Daisy Ryan, Meg Ryan’s teen daughter, recently had a blast playing dress-up on a shopping excursion with her mom, grinning ear to ear while trying on a fancy fascinator hat accented with a small but elegant veil. As talk swirls that Meg and rocker boyfriend John Mellencamp may finally be getting married, Meg clearly has the perfect pint-size maid of honor on call for their wedding, if needed.
“Daisy would love it if her mother married John — and she’s asked about a wedding,” a friend of Meg’s reveals to Closer. “Meg’s promised Daisy she’ll be involved every step of the way when the time comes, which is just music to the ears of a 13-year-old girl!”
Wedding bells could be ringing soon, in fact. “Next fall looks like the most likely time,” an insider tells Closer, noting that John, 66, actually first proposed to Meg, 56, back in 2013; since then, he has done so repeatedly. During a romantic getaway to Meg’s beach house on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts in early November, John’s determination finally paid off. “He poured his heart out and told Meg he’d be lost without her,” says the insider. “That really resonated with her.”
Sources also tell Page Six that the two have been spotted on Daufuskie Island, SC (where they own a mansion) a lot lately. The insiders note that the two seem to be planning some type of celebration during their time there!
Meg’s concerns over distance — she lives in NYC and John’s home is in Indiana — previously prevented her from committing. Now John’s proved to Meg that he’s eager to spend more time with her and Daisy in New York, “so Meg is finally open to the idea of getting married,” the insider shares.
The fact that their on-again, off-again relationship has survived two breakups has also helped shape Meg’s new attitude. “She pretty much said ‘never again’ after her marriage to Dennis Quaid ended” in 2001, the Sleepless in Seattle actress’ friend says, “but I think with all the time she’s invested in John and how far they’ve come as a couple, she can see an upside to marriage now.”
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Despite three divorces of his own, John still believes strongly in the institution of marriage — which is why he’s been so persistent despite all of Meg’s hesitancy in the past. “I never say die for anything,” John insists, and Meg is definitely worth the wait. “She’s a beautiful girl and I know I’ll never, ever, ever be with a funnier woman. She was just an angel sent to me at the right time.”
After their second split in 2015, things looked bleak for the rocker. “She hates me,” the heartbroken singer, who rebounded with supermodel Christie Brinkley through August 2016, told radio host Howard Stern earlier this year. “I think it’s because I’m a child. I throw fits, I gripe, I complain. I’m moody. Every bad thing that a fella can be, that’s me,” he said.
That’s when Meg reached out to clear the air. “She called him within hours of that interview,” the friend says. “She told him she certainly didn’t hate him. They got together two days later in New York and that buried passion rose right back to the surface. They’ve been together ever since.” When his summer tour wrapped up on Sept. 3, things heated up even more. “Their time apart made them miss what they had,” the friend adds. “Even if it sounds cliché, they learned they really complete each other.”
Their undeniable connection helps them professionally, too. The pair collaborated beautifully on Meg’s directorial debut, 2015’s Ithaca, for which John wrote some songs for the soundtrack. “He’s the perfect kind of songwriter for this story,” Meg said at the time. “He’s world class. There’s not one speck of music that’s not his. He’s got some kind of magic touch.”
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John’s other passion — painting — also impresses her. “Meg thinks he’s one of the most creative people alive,” her friend says. “He just has things inside him that he needs to get out, which he shows through both his music and his art. To see how he expresses himself moves Meg very deeply.” His creativity even sometimes results in old-fashioned love letters he pens for Meg. “That’s just the truest expression of love a woman can get, and Meg really revels in it,” the friend notes.
The couple’s revived romance has helped them finally conquer the geographical dilemma they struggled with earlier in their relationship: While John’s primary residence, with his art and recording studios, is near Bloomington, IN, Meg is tied to NYC, especially with Daisy in school where most of the year. “John knows their relationship will be on her home turf,” the insider says, “and he accepts that. He knows why Meg needs to be rooted.”
The actress, who raised Jack Quaid, her 25-year-old son with Dennis, in the Big Apple, has no intention of upending her youngest from their Tribeca home they moved to last summer. “Daisy, now she’s really a NY kid,” Meg enthuses. “She’s been exposed to so much by this city, and it’s made her such an interesting human being!”
So much so that John’s as captivated with her as he is her mom. “He’s been in Daisy’s life since she was six,” the friend notes of the close bond Daisy has with John, a father of five children of his own. “She adores him and he’s great with kids. Now that Daisy’s become a teenager, they have more of a buddy relationship than anything.”
With him out touring 80 to 100 nights a year, the musician will probably look into “cutting back on his concert dates and opening an artist’s loft in Manhattan to be around Meg and Daisy more,” the insider adds. “He wants to show Meg his desire to be there for her.”
Plenty more family time is also in store for Meg, John, and Daisy at John’s home on Daufuskie Island, which makes sense why they've been seen there often lately. “Meg absolutely loves the home,” the insider says, noting that the actress asked John, “Why don’t you make it as beautiful as it can be?” early in their relationship. Using her as his muse, the rocker launched a major renovation and the art filled home now boasts its own movie room, five guest rooms, and an infinity pool. It certainly sounds like a fun spot to plan nuptials!
The bonus? “There are only a few hundred residents” on the island, the insider says, “and it’s only accessible by boat or ferry. It’s a place where they can really be alone.” That fact is not lost on the couple. “Meg is enchanted with the island and sees it as idyllic for a wedding,” the friend says. “It’s away from the crowds, and they could really mark a new chapter in their lives there.”
A-list guests such as Tom Hanks and Reese Witherspoon are likely to be invited to the medium-size affair, as well as many of John’s friends that he’s stayed close to since childhood. “The island isn’t accessible by car, so guests could stay in nearby Savannah and then John and Meg could hire a private ferry to take them to the island for the wedding and reception,” the friend shares. “It really intrigues Meg about how she and John could present this wonderful day to the people they love.”
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Since the affair is likely to take place in the fall, Daisy will have to return to NY fairly quickly for school. Luckily, John’s island retreat can easily double as the couple’s honeymoon destination. “They’ll probably just hole up there for a few days. It’s paradise to both of them,” the friend assures.
This fairy-tale ending to their formerly rocky relationship seems like it could be something straight out of one of Meg’s classic rom-coms. “There’s been a lot of twists and turns,” the insider admits, “but look at them now. There’s a real, warm love between them and they’ve learned to work all the other stuff out. They seem happier than ever, and the best part is they’re actively planning for their future.”
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