How We Met
Jordan and I met in quite the unconventional way—a serendipitous moment around car-buying. I was based in California, moving east to Boston, and Jordan was a business development manager at Autofair Volkswagen, a car dealership in Nashua, New Hampshire, about 45 minutes outside of Boston. In search of a very specific VW Jetta, I took to the Internet to find the best deal from California to Maine—as fate would have it, I found the car in Nashua, New Hampshire, at Jordan’s dealership. I bought it online, site-unseen, and Jordan was my key contact.
Over the course of the buying process, I got to know Jordan’s character. So, when it came time to pick up my car, I asked him to dinner, which turned into a day-long date in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where we took our first “couples photo” on a rock wall on Star Island off the coast of Portsmouth. We became a couple that week, and here we are today, engaged after I popped the question!
How They Asked
One New England couple isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic or social distancing get in the way of love. Massachusetts-based small business owner Erica Swallow and New Hampshire native and restaurateur Jordan Reynolds were engaged this month after a friends-and-family-filled scavenger hunt across New Hampshire’s capital city of Concord.
“The pandemic made me realize how short life is,” says Swallow. “I decided to propose to Jordan because I realized he’s a perfect match for me. Why not just go for it, right?”
Though it’s quite rare for women to propose to men—97% of grooms report having proposed to their brides—Swallow says her boyfriend had actually requested she be the one to propose when they were ready.
“He’s such a feminist,” Swallow says of her now-fiancé. “When we started dating, he said he had one stipulation to us becoming a couple: that I would be the one to propose. I loved that and was all about making it big for him.”
The proposal took place on the couple’s two-year dating anniversary and brought together family and friends from five states—both digitally and socially-distanced in-person. The group of 15 loved ones, plus Swallow, conducted a six-checkpoint scavenger hunt.
Sticking with pandemic guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, attendees wore face masks and maintained six feet of distance, with the exception of distancing from isolation buddies.
Reynolds traversed from checkpoint to checkpoint, reading clue cards aloud and getting encouraging words of love from his and Swallow’s loved ones. Stops included the couple’s first date spot (Hermano’s Cocina Mexicana), favorite breakfast joint (The Works Cafe), and go-to vegan cookie stop (Concord Food Co-op) to the historic New Hampshire State House, beautiful White Park, and the Reynolds residence.
Back at the Reynolds residence—home of the groom-to-be’s mother—Swallow proposed, presenting an emerald and diamond men’s engagement ring. And he said ‘yes!’ “I listened to Jordan to understand what he might like in a ring,” Swallow says. “He had lamented that only women get shiny rocks, so I took that as a hint that he’d prefer a stone rather than a simple band. I chose an emerald, set between two diamonds because I felt the emerald was a better representation of our relationship.
Emeralds are not only more colorful and vibrant than diamonds, but they are also 20 times rarer than diamonds and come with flaws and inclusions that are seen as not only acceptable but oftentimes unique and desirable. Unlike diamonds—the hardest material on earth—emeralds demand more care.
That, to me, is a realistic expectation for a relationship. But when the times get tough, that’s when our friends and family come in—those are the diamonds that surround our emeralds. I designed our rings to complement one another, so we’ll always feel connected to each other when we look at them.”
The rings were custom-designed and produced locally by Boston jeweler Iqbal Khan, GIA Gemologist, and owner of Khan Diamonds. The emeralds were sourced from Colombia while the diamonds were sourced from America’s leading jewelry manufacturer and distributor Stuller. So, what does Reynolds think of getting the girl and the proposal?
“It’s just so Erica to make something so special and make you feel like you’re just the most important person,” he says. “I love her so much.” Then with tears in his eyes, he added, “And I didn’t even cry at all, so that was cool. They’re going to edit it out.”
The proposal video was filmed by Loon Weddings, a wedding media company based in southern New Hampshire.
“What an unforgettable experience,” says Brad Preston, founder, and videographer at Loon Weddings. “With the way the world has been distancing us all lately, this video was a great way to bring Erica, Jordan, and their loved ones a little bit closer together. We are in this industry to not just film these special moments, but to also help couples relive those memories. We can’t wait for Erica and Jordan’s wedding.”
While it’s still uncertain when the pandemic will end, this happy couple has found the silver lining and taken the next step toward forever and always.