The Eagle’s End-of-Summer Wedding

Getting to celebrate Michael and Ashley was extra special because Michael is one of our bartenders! The two had the most romantic end-of-summer wedding! Keep reading for a peek into their love story and wedding day!

1.) How did the two of you meet? 

We met at a CrossFit gym in 2013 and went on our first date at the end of May 2015. We went to DQ! 🙂

2.) What was the theme/color of your wedding?

Our colors were burgundy and taupe. Our theme was simple with a touch of Boho! 

3.) What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?

Our ceremony and vows!

Our officiant, Tash Neu, has been a friend of Ashley’s since age 3! Her and Michael were friends/teammates at the gym prior to us dating, as well. Having her marry us was truly so special!

We absolutely LOVE that our day was captured with pictures and video! We have gotten a few sneaks/preview and are ALREADY blown away! With each picture and video, we are able to relive our day and it’s my absolute favorite thing!

4.) What was your favorite part about having your wedding at Crooked Willow?

Do we have to pick just one?!

The venue/property is absolutely stunning! Everything being on-site is a dream come true. We couldn’t have imagined it any differently. Bridal/groom suites, the Barn, ceremony sites, the fields, reception space- all SO perfect!!!

The people! Hands down the best! We loved working with Derek and Jody throughout the entire planning process through execution!!

5.) Engagement story?

We started dating in July 2015. Our first golden retriever [Mattie] joined our family in January 2017, which is also when we decided to move in together! Fast forward…. many years… and we purchased our first home together in July 2021. Our second golden girl [Ruby] joined our family in October 2021. By this time, we had already discussed our forever together, but also weren’t rushing an engagement/marriage. Ashley’s birthday is December 14th, and that year it was on a Tuesday, so Michael decided to plan a special birthday surprise on Sunday, December 12th. Michael set the GPS to “Home Depot” in Coon Rapids so Ashley truly had NO IDEA where they were going. Our dinner surprise was KYOTO: All You Can Eat Sushi and when we walked in the door, our best friends Ryan + Macy were there waiting for us! This was a surprise in itself, but little did Ashley know, they all had more planned for the night. It didn’t take much to convince Ashley to go to Ryan + Macy’s in Andover after dinner — can’t pass up an opportunity to see their daughter since we were in the area. The girls went upstairs and Addie Jo was showing off her new toy she got for Christmas. Macy started talking about fire-pit tables in the garage + the sauna out in the backyard in order to get Ashley outside. When Ashley walked outside, she was greeted by rose petals and candles lining the sidewalk path with Michael waiting at the end. With the help of Macy, there was a wood sign [still hanging up in our house] that said “Will you marry me?”. The rest is a blur! Pure excitement and joy! AND Christine’s Cheesecake bites to celebrate! Michael pulled off the most amazing surprise! And it was so special to share it with our best friends, who were our Best Man and Maid of Honor!


It truly was a day to remember! Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you many years of wedded bliss!

-Derek and Jody


*photos by Kayla Hammer Photography