When Jordan first spotted Jessie in 2004 at a Princeton University tailgate party, his friends told him she was way out of his league. "She was a sophisticated senior, and I was an immature sophomore," says Jordan, now 27. Still, she felt a spark. "He was cute and funny," says Jessie, 29, a registered dietitian. "But I was about to graduate and move to New York. The timing wasn't right." They stayed in touch, but things didn't turn romantic until Jordan's senior year, when he called Jessie to tell her he'd accepted a job at a private-equity firm in New York. "That night we went out and had our first kiss," he says. "My wear-down method worked!"
In 2011, after dinner at their favorite restaurant, Cafe Cluny, Jordan dropped to one knee on the sidewalk and asked her to marry him. Her answer: a resounding yes. "We just balance each other out—he's a risk taker, and I'm more serious," she says. Both, however, are huge animal lovers, which made choosing the American Museum of Natural History as their site an easy decision. Says Jessie, a Manhattan native, "We wanted something quintessentially New York but still unexpected."