Anna and Jordan

Image 1 of Anna and Jordan

how we met

Anna: We met at Columbia College in my freshman year, which was his sophomore year. We were in a few shows together (Bad Auditions by Bad Actors and the Jane Froman Radio Hour) that semester, but largely ignored each other until our choir trip to Dublin and London over winter break. We left shortly after Christmas and returned to the USA a few days after New Years’. Somehow, we ended up sitting next to each other on the tour bus, implicitly agreeing not to bother each other. We mostly kept this agreement, with two exceptions. The first was New Years’ Eve, when our entire choir group made their way to the banks of the Thames for the countdown and fireworks. Much of our group was drunk to various degrees, and the streets were crowded with people. The tight-knit bass section had formed a protective group, all grabbing onto one member’s backpack, to protect the precious camera inside. I, being small and terrified, asked if I could join the formation. They allowed me to do so, and I became an “honorary bass” that evening. The second exception was the last day we spent in the UK before flying home. We visited the British Museum, and I didn’t want to wander around it by myself because I was afraid of getting lost. By that time, I felt like I knew Jordan well enough to ask him if I could stay close to him around the museum. He said I could, and as we walked through the exhibits together I got really excited. REALLY excited. I couldn’t contain my glee at seeing all these amazing artifacts and incredible architecture, and I began making really corny jokes, mostly puns. I thought Jordan might reconsider his friendship with me, but he actually liked it! After the trip ended, we continued our friendship by making faces at each other across the choir room and talking for hours in parking lots after rehearsals and concerts. I technically made the first move when I asked if he wanted to carpool 45 minutes to see my voice teacher, Amy, as Mme. Thenardier in Les Miserables, but we didn’t officially start dating until April 20, close to the end of the semester. We were both stressed: me about finals, him about his role in Forever Plaid which was set to open a few days later. It was one of our parking lot conversations, lasting until about 2am when he confessed he liked me. I’d liked him for a few months, and immediately said yes. We then hugged against the wheel of my car and talked for another two hours. We had our first official date the next day, which was Easter; I had to surprise my parents with the news to let them know why I was skipping out on Easter lunch!

Jordan: We really met and got acquainted on a choir trip to Ireland & England after our first semester of choir. We sat together on the bus under the premise that we wouldn’t bug each other and leave each other to our own selves! However, we were both going alone into the Museum of Natural Science in London, and decided to tag up for reasons I can’t remember. She would make cute little jokes and puns, and I would respond in kind with my own, and we started becoming friends. Over the spring semester, we started talking more, and we would stay up just to talk. We never had each other’s phone number until I actually asked her out, so this was all in-person conversation as well! Weeks went by, and I came to the realization during spring break that if I didn’t ask her before summer break, I may never know if we could be together. I asked her out at 2am on April 20th (Easter Sunday), and she was the first woman I’d ever asked out by myself. She didn’t make it easy, either! After discussing religious beliefs and ideas, she finally agreed to give it a shot. And that’s how I got her number!

Image 2 of Anna and Jordan

how they asked

Anna: Jordan proposed the Monday of my last finals week of undergrad. At our school, the final exam for voice lessons is a jury, where you sing a few songs in front of the instructors. They’re normally scheduled for evenings. Mine was around 7 that evening, and wanted to I arrived early to warm up. My teacher sent out a text saying that the side door was having some issues and that all students should go in the front door. I thought nothing of it and went in the front. Jordan had asked me about when I was getting out of jury, and I knew the proposal was happening soon, so I thought he might take me to dinner afterwards and propose then. I had no idea he planned to pop the question immediately after I finished my jury! I chatted with a few other people waiting around for various reasons, never suspecting that Laura wasn’t actually waiting to chat with a friend– she was waiting to help Jordan with the proposal and photograph the event! After my jury, the teachers left the room for a ‘potty break’ and guided me out the side door, which Amy told me had been fixed. I exited the building and saw a group of people standing around, which was odd, and there seemed to be an air of expectation.

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Then I saw Jordan, who was wearing his navy blue suit and holding a single rose. There were rose petals on the ground making a path to him, and there were also string lights and candles around. There was music playing, which I only later recognized as “Dear Theodosia” from my favorite musical, Hamilton. I couldn’t really believe what was happening, so I asked if I should take off my backpack as a coded way of asking, “is this happening?” My friends Rebecca, Maddi, and Prince were there, as well as Amy and Nollie, the voice teachers, and Judy, the pianist. Amy told me I should take off my backpack, so I did and walked up to Jordan. He handed me the rose, then pulled the ring box out of his suit pocket and got down on one knee. I didn’t wait to answer once he asked the question: I just kissed him! Afterwards, one of the bystanders asked, “did she say yes?” and I just turned around and yelled, “What do you think?” Afterwards, we had a beautiful sunset photo session with Laura, then ended the evening with fast-food snacks to celebrate.

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Jordan: Well, essentially what happened was I decided I wanted to propose during finals week, before Anna went off on a month-long trip to Iceland. I texted Laura about her availability for the week, and she said “It would be nice if we could do it today” or something along those lines, and 2 and a half hours later I was on one knee in front of my amazing fiancée. What ensued after Laura and I decided to do it that day was a frenzy of Laura having a great time setting a beautiful scene for Anna and my engagement. The sun was set just right, the lights worked perfectly, and Anna had the cutest reaction and the most memorable line of the proposal: “should I take my backpack off?”

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Special Thanks

Laura Rowe Photo & Design
 | photographer