This month we feature betrothed couple, Allie O’Brien & Jordan Roulades in our Season of Love series, catching them on their latest engagement shoots across Paris and London.
Alexandra, aka “Allie”, originally from San Francisco has been with former Kansas baseball star Jordan for 2.5 years. Whilst Allie has forged a career in tech, she is also the founder of The Chemo Club, a charitable organisation set up in honour of her late mother that aims to shatter the taboo of chemotherapy, share the stories of the ‘Chemo Club’ community, and sports a range of ostomy bag covers that both delight and dress up an otherwise functional bit of ‘C-Club’ kit.
The poster couple for trans-Atlantic love stories, this Stateside duo live in San Francisco but are soon to marry in Somerset in the Spring of 2023.
How did you meet?
Allie: It was a busy Friday night in San Francisco, and we were both out and about in the Marina district of the City. Ironically, I was on a date with someone else at our local dive bar, The Bus Stop. Jordan happened to be there too, playing an arcade game with some buddies, but as I walked in (other date in tow!) we made immediate eye contact. All it took was a flirty smirk from me and a cheeky wink from him and Jordan decided to make his move…
First date details...
Jordan: I still give Allie a hard time about our first date! She stood me up 30 minutes before we were due to meet! She claims good reason…
Allie: My best friend and I were leaving for a girls’ trip to Cabo San Lucas the next morning and as I was getting ready for my date with Jordan, I realised I forgot to get a spray tan before my trip! I sent the ultimate embarrassing text. “Hey – I’m eternally mortified, but I need to go a spray tan before my flight tomorrow any way we can raincheck?"
Jordan: I thought it was a lost cause, but some 48 hours and a few tequila shots later, she sent me a selfie. We were back on track, planning our postponed first date.
Allie: What was supposed to be a quick meet-up for a drink turned into a two-hour dinner date. A dear friend of ours was at the same restaurant and took a sneaky snap-shot, so we have a picture of our first ever date!
We see you got engaged in Montage Healdsburg, tell us everything!
Allie: It was a complete surprise!! It was two days before Christmas, and we were headed to Sonoma to spend Christmas Eve with his family. A few days prior Jordan suggested we leave early for the trip and spend the night at the Montage. He knew I’d been dying to stay at the Montage’s newest property, so I assumed that this was a spontaneous pre-Christmas gesture. That said, I did question why he was so adamant that I didn’t wear athleisure on the 2-hour drive up North. My stubborn self refused to wear anything but workout clothes – 2 hours is a long to wear a dress in a car- but as we arrived at the hotel, I immediately realised my mistake. Not only was the hotel stunningly decorated for Christmas, but as I opened the door to our room, there were hundreds of rose petals, lined with candles that lead to even more roses in the room!
As I turned back to Jordan, he was on one knee, saying the most beautiful things! After a resounding YES and a few tears later – all I could think was “I cannot believe I’m wearing ALO athleisure!” Thankfully, I did pack my festive Nadine Merabi white jumpsuit that Jordan originally suggested I wear 😉.
Did your dream of statement-sized oval diamonds? Was Jordan magically on point?
Allie: HAHA!!! I’ll give credit where credit is due – Jordan knows I absolutely adore jewellery. I love mixing metals, and gemstones and am a sucker for large solitaire earrings, honestly, if it sparkles I love it. When it came to the engagement ring though I knew I wanted something very very feminine and classic. I’ve always loved oval diamonds and what they represent: life & rebirth. After sending Jordan a few pictures of Hailey Bieber's & Princess Catherine’s ring, he designed the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen! Props to him!
Your stunning engagement shoots were taken in Paris and London, why there?
Jordan: On our 3rd / 4th date (depends who you ask) I took Allie to London & Paris – gotta make a good impression! We had the best time there, had martinis at Dukes, took high tea at the Connaught and strolled the Champs-Élysées, so it made sense to have our engagement shoots in these locations. These two magical cities cemented our relationship.
And we heard it wasn't all plane sailing...
Allie: I had always imagined our engagement shoot to be romantic, whimsical, and glamorous… it turned out quite opposite! It ended up being the most stressful trip of our lives.
Arriving in Paris, it quickly became clear that Jordan’s luggage did not make the flight. His photoshoot outfits, which took weeks to put together, by the way, were sat in Rome. Since our first photo shoot was at 6 am the next day, we had 30 mins before store closing time to rally up a wardrobe. Fortunately, we found one open; the sales associates watched in amusement, possibly horror, as we rushed in and grabbed whatever we could find in Jordan’s size.
As we sat for dinner, I received an email from our photographer. Assuming she was confirming the next day's shoot, I ignored it and continued chatting with Jordan. Minutes later and my phone was blowing up. This renowned photographer had somehow double booked and was out of the country!! I’d love to say I held it together, but I had a major breakdown. WE HAD FLOWN IN FOR THIS!!
Jordan, the ying to my yang, kept it calm. Fortunately, an alternative photographer was located, kudos to @videoparis, who not only saved the shoot, but captured the most stunning photos.
Jordan: And the cherry on top? 5 am, jetlagged, getting ready for the 6 am shoot, I see a button fly off my brand-new shirt as I attempt to fasten it. The sales associate had packed me off with the wrong, barely fitting shirt size! One to look back on…and laugh.
You've opted to marry in Somerset, why UK countryside over stateside? How's that going?
Jordan: England just holds a special place in our hearts as Allie used to live there for a few years and we’ve always had a great time there. Post-pandemic, our friends and family are also keen to travel, and we cannot think of a better place to celebrate our love with our closest friends and family. When we picture our wedding, we imagine a beautiful and sacred ceremony, followed by a wild party.
Allie: Planning has been so fun, especially with the help of our lovely wedding planners, Alexandra M and Emma S from The Bijou Studio. That said, planning a wedding overseas can have its challenges, but I feel completely at ease with these women at the helm.
May 2023 cannot come soon enough!!