Carly + Jordan
We met in Australia seven years ago on the beach. I was studying abroad, and he was in law school at Bond University. He kicked a soccer ball toward me and my friend as we were walking down to the ocean to dip our feet. I quickly ran and got it before it drifted into the ocean. Later I would find out that he kicked it on purpose, saying to his friend it was a test: if we kicked the ball back then we were “cool” girls. Needless to say, I passed.
Later that night he spotted me across the bar. And of course this was also the same moment I happened to be on my knees performing a mean air-guitar solo, in attempt to entertain only my girlfriends. This semi-embarrassing icebreaker quickly turned into one of the best "first" conversations I ever had. Aside from his Canadian accent, I immediately noticed his extreme politeness, and how he took a very strong interest in me and my friends. I never met someone that asked so many questions and as genuinely interested. After ten minutes of talking, I basically scored my group of friends our own personal travel guide. It was refreshing to meet someone like that. Just nice.
Our first official date in Oz conveniently fell around Valentine’s Day. He took me to an Italian restaurant and I ordered a big fat plate of lasagna. Years later he told me he'd never forget my food order and how he found it hilarious that I chose such a heavy entree on a first date — he liked that about me. I laughed so hard when he told me. He's definitely the nicest and most outgoing person I ever dated and by far the best communicator. And that has helped me become a better communicator in return. I also think in my past relationships there was a lack of trust. With Jordan it was just different, mature.
I realized he was "the one" when I broke up with him for no good reason during my final semester at college. I was sick of the long-distance relationship, and wanted to focus on school work, graduation and being with friends. You could tell he was heartbroken but it didn't stop him from texting me, wanting to talk. He finally asked if he could drive down to see me at school on a Thursday, take me to dinner to talk and to get some closure, before turning around to make the 4.5 hour trip back to Toronto. It was during that dinner I knew I really and truly missed him. It made me see what an amazing guy he was and I didn’t want to lose him after that. We got back together and have been together ever since! (That, and the time he held my hair back while I puked in an airplane bag on a 5:30AM business flight we both had out of New York.)
I was the first one to say "I love you" — but technically I had no choice. I was on a call with my brother while in Australia and he was on speakerphone. He asked me about "the guy" he heard I was seeing. Meanwhile Jordan was also in the room. “Mom and dad told me you’re innn love.” Jordan obviously loved overhearing this— especially since we didn't say it yet. I was so embarrassed, but after I hung up the phone, I said it to him for real.
In the seven years of knowing Jordan, he would completely shut down the whole topic of marriage. He’d say he’d never get married, or have kids, blah blah blah blah. It never really bothered me because I knew he was just saying it to get a rise out of people like me and his mother. So, marriage was never really brought up too often between the two of us. People would ask us all the time- especially after I moved to Toronto. All of our friends were getting married and engaged, and I think that sort of put the pressure on him. But as far as when it happened... a total surprise. I always assumed some day, but it wasn't on the radar for what I thought would be years.
He proposed this past August at his cottage in Honey Harbor. We were on a fishing boat coming back from a cocktail party. My brother and sister and all of his family were unknowingly behind us on his dock— decked out with candles and a big banner reading: Will You Marry Me. I blacked out, we were both crying. I have never been so surprised. The ring is an oval cut with a diamond band that he designed after my treasured high school class ring. It was one of the most memorable nights of my life. We partied until four in the morning, and almost broke the cottage's wooden floors from all the dancing.
I was excited, but super overwhelmed. My mom had just been diagnosed with cancer and planning a wedding was definitely not on the top of my to-do list. Sure it was a great distraction for my family from what was really happening, but also very emotional and confusing. My parents made the executive decision in early October to have a wedding sooner than later. I thought ok, maybe in like 7-8 months? Nope...they were thinking 3 months.
From then on out, it was all hands on deck, full speed ahead. But we pulled it off. I will never forget my brother saying, “It's just a party with a fancy invitation.”
The wedding took place in Buffalo, NY on a cold and windy December day, at the first all-women's club in North America. We both fell in love with its stunning interior. Everything was so grand and romantic. The ceremony took place on the upper level, the ballroom a floor below. I liked having everything all in one place, it was easy. We had 200 guests.
Being the ball of nerves that I am, I woke up at 5AM, showered, put a face mask on, and started reading my vows out loud for the first time. Even though for the most part they were light-hearted and funny, I could not get through them without crying— which made me even more nervous for the actual ceremony. My bridesmaids showed up around 8:30, coffee and breakfast in hand. Once they got there I started to loosen up a bit. Hair and makeup came soon after.
My dad walked me down the aisle to a violin version of the Beatles classic "Here Comes the Sun." When he handed me off to Jordan he slipped him a tissue (I’ve never seen Jordan cry so much in my life) and said, “She’s your problem now!" Everybody laughed.
Keeping it simple and intimate, I only had my older sister Lizzy as maid of honor, and my three maids were Jordan’s younger sister Kayla, and two of my best friends, Rachel and Ali. They wore whatever they wanted— I only asked that the dresses were long and deep red in color, and they donned baby's breath flower crowns to complement my own. In typical Jordan fashion, he couldn’t make a decision so he had more guys standing in the wedding party.
The whole day was crazy, but a memory that stands out to me was our first dance. It’s so surreal to be dancing at your own wedding, with everyone you love in one room gathered around you staring and taking pictures. I’m usually a very introverted person and don’t like the spotlight at all—but all of those fears went away during that moment.
Jordan is Jewish and I’m Catholic, so we got married by a Supreme Court Justice under a Chuppa— that was also decorated with mistletoe. We wrote our own vows which was probably my favorite part. They were both funny and sincere. Guests told me afterward that they went from laughing to crying, to laughing again. Jordan sang the national anthem at one point during his, and during mine, I made fun of him for a “Live, Laugh, Love” pillow he bought for our condo two years ago, having my sister hold it up as evidence.
We mixed in traditions from both religions which was pretty cool. We broke the glass, we did prayers of the faithful, we had a Jewish blessing over the bread and wine, and a Catholic one before dinner. Since the guest list was half Canadian, half American, we gave everyone small flags of both countries to wave after the ceremony. We definitely kept it interesting.
The food was the bomb. There was filet, stuffed chicken, horseradish mashed potatoes, asparagus and roasted red pepper soup. My aunt made my cake: Snickerdoodle with cinnamon ice cream.
The post-dinner party was kicked off with the Hava Nagila, which in my opinion— Jewish or not—this is how every wedding should start. I don’t think I actually left the dance floor— maybe one bathroom break. There was so much energy in the room. I remember spinning on my back in my white dress to the "Shout" song. I was also on all-fours during "Sorry" by Justin Bieber at one point. I’m nervous to get our video from the videographer. The wedding ended at 12:30 and everyone walked down the street to a bar. Jordan and I got home after 4AM, a true Buffalonian Saturday night.
Christmas was days after the wedding so we stayed in town and took a quick trip to Mexico with a few couples for New Year’s, a gift from my sister and brother-in-law. It was nice to get away after the wedding but it wasn’t our honeymoon. We’re planning a South African Safari later this year. I wouldn’t change a thing about the entire experience. I wish I could relive the day over and over again. I’m so happy that I didn’t have to plan a wedding for a year of my life. Three months was a quick turn-around, but so exciting and all of the hard work definitely paid off in the end.
I learned not to stress over the small shit. You can’t control the weather in December, and you can’t control it in July. Nobody remembers what the table numbers looked like or what the cake was sitting on. Like everything else, you just have to enjoy the process because you blink your eyes and it’s over. I feel so lucky that I was able to create such beautiful memories with my parents, friends, and new husband!