Emerald Forest



Words by Carly, Head Planner and Owner of Emerald Engagements

As we all learn to adapt to the new landscape of 2020 has bestowed upon us all, the wedding industry is no exception and has been rocked hard. To adjust, a group of talented vendors came together to showcase what a social distance wedding can look like and demonstrate that it can still be perfect! 

How did you meet?

Jordan: I’m originally from Los Angeles and moved across the country to Philadelphia to start a new job after college. I didn’t know anybody in the city, so I checked out different spots around the city on my own. I grabbed a coffee at a shop called Milk and Honey, where Brett was working as a barista. I asked him for some recommendations of places to check out nearby, and we chatted for a little while about how I just moved, what brought me to Philadelphia, etc. 

He gave me his number if I had more questions about the city, so we started texting. 

A few days later, on the day before my birthday, I didn’t have any plans because I was still new to the city, so Brett invited me over for drinks. We spent all night talking about random things like color theory and music, and when the clock struck midnight, he gave me a birthday kiss, and I went home for the night. The rest is history.


Brett: I was working at a coffee shop called Milk and Honey in Philly, and on a late September day, Jordan came in, just after our morning rush. He ordered his coffee and sat down, and I didn’t think much of him at first because I was still trying to get everything cleaned up. He came up to me later with his empty cup and asked about local spots to try, as he was new to the area. It was then that I saw his adorable smile and knew I had to take my shot. I told him about all of my favorite spots within walking distance and gave him my number if he had any questions. 

After a few days of texting, I invited him over for a drink, and we chatted for hours about everything and nothing. It took me at least three hours of talking before I could muster up the courage to kiss him, but I’m so glad I did.


What is your favorite memory together?

Jordan: For Brett’s 25th birthday, we went on a trip to Albuquerque. On our last night there, we drove until we found a random trailhead off the highway and wandered into a forest until we found a beautiful spot that overlooked the city. After setting up a blanket and laying out there until the sunset, we trekked back to the car because we didn’t want to get caught out in the dark. By the time we got back to the car, we weren’t ready to end the night yet, so we laid the blanket back out in the parking lot and laid there until our eyes adjusted to the dark. 

It was the first time I ever saw the Milky Way galaxy, and just lying there under the universe was a beautiful experience I got to share with him. 


Brett: Jordan loves scenic views, could be mountains, bodies of water, or skylines, and he has the skill to find the best spots for sunset viewings. One of my favorite memories is in our first apartment together, going up to the roof to watch the sunset over the Philly skyline. We would sit on the stairs huddled close together and talk about everything and nothing, just enjoying the view and each other’s presence.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?

Jordan: When my job relocated us from Philadelphia to Seattle, the moving company took a while to get our furniture moved across the country. We didn’t want to buy furniture we didn’t need, so we decided to tough it out for about three weeks in an almost completely empty apartment. 

We had no seating, slept on a mattress pad for the first two weeks, and one of our cats started to become sick. We, unfortunately, had to put her down on the day our furniture finally was shipped. 

Dealing with living in such a depressing situation and needing to say goodbye to a part of our family was tough, but we could get through it together.


Brett: The biggest challenge definitely was moving across the country. 

I grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Iowa, and then moved to Philadelphia once I graduated, so I was used to moving a lot, but never to the country’s opposite side. 

It was a tough choice, but I wanted to be there for Jordan. 

The entire first month, we existed off of bland meals and gelato from Fainting Goat. We refused to buy more spices and cooking things because all of it was being moved. 

Looking back, it helped us form a solid bond, and we know that we can live in a variety of less than ideal situations and still be happy with each other. 


Tell us your favorite thing about one another.

Jordan: Brett is so easy going, and I tend to be a little high maintenance. He really can calm me down when I get frustrated and always knows how to make me feel better when I’m having a rough day.

BONUS: Brett knows how to make a great cocktail.


Brett: I am super easily distracted and tend to get excited and not speak in full sentences, and Jordan has the superpower to understand me in a way no one else can. 

He is a great listener; he is my biggest cheerleader and my best friend.   


What’s in the future for you both?

Jordan: I’m in a job that likes to move me around the country, so for now, I’m just seeing where life wants to take me and enjoying the ride. We love to travel, so we’re hoping to keep exploring the world and enjoying the sights and foods the world has to offer. 

Brett is starting his own business as an event florist, so we might look into being partners both in business and life and build something from the ground up in the future.


Brett: I started my own Floral business this year, and Jordan has been beside me every step of the way. It’s been a big journey starting from scratch, but I’m optimistic about our growth and future. It would be amazing to bring Jordan in with his logistical mind and savvy with computers to help me spread more beauty to the world, but for now, he is there to help make dinner on the nights I’m swamped and to listen to me when I need to talk through problems. 


Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Jordan: I’m just touched that we’re able to share our story, not only as an ordinary couple but as an openly gay couple. We’re surrounded by beautiful people that accept us, and it means a lot that we get to provide even more visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community.


Brett: I feel truly blessed to have met Jordan. He has brought so much joy, laughter, and happiness to my life. 

Growing up, I didn’t know what the future held, but going through it side by side with him has been magical. 

It also feels fantastic to share our story in a place where stories like ours weren’t seen. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and feel all the love.

Photography by TMinspired


Catering Pour Girls and Some Guys

Cinematographer Ochoa Wedding Films

Decorative Elements Grand Event Rentals

Desserts Snohomish Pie Company

Florist Fern Hollow Florals

Planner Emerald Engagements

Stationery Impress Ink

Venue The Emerald Forest