Real Weddings

Real Utah Wedding: Miquela Irene Duran-McConnell & Dr. Kia Afshar at Sundance Resort

With twoolf October 26, 2016 Published in the Summer/Fall 2016 issue of Park City Magazine

NAMES Miquela Irene Duran-McConnell and Dr. Kia Afshar LIVE IN Sugar House OCCUPATIONS She’s a nurse anesthetist; he’s a transplant cardiologist. WHERE THEY MET In Baltimore, where he was finishing his residency training at Johns Hopkins and she was working as a trauma ICU nurse at Maryland Shock Trauma. They went on a few dates but didn’t reconnect until five years later when he was in Cleveland and she was in Chicago. They dated long distance for two years and one additional year after he moved to Salt Lake City. WHEN HE PROPOSED One year after their second first date; they went on an after-dinner stroll around the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC NUMBER OF GUESTS 150 WEDDING STYLE They hosted four days of festivities: they showed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the original Sundance Film Festival screening room on Thursday, had a dinner for all their guests on Friday, got married on Saturday, and had brunch at Sundance’s Tree Room on Sunday. FAMILY & CULTURAL ELEMENTS He’s Persian, so they included the Persian sofreh aghd; they fed each other honey and had close female family members sprinkle sugar over their heads to add sweetness to their marriage, and they faced a large mirror to bring light and brightness into their future. She’s Spanish and Irish, so she wore a traditional mantilla and had antique gold Catholic medals sewn into her dress. HOW THEY MADE THE DAY THEIR OWN They asked her best friend to write the English ceremony and his grandfather to write the Persian ceremony; her dad and his parents created a custom monogram used in their décor details that included the couple’s initials and the Persian word for “love”; and her grandmother sewed a piece of the bride’s aunt’s wedding dress—handmade by the bride’s mother and grandmother—into the bridal gown. FAVORITE CEREMONY MOMENT When she surprised him by speaking Farsi during the ceremony DÉCOR DETAILS Prussian blue hues and a blue agate design on the invitations and table settings RECEPTION MENU FAVORITES Pan-seared trout filet with roasted pepper sauce, and the late-night truffle mac ’n’ cheese DESSERT Vanilla bean cheesecake with fruit topping and triple-chocolate mousse cake FIRST DANCE “Stand by Me” sung by groomsman Justin Dunn FAVORS Traditional Persian candied gold coins and rice in sachets MOST UNEXPECTED MOMENT Their dog crashed the reception and slept on the bride’s gown during dinner THE DAY IN THREE WORDS Breathtaking, loving, perfect HONEYMOON Norway

It was important to us to include the Persian sofreh aghd, an arrangement of symbolic items that each represent elements of nature. These elements are deeply ingrained in Persian literature and culture. —Miquela & Kia


Venue, Catering, and Hotel for Guests: Sundance Resort

Wedding Planner & Designer: Michelle Leo Events

Photographer: Chudleigh Weddings

Videography: Ryan Hinman

Officiants: Jennifer Baskin and Abbas Dahi

Save the Dates: Paperless Post

Engagement Ring Diamond: Continental Jewelers in Miami, Florida

Engagement Ring Setting: Geneva Seal in Chicago, Illinois

Bride’s Wedding Band: Ari Diamonds

Groom’s Wedding Band: Staghead Designs

Bridal Gown: Martina Liana from Pebbles Bridal in Los Angeles, California

Alterations: Bustle and Bodice in Chicago, Illinois

Bridal Veil and Accessories: Vanya Bvlgari on Etsy

Headpiece for Reception: Handmade by KZ Bridal on Etsy

Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Jenny Yoo Boutique in Chicago

Makeup: Kristen Packard

Hair: Kali Chris

Groom’s Formal Wear: Hugo Boss suit and tie, Magnanni shoes, Charles Tyrwhitt shirt

Groom’s Glass Cufflinks: Custom design from Etsy

Groomsmen’s Formal Wear: JC Penney suits, Charles Tyrwhitt shirts and ties

Invitations: Minted

Flowers: Blooms & Blossoms

Calligraphy: Karli Noel Calligraphy

Ceremony Music: String Love

Reception Music: Life of the Party

Rentals: Diamond Rental

Custom Woodwork: MC2 WoodWorks

Transportation: Snow Country Limousine

Rehearsal Dinner: At the Overland House at Sundance Resort

Registry: REI,, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, and the Animal Humane Society of Utah charity