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The Bride Wore Markarian to Her Glamorous, Ocean’s 11-Inspired Elopement in Las Vegas

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Amy Hybarger

What may have seemed like a logistical nightmare ended up being the beginning of a marvelous love story. When a springtime snowstorm delayed her plane to Utah, Jordan Friedman, chief of staff at Ampush LLC, had to extend her stay in New York City. Her friend insisted Jordan should meet her handsome British co-worker, Ricky Bowry, a creative director at the advertising agency BBDO. With extra time to spare in the city, Jordan met the English gentleman over a dollar pizza slice.

Months later, Jordan finally moved to New York, and she and Ricky immediately had their first date. Then another, then another. As Ricky likes to say, he “scooped her up quick!”

Ricky is known for his elaborate plans and romantic gestures, so he knew he had to pull out all of the romantic stops for the proposal. Originally, he planned on proposing during the couple’s Thanksgiving 2020 trip to Utah. His mother was supposed to meet Jordan’s family for the first time, but the COVID-19 crisis prevented this opportune proposal. He reorganized his engagement strategy. Ricky convinced Jordan that one of their friends was organizing a concert in Brooklyn. So committed to the cover story, Ricky even designed a poster for this pretend event. He completely surprised Jordan on the ferry from Wall Street to Far Rockaway, when he got down onto one knee and asked her to marry him. The couple joined their friends on the beach for a celebration of their engagement.

Jordan and Ricky soon discovered that planning a wedding in 2021 left many things unresolved and open-ended. They originally hoped to elope with their immediate families and have a bigger celebration in 2022, but the US travel ban for U.K. nationals would have prevented Ricky’s side from attending. After two-and-a-half years together, Jordan and Ricky were ready to be married. “When we looked at one another and said, ‘Should we just go to Vegas?’ we knew we’d found an unforgettable way to start our marriage,” Jordan explains and adds, “Just the two of us.”

They knew that for Las Vegas nuptials, they would have to commit to the kitschy theme, while simultaneously incorporating their own styles. They strived for a classic yet glamorous aesthetic—a harmonious balance of Old Hollywood meets Ocean’s 11‘s Las Vegas. Their photographer would be integral to achieving this vision. When Jordan swiped upon Amy Hybarger‘s Instagram, she knew she found the perfect artist to take their photos. Plus, Amy’s specialization in film was another draw for the couple. “We decided this was the opportunity to have our wedding shot exclusively on film,” Jordan notes. Shooting on film would be too risky for the larger reception but just right for the intimate elopement.

This was just one of the first untraditional decisions the couple would make for their wedding. They decided to save the typical wedding practices for their larger reception in 2022 and instead embrace the kookiness of Vegas nuptials. Jordan mentions, “I didn’t want to walk down an aisle without my dad, so getting married in a drive-thru in the back of a vintage car was about as far away from our vision for next year as you can get!”

Jordan committed to the fun flair of Vegas for her bridal look. “I pretty quickly decided that I wanted to wear a short dress, but still wanted there to be something really special and unique about it,” Jordan states. She found herself returning again and again to a Markarian dress online. “I’ve been an admirer of Markarian for several years and just love the intricacy and femininity of their fabrics.”

She reached out to Markarian and began collaborating with Anneliese, “who was a literal angel and so patient through all my indecision,” Jordan gushes. Markarian added a removable train, which was particularly convenient for running around Vegas in! The ensemble truly came together with a chic short veil and whimsy statement bag from Shrimps.  On the day of the wedding, Ricky presented Jordan with her mother’s diamond tennis bracelet. “It was fun to have a little bit of her with me on the day,” she mentions, especially considering how the couple kept the elopement a secret from many of their friends.

As a self-appointed “no makeup, makeup girl,” Jordan sought a more elevated makeup look for her wedding day. Cora of Ruby Finch Salon accomplished this exact vision and more. “Since I didn’t have friends or my mom there getting ready with me,” Jordan says, “she became that person and made me feel like she was an old friend helping me get ready.”

In anticipation of the big day, Jordan and Ricky watched required Vegas viewings like Diamonds Are Forever and other James Bond films. Inspired by the suave Sean Connery, Ricky selected an all-white tuxedo from Suitsupply. Luckily, he had acquired the very last one in New York and picked it up from Hudson Yards. He paired the outfit with a tailored Suitsupply shirt, Tom Ford bowtie, and velvet loafers. Several weeks before the wedding, Ricky reached out to Jordan’s father and asked if he had any cufflinks that could be worn with the tuxedo—a thoughtful homage that could be seen on the livestream. Jordan completed Ricky’s groom look with a gold pin that featured a silhouette of a surfer, a reference to Ricky’s late father. Ricky says about the sweet gesture, “Jordan knew I would want him to be part of the day in some way.”

On July 24, 2021, Jordan and Ricky began their day lounging poolside together and jotting down the rest of their vows. Jordan had covertly asked their families to write them letters to open before the ceremony, and she presented Ricky’s letters while he got ready. She also opened hers as she dressed. “It was very emotional reading notes from our families,” Jordan confesses, “but it was such a special way to make them still feel part of it!”

Jordan and Ricky pulled into the Little White Chapel drive-thru in a red 1963 Austin Healy car, which served as their “something British.” Both Jordan and Ricky recall how special driving the streets of Vegas was. Passerbys cheered, and nearby cars honked. Their families live-streamed the entire ceremony, dressed in finery. For Ricky’s U.K.-based guests, they logged into their computers at around 4:00 a.m. Meanwhile, Jordan’s Utah-based viewers watched at a more convenient hour.

While sitting atop their car in the drive-thru lane, both Jordan and Ricky shared giddy grins. Jordan says, “There was something so intimate and vulnerable about it just being the two of us. I’ll never forget looking into Ricky’s eyes, and knowing he was now my husband!”

The newlyweds kept the revelry going at Barry’s Prime Steakhouse in a secluded dining area. The staff indulged the couple in champagne and espresso martinis before Jordan and Ricky continued the evening on the rooftop of Circa’s Hotel for cocktails and the stunning Vegas vista. As they trapezed the city, they FaceTimed their family and friends and snapped photos with strangers. “We were out until nearly 5:00 a.m.,” Jordan dishes. “Even though our family and friends weren’t there, it felt like the city was celebrating with us, and the kindness was just so special and fun!”

When the clock struck midnight, the couple had even more than their nuptials to celebrate—it was now Jordan’s birthday! While they had already enjoyed their wedding cake slices, the waiter brought out a rose with a candle for Jordan to make a wish on. Jordan laughs, “I was just so overwhelmingly happy, I was out of wishes!”

Jordan and Ricky only revealed that they had gotten married once their 2022 save the dates were sent. “We’re big on adventures, so we’re very excited to bring all our friends and family out from all over the world for a black-tie, city-meets-desert celebration in Utah next year!” The couple shares. “We really feel like we get the best of both worlds having something that was all ours this year, and then a big party with our favorite people who mean the world to us next year.”