When many people think about marriage, they think of marrying the love of their life, someone they’ve known forever — or at least that they feel like they’ve known forever.
But not Gunnar Michels. The Shippensburg and Theta Xi alum recently went viral on TikTok for his search to find a stranger willing to marry him in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day.
But where did the idea to marry a stranger come from?
“So I made a video before that one, where I got a tattoo with a stranger. And this is my first tattoo. And I kind of wanted to do it with someone random. And I wanted to do it again. But I wanted to up the scale. So that’s where I came up with the kind of ridiculous idea of getting married to someone,” Michels said.
Michels’ search for a wife quickly blew up but even with over 1,000 girls interested in marrying him, one girl stood out the most. Danielle Ellinad posted a video application that received more than 7 million views, and included showing off her ambulance, which she converted and lives in.
“Before I looked at her profile, I saw that she did van life. I’ve kind of been dreaming about living out of a van for a really long time. So that was obviously like a massive turn on. And then she posted the video saying that we can take her ambulance and I’m like, I gotta talk to her. So after we FaceTimed, it was like, it had to be her,” Michels said.
After deciding to marry Ellinad, Michels traveled to Pittsburgh to propose and meet her family.
The proposal was the first time the pair had met, aside from FaceTiming every day. After Ellinad accepted his proposal, the two went out for dinner after which Michels met her family.
“Her mom is absolutely phenomenal. And her dad is a lot like my dad. He doesn’t like to talk as much, but they were very accepting,” Michels said.
Soon after that, the pair headed off on an almost week-long road trip across the country to Las Vegas.
Along the way, they stopped in Nashville, Tennessee, and even made a pit stop to see the Grand Canyon, where Michels met his best man the day before the wedding.
The wedding was held at the Fabulous Las Vegas sign, and afterward they enjoyed a nice dinner compliments of MGM Grand Hotel.
The pair also hit the casino to celebrate, and of course filmed and uploaded content of their whole experience for their followers.
When asked about his relationship with Danielle moving forward Michels said: “We’re navigating our relationship now, obviously the intention was to get divorced. That was the conditions that I made for everyone when I sent out the feelers. So I think we still intend on doing that. But that doesn’t mean that’s the end of us, you know what I mean? And our relationship together, whether that be romantic or platonic, I think that there’s definitely a future for us.”