment throughout their wedding day that wasn’t filled with some sort of overflowing emotion, whether it be tears of joy, bellyaching laughter, or just pure, overwhelming love for each other, their friends and their family. Our associate Michele really did an incredible job of capturing it all; we couldn’t be more proud of her!

When reading through all of the memories and personal anecdotes that Megan and Derek so kindly shared with us, we came across a beautiful statement from Megan. It really sums it all up; it puts everything into perspective and explains exactly why this day was truly so meaningful for everyone involved:

“…For several reasons, life took us different ways years ago. We always stayed good friends and he always stayed my favorite person, but it took a little while to find our way back. We wrote about a million emails spilling our guts to each other and stayed connected through music, sending each other mixes and new music we loved. He would write me songs and I would just miss him all the time. He was my best friend. We both had to go through a lot to be together. Once we were finally together it made no sense that we hadn’t been all along. It was no looking back from there. We moved into our new home with my two little girls whom he soon loved like he would his own.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I get chills reading that! How amazing that two people, so clearly meant to be, could go through so much apart and still find their way back to each other. It’s a beautiful thing, guys. A real reason to come together and celebrate, and we’re so lucky to have been the chosen ones to capture it all happening! Read through the rest of Megan and Derek’s memories while you take a scroll through all of the stunning moments that Michele was able to capture for us!

Megan: “Derek and I met online about 10 years ago. We loved the same music. I called him handsome and he called me darlin’, and he quickly became one of my favorite people ever.

Megan: “Both of my parents and Derek’s father unfortunately passed away before we got to say ‘I do’, so it was important to us to have all of our missing loved ones represented. On my right hand I wore the ring my late grandmother left me when she passed away. Tied into my flowers was the first ring Derek’s dad ever bought his mom; it was also my something blue. Derek wore his dad’s cufflinks. I had photos of my mom in the room I got ready in.

Megan: “It was so nice waking up early before the rest of the house with one of my best friends, Sheryl. We had a great talk that morning and she calmed my nerves the way she always does. I also loved seeing my daughters all dressed up for the first time.

Megan: “[Years agoDerek had invited me over to watch a movie after a bunch of failed attempts at getting together for a real date. I was too nervous and kept avoiding it. But we spent that first night listening to music and talking all night. I have a photo from that day of him playing the accordion for me. We have had a couple first dates though, for several reasons life took us different ways years ago. We always stayed good friends and he always stayed my favorite person, but it took a little while to find our way back. We wrote about a million emails spilling our guts to each other and stayed connected through music, sending each other mixes and new music we loved. He would write me songs and I would just miss him all the time. He was my best friend. We both had to go through a lot to be together. Once we were finally together it made no sense that we hadn’t been all along. I think we count a Jason Isbell concert as our first official date that second time around. It was no looking back from there. We moved into our new home with my two little girls whom he soon loved like he would his own.

Derek: “Our wedding weekend was filled with excitement, friends, and my bride to be. I spent much of my down time both alone and with my friends who stayed in the house with us, hanging out in the barn, smoking cigars and having drinks while all the girls went through their tireless regiment of beautifying themselves in the house. I very much enjoyed my short lived jaunts through the dining room sea of makeup, big hair, perfume, terrible pop music blaring through a cell phone, and the excitement of a room full of woman having a great time. A completely separate ‘pre-hitching’ experience from myself.

Megan: “The day before Christmas Eve I was busy wrapping presents, and stressed about all that still needed to get done. We had just been hit with a storm the night before and everything was blanketed in heavy snow. Derek kept asking me take a break and go for a walk outside with him. Not unusual for him, but I kept saying no because of all that needed to get done. Finally I went out and as soon as we walked to our backyard I heard a song that means a lot to both of us. He had a table set up in the snow with champagne and flowers, and he pulled the box out from his pocket and just kind of quickly asked me. We both cried and I forgot to say yes! It was perfect.

Megan: “I remember seeing Derek and all his friends out the window before the First Look. They were all ready for the ceremony and that’s when it hit me that this was really finally about to happen. Derek looked so handsome and I got so nervous! The First Look was something I was really nervous to do, and I’m so happy I listened to Jenn and Michele. I will never forget the look on his face when he turned around and was fighting back tears.

Derek: “The best photo of the day was the First Look shot. I got to anxiously wait in front of our big beautiful barn for what seemed to take eternity for Megan to make her way down to me. After listening to the crunching of the gravel beneath her feet, and random voices guiding her, and telling me not to look, she arrived. I then got to turn and see the most beautiful person standing in front of me. I felt all shaky and my eyes may have welled up a little, (which was definitely from the sun glare). It was one of the most exciting photos I ever got to take.

Megan: “Derek and I had our son Wyatt in Feb 2017.”

Megan: “We’ve become pretty big homebodies and love just doing stuff around the house. But music and going to see bands we love is a huge part of our lives.

Megan: “Derek is kind. He is the most gentle and sincere person I have ever known. No one makes me laugh like him. There has not been one day he hasn’t made me laugh. And watching him be a father has been one of the best experiences of my life. I just love him.

Megan: “Many of our friends had a hand in making this day happen for us. One of Derek’s old friends, Leif, flew in to marry us and he made our ceremony equal parts hilarious and perfect. Our friend Vic flew in from California to play guitar for our ceremony and it meant so much to us.

Derek: “I feel like our vows summed up our love as good as can be. There were serious moments, and lots of laughs. I feel like the ceremony reflected us both perfectly.

Megan: “During the ceremony, we did a ‘locket step-parent ceremony’ for our girls, where Derek promised to always love, protect, and care for them the same way he does our son, Wyatt. It meant everything to me.

Megan: “At the reception we had an area in the barn set up for photos of everyone we have lost who should have been there. Many of Derek’s late grandmother’s handmade doilies were in different places around the barn. I made homemade pepper jelly for our favors. There were a couple nods to our polish heritage, we had homemade pierogi in the buffet and I gave nesting dolls as a gift to all the girls who stood up for me and some of my friends who had helped out in several ways. We even played some polka that night!

Our friend Jen (of Fat Cat Sweets) was responsible for our beautiful cake and cupcakes! We had our friend Luke emcee the important parts of the evening, and our friend Lex (The Enchanted Florist) did all of our flowers, which couldn’t have been more perfect. She honestly got me through and became my unofficial wedding planner at times. There are so many examples of our friends helping to make our day perfect!

Megan: “Our first dance was ‘I Hope You’re the End of My Story’ by Pistol Annies. The road to where we are was long and hard. This song has always meant a lot to us and kind of speaks for itself.

Megan: “I wasn’t terribly confident on the search for my dress. I had settled on one early on but knew deep down I didn’t feel right about it. So we booked an appointment at Bridal Chateau. I sincerely didn’t even know what I was really looking for. I only had bits and pieces of ideas so walking in for my appointment I felt overwhelmed. But from the time we got there the girl who helped me made me feel so comfortable. She had pulled about 6 dresses based on a bunch of random words I threw at her. The dress I chose was the first dress I tried on that day. It was a beautiful champagne Rebecca Ingram dress. With a high lace boat neck and tulle bottom. Putting it on that first time was the first time I really felt like a bride and really didn’t need to try anything else on. I had the train removed so I could move around easier on the farm and it turned out perfect for me. I get so sad thinking about how I’ll never get to wear it again!

Derek: “I danced with my mom to ‘Stardust’ by Willie Nelson. It was a song/album my dad used to always play, and felt it appropriate to be the song I choose.

Megan: “During the reception, Derek played a song he had written for me a few weeks prior. It was our moment to thank everyone for being there and supporting us. Once it started playing I was super emotional watching our children dance to it and being surrounded by everyone we love.

Derek: “Everything was super great, and couldn’t have asked for a better day. I feel we did a pretty kick ass job of getting married.

Some experienced words of wisdom for upcoming brides and grooms: “The only advice I have is to just slowwwwww dowwwwn. Take in every little moment. Even in the planning stages. Because it is all gone in a blink! I wish I could relive so many parts of our day.

Choosing Ayres Photography was the best decision! From the first time I spoke with both Jenn and Michele I knew we made the right choice. They care deeply about what they do and it reflects in the way they treat you and the final product. Michele captured our day beautifully.


Really feeling the rock n roll rustic vibes after Megan and Derek’s beautiful farm wedding?? Click here to see more!


Wedding Vendors Include:

Photographer: Michele of Ayres Photography
Venue: Maple Walnut Farm
Florist: Enchanted Florist
Hair: Care Frandina of Salon Berardo
Make-up Artist: Glam Chair by Krista Lou
Dress Shop: Bridal Chateau
Dress Designer: Rebecca Ingram by Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaid Dresses: KF Bridal
Men’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: Ashley’s Culinary Creations
Cake: Fat Cat Sweets