In celebration of seven years of same-sex marriage being legal in Washington, D.C., Mervis Diamond Importers has offered one lucky couple a pop up wedding. The contest was opened up to members of the community at the beginning of March, and Jonna Mickshaw, 43 and Kimberly Sullivan, 35 won the contest just a week before the big day. The couple resides in Bethlehem, PA.
Mervis Diamond—located on K Street NW in Washington, D.C.—is a family owned business and no stranger to the LGBTQ community. “Our business has been serving the LGBTQ community for many years and we’re proud of the trusting relationships we’ve established,” says Jonathan Mervis, Marketing Director and son of Ronnie Mervis. “We were there in 2010 when gay marriage was first legalized in D.C. We threw a ‘coming out’ party at our K Street store, coming out with a line of wedding rings for the community.”
When asked why they entered the contest, Sullivan says, “We were looking at elopements and other options for a small wedding. We plan to go to the Caribbean for a honeymoon later this year and unfortunately gay marriage is not legal in most of the Caribbean so that was not an option. We came across this contest on Instagram and Jonna asked if I would be willing to get married this week. I said yes, of course, but did not expect anything to come of it. This was such a wonderful surprise!”
In less than a month, several businesses and community members have come together to make this wedding a special day for both Mickshaw and Sullivan.
After hearing about the idea, Natalie Seng of Designed Perfectly Events and fellow planner, Sarah Pete of Sincerely Pete immediately took the reigns to organize the whole event. Seng and Mervis met years ago at a bridal show and now plans their larger in-store events.
“As a lesbian-owned business with a wide range of LGBTQ, interfaith and interracial couples as a part of our wedding family, we are proud to support all equality-minded couples to create a wedding day that reflects their relationship and lives together,” explains Pete.
In addition to Designed Perfectly Events and Sincerely Pete, other community members and businesses have joined together to give the couple a day to remember. Some of the supporters include Classic Cakes, A2Z Music Factory, Photos from the Harty, Weddings by Jeff, and Janet Flowers, just to name a few. The couples’ cake, flowers, photography, officiant, makeup, and more are all taken care of thanks to Mervis Diamond and the event planning team.
The couple will also get to celebrate after the wedding ceremony with an after party bar provided by The Dirty Goose and a private dinner from Hank’s Oyster Bar.
“It’s been a very rewarding experience to see so many of our friends and vendors rally together to support this event and the message we are trying to deliver. We are all strong believers and supporters of same-sex marriage and to come together for an event such as this has been such a joy,” says Seng.
Organizers agree that the political climate has had people worried about the progress of LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. However, it’s important for the community to join forces and stand for love.
“We understand it’s uneasy times. It’s been seven years since the historic legalization in D.C. and we want to make a statement that marriage equality is here to stay,” says Mervis. “Let’s celebrate that seven year anniversary and toast to many more!”
Jonna and Kimberly’s pop up wedding takes place on March 30 at Mervis Diamond, 1700 K St NW, Washington, D.C. at 6 p.m. The wedding is open to all community members and allies.