Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We met at our previous place of work and only really started talking at a co-worker’s birthday.
We ended up staying out until 3 AM that night, hours after everyone else had left, just talking about life and what we hated the most- marriage and commitment. That night, he told me his favorite song was Sound & Vision by David Bowie and being a Bowie fan myself, I set out on a mission to find a vinyl copy of Low as a gift to him for his birthday. Four record stores later, I found one. I wrapped it and left it at his desk. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so shaky as I did that morning. He later told me that was one of the most meaningful gifts he had ever received. I couldn’t tell you why I did that now, I just saw something special in him. A few months later, I proposed to him. It was simple and impulsive and I didn’t even have a ring! He immediately accepted and proposed right back some months after that. We have been inseparable ever since. I just thank my lucky stars this amazing man loves me as much as I love him, quirks and all. – Milena
We have a wonderful relationship in that we are best friends and partners through everything. People have said we’re the same person in different bodies and we fully believe that. We have a home and two beautiful four-legged babies to round out our family. We have even developed a love for trash TV together! Coming home to each other every day after work is the best part of our days. We don’t like spending too much time away from each other and hope that in the future, we will be able to work together again and ultimately blend into one big blob known only as Minar. We value and cherish each other and feel how fortunate we are to have ended up living this life at the same time every single day. We never believed in true love…until we found each other.
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…
We wanted our wedding to be very intimate so we only invited the core people in our lives. We had a total of 22 guests, including ourselves and our photographer. We fell in love and bought our first home in Phoenix, Arizona so we couldn’t think of any other place that would be better than Phoenix to get married in. We had planned a trip to Kyoto, Japan a few months prior to getting married so we thought it’d be a fun idea to go with the Japanese theme for our ceremony and found ourselves in the Japanese Friendship Garden, tucked in the middle of the city. The contrast between the buildings and the foliage really did it for us. The morning of, we went and got manicures & pedicures together. We got ready and dressed together and drove down to the Garden together to walk hand in hand to the location of our ceremony. We asked our good friend to marry us and despite having never officiated before, he did a fantastic job. We added a violinist to play a few songs prior to and after our ceremony which included songs by the Talking Heads, the Zombies and of course, David Bowie, which was the cherry on top of an already special moment for us.
We had previously dined at this small local restaurant about five minutes from our house and loved it so much we wanted to share it with our guests. When it came down to the food, there really was no other place that we liked even half as much as Restaurant Progress and luckily, the patio area was just right for a party of our size. Everything came together so perfectly and we were able to enjoy our special night with the ones who mattered most.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Altogether, I bought three different dresses and four pairs of shoes. I’ve never been one to plan ahead for anything in my life so this was quite the feat. I started out with a vintage 60’s tulip-style dress, which was yellow. I wasn’t sure about it so I continued on with the search knowing if nothing else came up, at least I had a backup. Then I found another vintage dress, this time from the 50’s, which was white. This one was an actual wedding dress but it didn’t feel quite right. After giving up countless times, Gunnar pretty much forced me to go into a Neiman Marcus and the staffed stylist pulled out the dress that I ultimately got married in. I didn’t like it at first but after I put it on, I felt like it was different enough to fit my personal style and classic enough for it to be cemented in my wedding pictures forever. Looking back on it, I am so glad I ever tried it on. I see the pictures from that wonderful day and see me, like I see myself every other day and not like someone else pretending to be a bride. – Milena
I knew from the beginning I wanted a funky suit, one that would stand out and make me feel unique but that didn’t seem like a costume. I thought blue would be a nice color considering Milena wanted to wear blue shoes with her dress, and that the two would tie our outfits together nicely. I started by going to Macy’s and all I could find were business suits that were incredibly bland and meant for wearing in an office. I started to get discouraged, but I knew that maybe I needed to step it up and head to the Saks next door to find something more flashy. Right away, I noticed this bright blue suit and decided to try it on feeling pretty confident that would be the one. I noticed this purple shirt nearby that stood out to me, and I thought the two might look nice together. I went to the dressing room, changed, and walked out to a few faces (including the staff stylist) nodding their head in approval. When I saw myself, I knew right away I had to have it. I never felt so confident in my appearance in my life. I am usually a very casual person, so to see myself look so sharp, and witness the face my future wife was giving me, told me this was the suit for me. It may have been the first suit that I tried on, but just like with Milena, I knew right away it was the one for me. -Gunnar
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
My brother was here from Norway and gave the most touching speech that had many of us in tears. We don’t get to see each other very often anymore since he lives so far away, and to have him come to the wedding and talk about how much he looked up to me when we were younger to all our friends and family made me feel incredible, and helped to make the wedding even more intimate and special than it already was. Other highlights were walking around and taking pictures in all the beautiful and weird places around downtown Phoenix with my newly wedded wife, as well as finishing the evening at our favorite restaurant eating incredible food with wonderful people in perfect spring weather. I couldn’t have imagined the evening turning out any better than it did. -Gunnar
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Yes- Do whatever the hell YOU want. When we got engaged, everybody put their two cents in and gave us advice on where to have the wedding, who to invite, what to wear, when to do it, what kind of food we should have- you name it, we heard it. After almost going to City Hall and getting married alone we said “screw that!” and started planning a small wedding that would have “us” written all over even the tiniest details. Sure, we had to omit a lot of unnecessary guests and gave up a ton of gifts because of it but it’s what we wanted. If a big wedding with your extended family is what you want, or no wedding at all, stay genuine to yourselves and do what feels right.
Talk about your future plans honestly, put everything out in the open and be vulnerable with your partner. The best way to maintain a sincere relationship is through communication and understanding. Admit when you’re wrong and apologize when you need to. Always think of your partner but take care of yourself too. Pay attention to small details and be thankful for what the other person does for you. Life gets a little too crowded sometimes so make sure to take alone time for just the two of you seriously. Above all, remind each other why you fell in love in the first place. Don’t ever take your relationship for granted.
Photographer: Jamie Allio | Ceremony location: Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix Arizona | Reception location & Catering: Restaurant Progress | Entertainment: Tobie Milford, Violinist | Flora: Butterfly Petals | Cake: Treehouse Bakery | Bride’s dress: Anabella Dress by Alexis | Groom’s attire: Emporio Armani | Rings: Hamra Jewellers | Shoes: Kenneth Cole Lex Sandals & Rail Everett Derby Men’s Shoes | Hair & Makeup: Kiana Waltz