Today we have a beautiful real wedding gallery submitted by a Love, Madison Weddings reader. Zach and Megan’s love story dates back to the first grade and their wedding day was pure magic! Set in fall at Chula Vista Resort, their wedding gallery is overflowing with gorgeous greenery and true love. Just married? Submit your own real wedding gallery here.
FROM THE BRIDE:
Our story began at South School in Reedsburg, WI where Zach and I met in first grade. Over the years, we got to know each other and we first “went out” in 5th grade. Even at a young age, Zach was a true gentleman and bought me flowers that year for Valentine’s Day. We “officially” began dating in 2005, our freshman year of high school, after spending time together in our biology class. Zach would always wink at me from across the room, and I, unable to wink back, would attempt to do the same.
According to Megan:
I had been expecting to spend a quiet weekend with my dad at our tree farm in Wautoma. When I arrived, I immediately asked what kind of work we would be doing that weekend. My dad said he wasn’t sure and so I decided to change into some comfy red sweatpants and a baggy sweatshirt (I had to make sure that I could see any ticks that might land on me)! The first surprise was an unexpected visit from three of our extended family members, who noticed that we were at the farm for the weekend. My dad suggested we all go for a walk to look for signs of deer, in preparation for deer hunting season. I thought this was odd, but we all went along anyway.
After walking on a trail for about ten minutes, everyone suddenly stopped on the trail. Off in the distance, I saw someone through the trees. Suddenly, it clicked! There was Zach (dressed very nicely, especially compared to me), waiting for me under the climbing tree (a very special spot to my entire family on our farm). The rest was a blur, but I do remember saying “YES!” Zach’s parents and my mom had both been hiding behind the trees and everyone was able to stay to celebrate with us for the rest of the evening.
Ten years, four cities, three degrees, two colleges, and millions of memories later, Zach still managed to find a way to surprise me with his proposal. I could not have asked for a more special moment. I will never forget it!
According to Zach:
At last! I finally received the finished engagement ring that was months in the making. Next step: “Soooo how am I going propose”? That was a question that had been in the back of my mind for awhile, but until I actually physically held the ring, nothing would come to mind. In figuring out “how” I was going to ask Megan to spend the rest our lives together, I needed to come up with the “where.” In pondering this, I recalled so many special moments that we’ve had together and recollected all the places that we were fortunate enough to experience together. However, the place that I kept coming back to was her family’s tree farm near Wautoma.
The tree farm, for us, created that irreplaceable sense of place and meaning. It was the place that signified enough trust in our relationship for me to get invited to and meet her family. It was the place where we sought solitude from the world and effortlessly connected in our own universe. It was the place where we shed all of our meaningless worries with meaningful comfort in each other. It was the place where not only trees grow, but where our relationship and love in one another flourished. This place represented and is a part of so much for us and I quickly came to the realization this would be the perfect place to propose to Megan. The most special tree farm location I could think of was the “climbing tree” (it is an awesome tree to climb). This pine tree is the largest tree around, and a place we ventured to often.
With the setting picked out, I developed a plan to get her and both of our parents to the tree farm, all without her knowing what was going on. The entire process involved numerous indirect questions about what Megan’s weekends looked like; calling her parents and mine behind her back; double-checking to erase any trace of phone records that would have raised any suspicion; hiding decorations in my car and making sure she never ventured into my vehicle; and hiding the engagement ring at my parent’s home and in my duffle bag, into which I guessed she would never look.
Eventually, Friday September 25th was the day that worked for everyone. I worked with Megan’s dad to convince Megan to come up to the tree farm for a “father-daughter weekend.” The plan was that by sunset (6:30), Megan and her dad would arrive at the “climbing tree.” With any luck, she would be totally surprised to see me and I would then propose with our other parents hidden from view, yet witnessing our moment together.
On Friday, September 25th, I arrived at the tree farm at 1:30 to make sure I was done with decorating long before she arrived. Naturally, I started with the most difficult aspect of the plan, getting huge paper mache letters up into the tree, ensuring that they would stay there for the next 5 hours. After numerous climbs, endless duct tape, multiple staples, and somewhat unsafe experimentation of tree limb strength, all of the letters were in place!
With the sun setting, Megan and her dad approached. As Megan walked toward me, I couldn’t believe that the day had finally come and the moment that I dreamed would happen.
After 9½ years, there weren’t many moments where I suddenly became speechless and nervous about the words coming out of my mouth. I looked into her (still astonished) eyes. With a joyous smile and rare twinge of shakiness, yet utmost confidence in my voice, I spoke my rehearsed lines that I now, unfortunately, have no recollection of. Then I slowly went down on one knee, pulled out the ring and proposed to her.
Wedding Date: October 8th, 2016
Photographer: Emily Schmidt Photography | Bridal Shop: Brandi’s Bridal | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse | Florist: Fantasy Floral | Cake: Neato’s Bakery | Makeup: Alicia Jaedke | Jewelry: Goodman’s Jewelers | Officiant: Beth Voigt | Rentals: Event Essentials, A La Crate, EZPZ Marquee | Videographer: Treehouse Media | Wedding Planner: Elevate Events