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Real Wedding | Jordan + Ryan

Jordan and Ryan live in Los Angeles, CA with their dog, Ellie. Ryan is originally from the Bay Area and Jordan is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania (although she moved back and forth to Kansas City several times). Jordan is a talent manager and Ryan works at Disney as a social media video producer.

The couple met in college at Emerson College in Boston, MA where we both studied broadcast journalism. "We became friends first, as Ryan was in a relationship and was too dumb to realise the perfect girl was there all along. We had endless inside jokes and countless competitive game nights, would stay up late talking for hours, and we always tried to work on each others' projects just to spend more time together. Our relationship was built on friendship, which was the best. After college, we moved out to Los Angeles to start exploring different parts of the entertainment industry." The couple have been together nine years and got married at the end of June.

"We live for an experience and love to bring our vibe wherever we go. We curate playlists for our car ride, carefully Yelp every potential restaurant to avoid risking a bad meal, creating cocktails and serving them out of stylish glasses, good TV but also bad TV (Love Island UK, Bachelor, Selling Sunset, you get the picture), comedy, oatmilk lattes (yes, we live in L.A.), board games, and journeys with our dog, Ellie. Our apartment is never silent - music is always playing whether we're making dinner, playing board games, writing the answers to this questionnaire... we communicate through music and it was such an instrumental (no pun intended!) part of our wedding."

The couple's original plan was to get married in front of 125 friends and family in Temecula, CA however, the pandemic hit and they were forced to postpone the wedding. "We mourned the loss of the wedding as our vision for our perfect wedding started disappearing and the reality of our situation started to set in. Rather than wait an indefinite period of time to reschedule our wedding, we made the decision to do a micro-wedding. We thought we wanted to get married in the desert (Borrego Springs, CA), so we had our awesome photographer Amanda Noel Photos come out and meet us to help us find a ceremony spot. After driving around for a few hours, nothing quite clicked. We kept driving until we drove out of the desert to a place Amanda Noel Photos recommended. We stopped at the Santa Ysabel Preserve right around sunset and knew that it was the perfect location for us."

The couple found a tree to have their ceremony underneath that was surrounded by tall golden grass and the hum of crickets in the bushes. Just a few weeks later, they rented some folding chairs and grabbed some champagne and gathered their fifteen friends underneath that very tree and got married.

"It was all DIY - our friends set up the ceremony site for us just before we arrived. We brought in white folding chairs, a folding table set up with coupes for a post-ceremony champagne toast, a tiny rug for us to stand on during the ceremony, and we had two corkboards nearby pinned with photos from our engagment and photos from our parents' and grandparents' weddings."

Jordan and Ryan had about a month to find outfits and put everything together for their new wedding plans. They were inspired by our parents' and grandparents' wedding photos and wanted to find outfits that channeled their special days. After 72 hours of searching the internet, Jordan found an 80's wedding dress through a vintage shop on Etsy (puffy sleeves and all) channeling her mother’s wedding and paired it with some white Nike sneakers with a mint green swoosh (a nod to one of the couple's favourite movies Father of the Bride). As their wedding was fairly casual and happening during the middle of the summer, Ryan decided to go with a more relaxed outfit that was inspired by a photo of Jordan's Grandfather. He paired white linen pants from Zara with a white button-up shirt and a pair of leather penny loafers, both from J. Crew. For the after-party, Jordan changed into a 50's vintage cocktail dress inspired by her Grandmother’s wedding ("let me tell you it’s NOT easy to find a 1950s dress for a curvy gal!") and threw on a pair of heels. Ryan changed into a cream lightweight polo shirt.

Switching from a larger wedding at a traditional venue to a smaller wedding in a public park meant everything had to change. "Because other family members and friends couldn't physically be with us on the day, it was so important to us to share our day with them virtually. We created an at-home experience that our family and friends could have to feel like they were sharing our wedding day moments with us. We had signature cocktails they could make, three different music playlists, photos of us through the years, it was an email to end all emails! We realised that our original wedding was focused on making our guests have a great time and we weren't necessarily making decisions that would be best for us. By planning this smaller wedding, we really got to decide what would make us happy on our day and we leaned into that. We knew that if we were happy, our guests would be, too."

Because music is such an important part of Jordan and Ryan's relationship they crafted their day around it. "We created three music playlists for the day - one was for the drive to the location (a two-hour drive through the desert with music from ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, and more), one was for the ceremony (Jordan walked down the aisle to "Flow Like Wine" by Gabe Dixon and our ceremony ended with "Ends of the Earth" by Lord Huron), and one was for the after-party (we're talking Lionel Richie, more ABBA, and all the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears your heart could desire)."

After the ceremony, the wedding party headed down to trail to the local grocery store, Don's Market. "The parking lot was completely empty after our ceremony and it was the perfect backdrop for our DIY reception. We did a quick change in the car and our friends picked up pizza from nearby Julian Beer Company, drinks from the gas station across the street, and we danced the night away to music playing out of our friend's car. We had our first dance to Gabe Dixon's "If I Love You" while our friends formed a dance circle around us. The night ended with us cutting the (cup)cake together. After we loaded everything back into our cars, we drove the two hours back to where we were staying in La Quinta, CA, two very happy (+ tired) newlyweds."

As for traditions, the couple didn't incorporate too many. They did however break a glass at the end of the ceremony (well, Ryan didn't break it on the first attempt, but Jordan's dad didn't break it on his first attempt at his wedding either, and her parents are going on 30 years of marriage!). "We come from very different family backgrounds, so we didn't force traditions into our ceremony if they didn't fit. We did have our parents write down their wedding day memories and we shared those out loud with our guests during the ceremony."

Their advice to other couples getting married? "Listen to your gut and do what will make you and your partner happy on the day. When you reminisce about your wedding, it'll be with your spouse, not with that cousin you haven't spoken to in years. Create an experience that you'll find unforgettable. And prioritise the things that are important and focus your energy on them. If 2020 taught us anything, life is completely unpredictable and your priorities can shift in an instant. A wedding can be whatever you want it to be - there's no set formula and no need to stick to a tradition you don't believe in."

Photographer : Amanda Noel Photos @amandanoel___ | Ceremony Location : Santa Ysabel Preserve | Reception location : Don’s Market Parking Lot | Videographer : Nic Stanich @nicstanich |

Celebrant: friends of the couple Patrick Goulding and Elena Morales | Styling : friend of the couple Trang Ada Trinh | Flora : friend of the couple Ann Loud | Cupcakes : Emily Feldt @emsfeldts | Pizza : Julian Beer Company @julianbeerco | Stationery : Minted @minted | Wedding Dress : Vintage Etsy (Shop Olga Vintage) | Reception Dress : Vintage Etsy (A Better Time Shop) | Groom's Suit : Zara + J.Crew | Groom's Shoes : J.Crew | Rings: Vrai and Oro Engagement Ring | Shoes : Nike Sneakers from Nordstrom + Pink heels by Chinese Laundry from Nordstrom | Necklace : A gift from Jordan's parents


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