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‘I married a stranger I met on TikTok for fun – then we fell in love’

Two perfect strangers got married and embarked on a road trip across the US. Neither of them imagined they’d still be together two years later

Emma Dunn
Monday 17 April 2023 16:10 BST
Two strangers got married after meeting on TikTok for fun

A woman who married a stranger she met on TikTok for "life experience" fell in love with her husband and "couldn’t be happier".

Danielle Gross, 26, jumped at the chance to tie the knot with Gunnar Michels, 26, when she saw his video asking a stranger to marry him.

The content creator had always felt she would get married in a “silly way” and, after chatting for less than a week, Gunnar surprised Danielle by coming to her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, to propose.

Two weeks later, the strangers took a road trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, US, to wed on Valentine’s Day 2021.

Gunnar and Danielle admit they had planned to divorce a week later but as they got to know each other their relationship blossomed.

In March 2021 they started travelling across America in a converted ambulance and have now settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, and are looking to buy a home together.

Danielle said: “I always had the idea in my head that any way I got married it would be something silly – like Vegas.

“So when I saw Gunnar’s video I thought: ‘This is the silly way.' I had to jump on the opportunity.

“Our original plan was to get divorced a week after the wedding. But then we were chatting and thought let's keep talking as friends and then it became something more.

“Gunnar and I never would have gone up to each other in a bar. It opened our eyes to other people.”

Gunnar, a video creator, said: “Looking back it seems like a story. It doesn’t feel real. But it definitely happened.”

Gunnar had the idea to find a stranger to marry him during the pandemic in January 2021.

He said: “In the pandemic I was looking for a way to make content and meet people. I came up with this idea of getting married to a stranger. It was pretty wild.

“I wasn’t seriously looking for a life partner - more to have a life experience. So many people wanted to do it. I got them to make a video for me on why they would be a good fit for me.”

Danielle Gross with Gunner Michels (Danielle Gross / SWNS)

Danielle was among the thousands of strangers competing for Gunnar’s marriage: “My video went viral. I had an army of people getting him to pick me,” she said.

The pair started chatting and FaceTimed twice before Gunnar surprised Danielle by driving down to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, get down on one knee. He met Danielle’s family that night. They were sceptical of the marriage – but are now supportive of the pair.

The couple drove to Las Vegas two weeks later and tied the knot on Valentine's Day, but were not expecting the marriage to last.

Gunnar said: “It’s blossomed into a really healthy relationship as we’ve got to know each other. There was no pressure on it to work out.”

The pair dived in head first and have spent the last two year travelling around 50 states of America in a converted ambulance, where there was “nothing to do but talk”.

The happy couple say their personalities “complement each other”.

Danielle said "We have the same core values. Even though our personalities are different – deep inside we are the same."

The pair are taking a break from travelling and moved into a home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, in February 2023 but are both still lovers of spontaneity.

Danielle said: “We could buy a house tomorrow. We could leave for Europe tomorrow.

“Our families have both been really happy for us. They all get along. My friends can’t believe we’re still together.

“It is something I’d suggest for others to do. It opened our eyes to other people. If you’re open minded it’s a really interesting concept.”


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