Cortney + Dereck | Stoughton, Wisconsin Wedding at The Lageret | Madison Wedding Photographer

Cortney and Dereck’s wedding was definitely one for the books. I knew Dereck very vaguely through a friend of a friend, and as soon as I met Cortney it was obvious they had found a love like no other. It was like they were juuuuust out of my circle of friends by one degree, so I saw a lot of familiar faces at their wedding! The venue, the outfits, the tiny details- every part of their wedding day was personal and so lovely. To start with, I had searched what the Lageret looked like on the inside and I was blown away! Leah and I walked inside and immediately were wide-eyed and stunned. As the decorations were being hung and the little details were put in their place, I knew this day was going to be awesome. I have been to Stoughton a few times in the past, but hadn’t visited in a long time and definitely didn’t know the Lageret existed!

Cortney and Dereck met through their love for local shows, as Dereck plays in a Madison hardcore band called Delinquents (who I’d seen a few times before getting to know either of them!). Without even realizing it, the two already worked together at Culver’s and after mustering up the courage to talk to each other, they haven’t been apart for the last 5 years! Dereck proposed to Cortney after dinner and a concert in Milwaukee under a streetlight in what Cortney described as the cutest neighborhood. Getting to know them both has shown me that love and support can get you through the toughest curveballs that life can throw you. As a couple, Cortney and Dereck define love that is meant to be felt through and through. They’re kind and warm to their friends and family and you can tell from a mile away how much they appreciate having each other.

I had the privilege of also shooting engagement photos for these two earlier this year in downtown Milwaukee. We had a blast exploring the Third Ward and Lakeshore State Park right on Lake Michigan!

The wedding day started out rainy and gloomy, but you could feel the excitement everywhere. The girls had their hair done before I arrived and were working on their makeup in the bridal suite while listening to music and drinking mimosas. All the bridesmaids had matching blue floral silk robes on and Cortney had a white version. Everybody was cool and calm the whole morning and it’s rare to find such a chill group of bridesmaids on their best friend’s wedding day!

The groomsmen got ready at a hotel on the square in Madison and came to the venue closer to the ceremony. While they were waiting, they played cards in a backroom and I could see Dereck getting more and more antsy as the morning turned to afternoon. The ceremony was just around the corner!

Dereck’s family played a role in preparing for the wedding by putting together the flowers for the day and they turned out so beautifully. There were little arrangements all over the venue that really brought the place to life. There were Polaroids waiting to be taken near the bar, giant gold balloons that spelled out “drunk in love” ready for the dancing to start, and chalkboards with handwritten notes for the guests when they arrived.

As the ceremony got closer, friends and family filled in the seats of the 2nd level where the ceremony was set to take place. Every single chair was filled and the coordinator, Alex, found a few more chairs so everybody could sit! It was a short but sweet ceremony and Cortney and Dereck were both glowing once they started to head down the aisle and I couldn’t help but smile, too. Once a few people got to hug the newlyweds, we had to make a plan for the bridal party photos as it was pouring on and off all day! I knew Cortney wanted to take some outside with everybody, so we all toughed it out for a few minutes and got those shots. Once the bridal party was finished being photographed, we took Cortney and Dereck out around the venue to get some more shots with a super cute clear umbrella and they got to spend a little time (mostly) alone before heading back in to kick off their huge celebration. Once things got started, they didn’t slow down until almost midnight! There was dinner, dancing, and even a late night pizza delivery. What a wedding! All in all, Cortney and Dereck’s wedding was so memorable to me. It was filled with so much thought and love in every detail and was a photographer’s dream.

A note to Cortney and Dereck: The love that you have for each other is so quiet and deliberate, but so very apparent. It has been wonderful getting to know the both of you a little bit better, and getting to document your wedding day was such a blessing! Thanks a million times over for trusting me to photograph the special day and deliver to you images that you’ll be looking at after many years of marriage. I hope your honeymoon was a blast and I’m sure I’ll see you around at a show before too long. Best wishes!!



Rentals- A La Crate Vintage Rentals

Hair styling- Thorps Salon Madison

Catering- Upstairs Downstairs

Desserts- Batch Bakehouse

Coordinator- Alex from Midwestern Bride

Venue- The Lageret

Associate Photographer- Leah Van Ert