Tradition was never their thing. Why start with a wedding?

Like so many couples before them, Constance Kelly Daniels and Emir Muhovic met in a bar. But they had taken very different paths to end up there.

Ms. Daniels, who goes by Kelly, was born and raised in Panama City, Florida.

Mr. Muhovic fled his home in war-torn Bosnia in 1992 when he was just 15 years old. After spending some time in Germany, he immigrated to the United States in 2001.

Cut to the fateful night in August 2011 in an Atlanta bar. Ms. Daniels, now 38, found Mr. Muhovic, 45, handsome, so he approached him. “I flat out told him, ‘I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but I have a girlfriend,'” Mr. Muhovic said.

“When he said that, I just said ‘whatever’ and tried to be nice on the dance floor,” said Ms. Daniels said with a laugh.

The meeting had left an impression on both of them. When they met again later that year, Mr. Muhovic shared that he was single now.

“He remembered me,” said Ms. Daniels said. “He asked for my number, and this time I said no.” Mr. Muhovic sent a direct message to Ms. Daniels on Facebook a few days later, and they started hooking up.

On May 4, 2011, they went on their first date at a now-closed restaurant in Decatur, Ga., called Carpe Diem. They sat for hours sharing snacks and stories about their lives. They met on a second date a few days later, and a third date the next day. Since then, they haven’t been apart for more than a couple of days.

However, they were hesitant to label their relationship for the first year—it wasn’t until they attended a party with friends at Lake Lanier outside Atlanta that things changed when Ms. Daniels heard a rumor.

“My friend came up to me and said, ‘Emir is telling everyone how much he loves you.’ So I ran over there and yelled ‘I love you,’ “Mrs. Daniels said. “And the rest is history.”

Ms. Daniels has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. He moved to Atlanta in 2010 to work with Cooper Carry, an architectural firm with offices in Atlanta. He is now a full-time artist and furniture maker under his own label, Cosmic Creativ.

Mr. Muhovic graduated from Binghamton University in New York with a degree in biochemistry. He moved to Atlanta in 2004 and has developed his career in health technology, working with several start-ups.

Inspired by Mr. Muhovic’s story as a refugee, Ms. Daniels decided to volunteer for the International Rescue Committee as a citizenship teacher. She is also the author of a textbook on citizen preparation.

“Fortunate to be born in Panama City and a country not ravaged by war, I knew nothing about the history of Bosnia,” he said. That changed when he met Mr. Muhovic. “There is a tipping point when you understand that refugees are families like ours,” he said. “It broke my heart. Once you know better, it’s hard not to do better.”

He also created Citizenship Giveback, a charity which supports the IRC’s mission to “help refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants thrive in the United States after fleeing their homes for escaping war, religious and political persecution or natural disasters,” according to its website.

Ms. Daniels traveled to Bosnia with Mr. Muhovic for the first time in 2019. “He’s never taken a girl home before,” he said. Before returning in 2022, Ms. Daniels took Bosnian lessons on Zoom with a woman in Sarajevo.

“Being able to speak Bosnian with his extended family, sitting around the table in the courtyard of his grandmother’s house where his mother was literally born, was a huge milestone for our relationship,” he said.

Mr. Muhovic was equally determined to win Ms. Daniels Family: His father, Dan Daniels, likes cars and Mr. Muhovic was determined to impress him by fixing Ms. Daniels’ 1999 Toyota 4Runner. He took out the engine on seven different occasions before finally enrolling in YouTube People’s University to learn about cars. He eventually fixed the vehicle and they were able to sell the car for $7,000 with over 330,000 miles. “My father is still beyond impressed,” said Ms. Daniels said.

The couple talked about getting married for a long time.

“I never really wanted a wedding,” said Ms. Daniels said. “I thought it would be so romantic to just get married in a courthouse, just the two of us. That’s always been my plan.”

Earlier this year, the couple were driving through the mountains and began having an “active and thoughtful conversation about our future,” Ms. Daniels said.

Over the past few years, the couple had started a tradition of traveling to Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida. While speaking on her journey, Ms. Daniels and Mr. Muhovic put together his ideal wedding.

In November, they approached James Earl Pierce, a Los Angeles graffiti artist who goes by Jimmy Paintz, on Instagram.

Some of Mr. Pierce’s art was born out of loss. “I was experimenting with smiley face painting at the time, and my mother needed me to fly with her to the Philippines,” said Mr. Pierce said. When she died on the flight when they landed in Hong Kong, he found himself stranded in the city, bewildered by grief. So he swung into action and thousands of graffiti-painted smiley faces appeared all over Hong Kong that week.

“It was my way of masking my sadness,” she said. “But I started to realize that as people noticed my art, I was helping a lot of other people.”

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When he returned from Hong Kong, Mr. Pierce began painting his smiley faces all over Los Angeles. He labeled the project Seeds of Happiness to reflect his hope to spread bubbles of positivity through art.

Ms. Daniels had found Seeds of Happiness through Instagram. Mr. Pierce’s art and shared Filipino roots (Ms. Daniels’ mother, Cindy Daniels, is from the Philippines) resonated with her immediately.

When he learned that Mr. Pierce was going to show at Art Basel, the couple reached out and asked Mr. Ask a question that has never been asked before.

“Will you marry us at Art Basel?”

On Saturday, December 3, at exactly 3:33 p.m., did just that.

In front of 30 or 40 passers-by, Mr. Pierce, who was ordained by American Life Ministries days earlier, officiated the wedding of Ms. Daniels and Mr. Muhovic in front of his Seeds of Happiness at the SCOPE art show.

No family or friends were present, which is exactly how Ms. Daniels and Mr. Muhovic wanted it.

“Most weddings are about friends and family – it really should be about the bride and groom,” she said. “This was perfect for us.”

“There is nothing traditional about us,” said Mr. Muhovic said. “It went very well for us.”

The couple got ready together at their South Beach Airbnb; Ms. Daniels did her own hair and makeup, and wore a nude dress she rented for the occasion, along with a beach cover-up. They put on engagement rings for the first time, drank champagne, snacked on cheese boards and threw a ball to their dog, Cosmo.

They arrived at SCOPE a little before 3:33 pm, and the buzz began to build as the audience began to realize that something special was happening.

“All eyes were on us, but I honestly couldn’t hear anything outside of where we were,” said Mr. Muhovic said. “It almost felt like an isolated, soundproof area. I was so focused on Kelly. It was such a surreal feeling that even in a large group of people, at that moment it felt like her and me.”

“I love my boo’s sense of humor, laughter and your caring nature,” said Mr. Muhovic read from their votes. “I promise to love you and take care of you in good times and bad.”

“I really can’t believe that this life is mine, that I’ve found such a kind, reliable, hilarious, protective, yet kind partner, like you, and handsome as hell,” said Ms. Daniels read. “In these almost 12 years, you have empowered me, believed in me and treated me as an equal. I am convinced that there is no better human on Earth than you.”

Then Mr. Paintz said, “By the authority vested in me by an internet website, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” Mr. Muhovic obliged.


when December 3

where Seeds of Happiness Exhibition, SCOPE Art Show, Art Basel Miami Beach, Florida.

Lucky numbers Mr. Muhovic chose 3:33 PM as the time of the marriage because he thought three seemed like a lucky number.

Post bridal party Ms. Daniels said no friends or family knew the wedding was taking place until a few days before. The couple’s parents were happy. Two of her closest friends, her unofficial maid of honor, Mary Chamberlain Iocovozzi, and best man, Vince Velazquez, arrived the next day to celebrate with the couple.

Immortalized on Blockchain The couple “coined” their wedding vows, marriage license and key photographs of the occasion as non-fungible tokens on the Flow blockchain, along with Mr. Pierce’s work.

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