After Having to Cancel Their Wedding Plans Twice, They Jumped the Broom at Home on Juneteenth

updated Sep 23, 2020
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Kimberly Holmes-Iverson and Darian Iverson wed at home on June 19, 2020.

Kimberly Holmes-Iverson and Darian Iverson’s love story is a bit unconventional. 

The couple met seven years ago, while living in the same apartment complex in Orlando. Darian was friends with Kimberly’s husband, Rasheed. 

In 2016, Rasheed was killed in a hit and run. After Rasheed’s passing, Kimberly says Darian showed a genuine concern for her well-being, constantly checking in to make sure she was okay. “He would always say, ‘I see you smiling on Instagram, but truly, how are you doing?’” Kimberly says. “You get used to hiding a lot of emotions, but I felt the sincerity in his questions, so we developed a really strong friendship.”

They remained close over the next few years, even after Kimberly moved to Maryland. Then, in September 2019, after two years of not seeing each other, Kimberly, a news anchor, and Darian, a personal trainer, attended a scholarship golf tournament in Rasheed’s memory at his high school. They spent the weekend together, then started talking on the phone for hours at a time. 

A few weeks before that tournament, Kimberly had made a list covering everything she hoped for in a partner, writing that she wanted to be with someone who would be able to live with her grief, not just tolerate it, and know Rasheed would always have a place in her life. After the event, Kimberly revisited that list, and she realized Darian checked off all of the items on it. 

“As a widow, one of the big things that happens is that you lose this sense of comfort and this sense of security,” Kimberly says. “And one thing I really loved is that Darian and I had started this really strong friendship, and I felt comfortable around him and I felt secure around him.”

Kimberly and Darian both expressed that they had feelings for each other. Their relationship progressed quickly, but it felt right. “It was a really beautiful thing born from such pain and heartache,” Kimberly says. “And literally from a place that we both weren’t looking for it. He really was like, ‘Maybe we can try something in a year.’ And I said, ‘Maybe, I don’t know.’ Because who knows? I was still trying to figure this out, too. And then a week later, we were like, ‘Nah, this is happening now.’”

Darian moved from Orlando to Maryland in December to be with Kimberly, and he proposed in April. “It was nothing over the top. It was just a conversation where I said, ‘Look, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, I love you, you made my life better, so let’s do this,’” Darian says. 

The couple planned to marry in June 2020 in Kimberly’s parents’ backyard in northern Virginia, but the COVID-19 pandemic quickly escalated. Their plans looked less and less possible, so they pushed their wedding to Oct. 10, 2020. As time progressed, though, they felt that having a wedding on that date also seemed unlikely. Kimberly’s parents suggested they go ahead and get married, and have a formal ceremony later. 

Even though they got married at home, Darian and Kimberly took photos on the steps of the courthouse, wearing Old Bay Seasoning and Maryland state flag masks. "We went for the picture, but in a more normal time, we would have been inside the courthouse for the ceremony!" Kimberly says.

So, at the beginning of June, Kimberly and Darian called the justice of the peace and found out that Friday, June 19—Juneteenth—was available. They thought it was the perfect date. “It is such a huge day in the Black community, and it means so much,” Kimberly says. “Especially with everything going on in the world, it is such a really special day.”

The pair had a date, but one catch: They only had a week and a half to pull everything off. As a Virgo who loves to plan, Kimberly says she had to trust her gut and lean on her faith to move forward. And throughout that hectic time, the couple constantly checked in with each other to make sure they were feeling okay about their plans progressing so quickly. 

Kimberly and Darian bought their wedding attire online with overnight shipping. Darian ordered an African print tuxedo from a Houston boutique to go with the Juneteenth theme, and Kimberly ordered a white sheath V-neck dress from Black Halo and wore white high heels with coral straps she already had. Instead of a traditional veil, she wore a fascinator she found on Etsy. Everything arrived on time and, luckily, fit like a glove.

The couple also had to figure out the logistical details. They quickly booked a photographer to come to the house to capture the big day. They delegated a friend to be a moderator for the ceremony and let people into the Zoom meeting. And they made sure their 8-year-old dog, Lola, could stay with a neighbor because she can get excited and they didn’t want her loud barking to interfere with the ceremony. 

Kimberly and Darian were both still working every day while trying to plan their wedding in a time crunch, so they did forget a few details—like cake. Fortunately, the day of the ceremony, Kimberly’s colleague dropped off a Smith Island Cake, the official dessert of Maryland. 

Kimberly’s parents surprised the bride and groom at their doorstep an hour before the start time, while the couple was still hurriedly getting dressed—and finishing their vows.

Despite the chaos of planning a wedding in a week and a half, the day went off without any hiccups. Over tears and laughter, Kimberly and Darian wed in their living room, as the justice of the peace and approximately 100 friends and family members Zoomed in. Darian’s vows focused on the journey of getting to that day, and he ended by singing along to “When Somebody Loves You Back” by Teddy Pendergrass. Kimberly’s vows were a love letter to her husband, thanking him for the support and unconditional love that he brought into her life.

Especially because they were getting married on Juneteenth, the couple wanted to integrate their heritage into their ceremony. One way they did this was through the Black tradition of jumping the broom. While the history of this tradition is debated, we know that in the 19th century, enslaved people jumped over a broom during their marriage ceremonies because they were not allowed to get legally married. 

For their honeymoon, the newlyweds had a staycation at home, taking a day boat cruise in the area and going out for a nice dinner. They hope to travel somewhere tropical and have a gathering to celebrate with friends and family when it’s safe to do so. 

“The tentative plan is to have some type of ceremony in person to greet our people next year, but it is really so hard to plan,” Darian says. “But we’re planning to start a family in the next six months, and hopefully next summer we can have a co-ed baby shower for the people who were going to come to the wedding. This would be the in-person celebration.” 

“You just put all that out there?” Kimberly laughs, while agreeing, “Yes, that is our plan.”

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