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November 23, 2020

Wedding Feature: Dunja + Xander

We were so honored to play at Dunja + Xander’s gorgeous and energy-filled wedding! We are excited to share their journey as a couple: the story of how they met, and how they managed to create an incredible final result filled with joy and love.

Tell us the story of how you two met.
We met through an online dating app, but we didn’t behave the way most people do on those sites – we didn’t become flirty pen pals for months, but instead exchanged five messages that were essentially “hey, you seem cool, when can you meet up?” and then picked a night that week to meet for drinks. An hour after meeting, we had covered all the no-nos: exes, religion, and politics. We each immediately recognized that we had met someone smart, funny, intelligent, curious – it was rare for both of us to hit it off so quickly with someone.

John W Photography

What made you decide that this was the right person to be with for the rest of your life?
Xander: It wasn’t any one thing. I was going through a really difficult time with my family, and she helped carry me through it all. She cheered me up, kept me grounded, and loved me without judgement. I remember thinking to myself, “She’s absolutely perfect. Why would you ever want this to end?” Dunja: It was truly organic – our relationship unfolded so easily, so comfortably. Through some unusual circumstances, we ended up moving in together about 2 months into the relationship, and yet it just felt right. From very early on, I just felt like I was “home” with him, and somehow I knew that we were just…. permanent. He really understands me – and he REALLY listens. I am constantly marveling that we were lucky enough to be matched to each other on that dating app!

What do you enjoy most about each other’s company?
What we enjoy most is the laughter. We don’t want to imagine what our lives would be like without it. We both relish making each other giggle and guffaw, as if it’s an accomplishment every time. We work hard to find joy in each other, especially when times get tough. We give each other permission to be as silly as humanly possible. The silliness keeps us young, and keeps our spirits high, even in the face of some really challenging life circumstances (like a global pandemic for the first 8 months after the wedding!!)

How was your experience with Lucky Devils Band?
Lucky Devils Band was, without a doubt, our single greatest decision for that weekend (short of not calling the whole thing off). When we started searching for live music, Lucky Devils was actually the first band we checked out. We were really impressed by the talent of the musicians, but we told ourselves not to be the people who just hire the first band they see. So we did our homework, and we shopped around. But we kept coming back to the Lucky Devils showcases because they were just so much fun. As the wedding approached and the world started to crumble around us, Mike Smirnoff kept checking in to see how he could help. On the night of, the band brought their A-game. The music was phenomenal, and we got the feeling that everyone was genuinely happy to be there and celebrate with us. We know that our wedding was probably the last live performance many of them gave, and we are eternally grateful that they made it so special.

What was your favorite song you danced to at your wedding?
Higher and Higher – it was the first song to kick off the “dance party” portion of the evening, and it brought all of our guests out to the floor at once.

Share one special memory from your wedding with us.
One memory that feels special is when we stood up to give our toast before dinner. We looked out at a room full of people who loved us enough to fly thousands of miles to be there – Dunja’s best friend and her family – from Massachusetts and New Jersey, and Xander’s best man – from South Korea (!!) We spent so much time crying the previous week watching our guest list dwindle as the world fell apart. In the early days of the pandemic, when so much was unknown and everyone was feeling uncertainty, these people put aside their own fears to support us and celebrate with us. In that moment, our hearts were so full they could burst.

John W Photography

Do you have any advice for couples as they plan for their wedding?
Do what you have to do, and don’t sweat the little stuff. You’re kidding yourself if you think that everything will go exactly according to plan. We expected things to go wrong. Maybe the cake would be late, or the photographer couldn’t be reached. We didn’t expect to lose half our guests the week before the wedding, or to be stealing rolls of toilet paper from our hotel room on our way out the door. But you know what? We had an amazing time. And when we look back on that weekend, our hearts swell with joy. So if your flowers aren’t exactly perfect, or you’ve got blisters from your shoes… it’s okay. We’ve seen friends get married over Zoom this year, and that’s okay too. At the end of the day, your wedding is about the two of you. It’s about your love, and the joy you bring to each other. Everything else is just window dressing.