Despite going to the same high school, Megan and Jordan didn’t meet until long after college. “I was working in the Middle East for a few years, and Megan was actually my mom and sister’s dental hygienist, ironically,” says Jordan. They finally got in touch through mutual friends and emailed each other for about six months, catching up on the past seven years and sharing funny stories. “Even before we officially ‘met,’ I could tell he was someone special, just from his emails,” Megan says. Adds Jordan: “I ended up coming back home for a summer and we decided to meet up in person, and the rest was history.”
In 2013, the couple converged in London for a Steelers and Vikings football game held at Wembley Stadium. They went on to Paris and Amsterdam with Jordan secretly toting around a ring the entire time. Finally, back in London—at Hyde Park under a beautiful garden trellis—he got down on one knee and popped the question. “I brought a jacket with me for the day of touring where I stashed the ring box,” says Jordan. “I was praying all day that the weather would be nice so I wouldn’t have to tell Megan she couldn’t have my jacket!”
Though not the initial plan, the couple decided on a destination wedding for their big day. “Nothing struck a chord until Jordan mentioned Napa, and after that we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads,” says Megan. Viansa Winery in Sonoma allowed their guests to experience the tastes, sounds and views of one of their favorite vacation destinations. “The venue we chose provided a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony and a fantastic selection of food, wine and aperitifs, while the onsite open-air tent allowed for a quick and seamless transition between the ceremony and reception,” notes Jordan.
The couple spent a lot of time and effort writing their own vows and was fortunate enough to have a close friend officiate the ceremony, which “was picture perfect,” says Megan. “It was the most beautiful day outside, and the backdrop was simply stunning. Jordan and I are such winos and the Napa/Sonoma area held a special place in our hearts—we were so blessed to be able to share that special place with the people we love the most.”
Both Megan and Jordan enjoyed spending the entire weekend with all of their guests, rather than just the four or five hours most couples get with a wedding. “It gave us time to go on winery tours, catch up, wine, dine, and spend quality time and make wonderful memories with all of our guests—some of whom we hadn’t seen in a long time!” Megan says.
First Dance Song
"Faithfully" by Boyce Avenue
Father/Daughter Dance Song
Jordan/mom: “A Mother’s Song” by T Carter
Jordan/stepmom: Rascal Flatts “My Wish”
Megan/father: A medley beginning with “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright that led into a surprise choreographed dance with songs including:
James Brown “I Feel Good”
Sir Mix-A-Lot “Jump On It”
Beyonce “All the Single Ladies” (among others)
Ending with Wiz Khalifa “Black & Yellow” (for Pittsburgh pride!)
Cake Cutting Song
Bouquet Toss Song
"It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls
Last Dance Song
"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
Details about the cake
Toasted Almond cake with vanilla buttercream icing. It was delicious. We did a mini cake, primarily for the cake cutting, and had a dessert table filled with candies, salted chocolate chip cookies, brownies, mini cupcakes, tiramisu in a jar, and a S'mores bar.
Details about the flowers
We picked many different flowers, I didn’t really care what type, but wanted them all different shades of pink. Bridal bouquet was the only arrangement of flowers that was white with a little blush tint thrown in.
Details about the favors
We made welcome bags ourselves and gave them to guests upon check in. They included champagne, a festive corkscrew, Ghiradelli chocolates, maps and weekend information, waters and treats—and Advil of course! We also provided guests with sunglasses with our wedding hashtag on the side (#elliswinerywedding) because the ceremony was outside and it was very sunny!
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Some funny facts:
Megan meticulously packed each of them 3 checked bags, every one of them having an itemized list of what was in them. Megan flew out to California 2 days prior to Jordan, due to his work schedule. Thursday before the wedding, Megan randomly woke up at 5AM, when Jordan should have been on the plane, about to take off. Where was he really, though? In a TSA holding cell, unable to board his flight because Megan had accidentally packed the 10 inch serrated cake knife in his carry on!! He ended up making the flight (and the TSA agent actually gave him back the knife…in the checked bag of course) but Megan was freaking out, calculating how long it would take him to drive from Kansas to California because she was convinced he would get on the no-fly list. “It was a 27 hour drive…long enough for Jordan to change his mind about marrying me! Lol”
Megan’s dad wrote his speech on his brand new iPhone (when he’s not so tech savvy) and deleted it accidentally when he was standing in front of everyone about to speak. So technically his speech started with and awkward pause followed by “…yep…it’s gone.” He ended up winging it 100%!
Megan lost the garter the day of the wedding, so the garter toss ended up not happening. (She found it months later in the bottom of her dress bag.)
After the ceremony, Viansa winery had prepared a romantic moment for Jordan and Megan in the Wine Cellar room, complete with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and hors d’eouvres. However, Megan’s brothers-in-law had been sent to that room minutes earlier to retrieve bridesmaids’ purses and thought it was all leftover food from getting ready before the ceremony, so they ate it all before Jordan and Megan arrived! Lol
Jordan discovered he had an apparent food allergy at the rehearsal dinner, and his lips swelled up to the size of plums! Thankfully, his brother had every known antihistamine under the sun in his suit jacket and everything calmed down by the wedding day.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Get a same day Wedding Planner!!! It will definitely be worth the investment. If you can swing it, get a full wedding planner who will be planning with you from day one! It will save you so much stress in the long run and you'll be able to focus on the important thing on your wedding day -- getting married while surrounded by the people you love.
Also, even if you are Type A (which obviously I am), go in expecting that something during the day won't go seamlessly and just roll with it! The day doesn't have to run perfectly to be the perfect day for you. You'll only remember the good!
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