Jordan and Brendan

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How We Met

Almost 6 years ago, this handsome man slid into my DM’s asking me if I was going to the Superbowl. My response was “if you want to take me” along with my number, and the rest is history.

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Some backstory, a week before his message, I had passed on the title of Miss Arizona USA 2014. I was in a very transitional period in my life and had no intention of meeting anyone. Brendan was working as a sideline assistant for NBC Sunday Night Football (hence the Superbowl offer) while attending college in Newport, Rhode Island. We connected instantly and built a really strong foundation for a friendship. We began Facetiming every day, meeting each other’s friends and families without knowing if this would ever materialize into a relationship.

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My mom and sister were equally as surprised by how natural our relationship was developing. 3 months later, on a random Friday in January, my friends took me out to a happy hour & when I returned home I saw my mom and sister giddy on the couch. That’s when Brendan appeared in the kitchen saying “I came out early to surprise you and see if we could actually make this relationship work.” I’ve never been that surprised in my life (well, until the proposal). We spend 10 days together, and once I dropped him off at the airport I knew this is someone I couldn’t live without. I flew to NYC to meet him for Valentine’s day, and as he picked me up on Feb 12th, 2015, we officially became a couple.

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A lot has happened since then. We’ve done a long-distance relationship for 7 months until we both graduated college. Brendan moved to Arizona to be with me for 1.5 years before we spontaneously booked a one-way ticket to New York City. We moved without jobs, without a clear direction of what we wanted, but a deep curiosity & knowing that we both were made for more. In the last 4 years, we both landed our dream jobs, him in sales, and me modeling professionally full time, moved 5 times, got a puppy, and built a life we loved. We were so preoccupied, and we had no plans to get engaged or married, but we’ve always known that this was a forever thing.

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On March 13th COVID hit the city, and we made the abrupt decision to come back to AZ to be with family until the virus got under control. Once we understood how serious COVID is, we decided to move out of the city and to AZ full time. As tough as this year has been, it’s also put so much into perspective for us and given us the time to focus on what we truly want without distractions. I built a female empowerment company, Brendan got promoted at work, and we started having serious conversations about what we wanted the next chapter of our lives to look like.

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How They Asked

We went ring shopping when we were in NYC, so I knew that *eventually* it was coming. However, when COVID hit, it delayed a lot of plans for Brendan. We put the discussion on the back-burner while we both adjusted to this “new normal.”

As the holidays were approaching, I began dropping hints but no one was giving me any clarity. His mom was coming to town to spend Christmas with my family, so I went & got my nails done just in case lol. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day came & went, and Brendan could tell I was disappointed. He proceeded to tell me “there was a delay with the ring, just hold on until our 6 year anniversary” which was in February. So I completely shut off any hope that it was coming in the near future.

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December 26th is my best friend, Lex’s, birthday and I typically join her family for a celebratory dinner. She texted me telling me to dress up & go all out since we hadn’t throughout quarantine. My mom and sis poured me some wine, and I took me sweeeet time to get ready. I was under the impression my sister was staying home with the dogs, and both moms were going to a dinner of their own. On the drive to The Sanctuary (an hour away), Brendan distracted me with all my favorite songs so I wouldn’t notice how slow he was driving. Come to find out, my sister had to beat us to the venue to videotape the whole proposal.

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As we arrived, Lex told us to meet her outside for a drink. On the walk down, Brendan proceeded to take my mask off as I saw rose petals spelling out “Marry Me?” on the lawn. I was absolutely shocked, especially knowing the night before he told me it wasn’t coming soon. The rest becomes a blur for me, I know it was filled with crying & laughing as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him & I said “of course.”

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There was a restaurant above us where a crowd was cheering, and that’s when I saw my sister & Lex come out of hiding to hug me with champagne. It was the most overwhelming, magical moment of my life. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. We went to have dinner at my favorite restaurant where my mom, soon to be mother and law, and grandma were waiting to celebrate. All of the most important people in my life were involved that day, it still feels like a dream.

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The following day we had a private brunch at The Phoenician to continue the celebration & have a feeling we’re going to keep the celebration going all of 2021.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Janelle Etzel
 | Photographer