It’s only fitting that Jordan Mailata, an offensive left tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, met his future wife by (gently!) bumping into her: He and Niki Louse Ikahihifo-Bender first crossed paths in Philadelphia’s crowded Reading Market, in between Godshall’s Poultry and Nanee’s Kitchen, reflects the bride. She was in town with her family to attend her father’s 50th medical school reunion; he’d just been drafted to the Eagles, and had dragged a few of his buddies into the bustling marketplace as they made their way into Chinatown for lunch.
Exactly four years later, on May 19, 2022, Jordan brough Niki back to the scene of their meet-cute to get down on one knee. “Jordan rented out the market for the evening, hired All About Events for planning and decoration assistance, and invited friends and family to surprise us there afterwards,” says Niki. “He told me in the preceding weeks that the Eagles were having an evening event at the market for corporate sponsors, and that he needed to make an appearance—he even had the Eagles send him a made-up text about the event with background details, a dress code, and a note that he was getting paid.”
As they planned their wedding, they kept their global guest list top of mind: They had friends and family flying in from all corners of the world, from Australia and Alaska to London, so they needed a locale that most could access via direct flight. That ultimately led to their decision to host their nuptials in the Golden State, and, after driving from Northern California all the way down to Los Angeles, the couple landed on The Montage Healdsburg. The property also afforded the duo and several of their high-profile guests privacy: “As many of the Eagles players would be attending, we also wanted to provide our guests with complete exclusivity of the resort and at our events so they could really enjoy the festivities,” says Niki. “That said, we arranged to secure a complete buy-out of all guest rooms that Montage has to offer so the entire resort was filled only with our guests.”
Just over a year after Jordan proposed, the pair was married on July 1, 2023—but not before kicking off their wedding weekend with a few meaningful celebrations, one of which honored their shared Polynesian heritages. Dive into the pair’s organic, modern Thursday rehearsal dinner, planned by Hannah Rose Event Design, and their luau-inspired Friday night welcome party, designed and executed by MaKela Allen of Cole Drake Events here; photographer Greg Finck captured all of the neutral-turned-colorful details.
The Montage Healdsburg hosted all of Niki and Jordan’s pre-wedding and wedding events, starting with their rehearsal dinner, which they held under a vine-covered pergola on the property’s patio.
Playing into the rehearsal dinner’s neutral, organic, and modern theme, Niki stepped into a black Oscar de la Renta jumpsuit emblazoned with colorful florals and butterflies; a blazer from The Attico and Aquazzura heels completed her look. Jordan tapped Zegna to create his custom tan suit, which he paired with a simple white t-shirt.
Black and white details conveyed an effortless, contemporary vibe, starting with the acrylic seating chart suspended from a black metal stand. The groom played a hand in plotting out each guest’s spot: “Jordan used printer paper, all my index cards, and the worst pictures he could find of all our rehearsal dinner guests to make a big interactive seating chart,” says the bride, which later led to the final (photo-free) iteration.
The couple really leaned into their signature drink selection at the rehearsal dinner and beyond. “We selected two signature cocktails for each event and came up with fun names for them that reflect our backgrounds,” says the bride. The bar also served up a mix of spirits, wine (including the aptly named Jordan chardonnay from Davis Bynum), and beer.
“We approached each event individually, as we wanted them to represent a very different vibe and aesthetic,” notes the bride. “We relied on my long-time friend, Hannah, to put together our modern, intimate rehearsal dinner.” The couple kept linens and florals predominantly neutral, letting the lush setting—including the vine-covered pergola overhead and sweeping lavender-filled views—do the majority of the work. Small compote floral arrangements in a mix of pink, purple, and cream shades were kept low to facilitate conversation; taupe taper candles and suspended orbs filled with tea lights cast a pretty glow as the sun set.
An inky menu, which conveyed the Caesar salad, seared scallops, and beef short rib bourguignon meal to come, was placed at each white ceramic setting; matte black-handled gold cutlery offset the otherwise classic china.
For the remainder of the Thursday event, the pair dined and mingled with their guests, listened to speeches (including one from the groom), and grounded themselves before the rest of their wedding weekend’s events unfolded.
The couple’s Friday-night welcome party was inspired by their shared culture: “Both Jordan and I are Polynesian; Jordan is Samoan, and I am Tongan,” says the bride. The celebration honored these roots via bright colors, island prints, and plenty of patterns.
When attendees arrived on-site, they were greeted by another black metal sign—but this one was punched up with a black-and-white photo of Niki and Jordan and a mix of vibrant blooms, including alliums, sweet pea, and roses. The open outdoor space was awash with color and filled with jute, velvet, rattan, and oak wood lounge furniture topped with butterfly-print pillows; coffee tables held small, almost neon-hued floral arrangements.
Both the bride and groom took the welcome party’s upbeat, tropical theme to heart when selecting their attire: Niki opted for a black and white Brandon Maxwell sheath dress with a holographic-inspired floral print, which she emphasized with orange wedges from The Attico. Jordan chose a pink bespoke short suit and an island-inspired printed shirt—with a pattern that spoke to Niki’s ensemble—by Musika.
“Our stationer, Ji Kim-Fung, killed it with customizations,” says the bride. “We had custom napkins made for each event. The welcome party napkins had an illustration of Jordan and me on them.”
The food, the performances, the aesthetic—it felt like a real tropical party in the middle of wine country.
The couple’s event planner, MaKela, had the great idea to design a luau-inspired evening “without the event becoming too gimmicky,” notes Niki. “The food, the performances, the aesthetic—it felt like a real tropical party in the middle of wine country.”
All of Niki and Jordan’s guests—including Eagles center Jason Kelce—got in on the welcome event’s colorful dress code.
“We dedicated our welcome party to our cultures and had family and close friends perform Polynesian dances,” says Niki. The pair ended the night with a fire show performed by a group of Polynesian fire-dancers from Maui, Hawaii.