In May, self-professed "geek" Scott Everhart from Columbus, Ohio, entered a contest for a free wedding at a New York City comic book store. However, unlike most couples hoping to win the all-expenses-paid nuptials, Everhart and his partner, Jason Welker, were not yet engaged -- and Welker had no idea that they were even in the running.
The wedding giveaway was offered by Midtown Comics, which announced on its blog that it was seeking a comic-book-loving same-sex couple to tie the knot. The wedding would take place in conjunction with the release of “Astonishing X-Men" No. 51., in which Marvel Comics' first openly gay superhero, Northstar, marries his boyfriend, Kyle.
Thor Parker, Midtown Comics' social media and event director, said that Everhart, 38, and Welker, 33, were just the kind of couple the store was looking for to help celebrate the comic book milestone. “Scott sent us over some pictures of him and Jason sitting around reading comics with piles of books on the table and we knew these guys were regular readers and big fans,” he said.
When Everhart found out that he and Welker had been selected for an interview, he surprised his boyfriend by presenting him with an email from Midtown Comics, explaining why he’d entered them, and -- finally -- asking for Welker's hand in marriage.
“I had absolutely no idea what he was trying to tell me at the time, but when it sunk in, I kind of just wanted to run out and get married right that minute,” Welker said.
Luckily, he didn’t have to wait long. The couple wed on Wednesday in the Midtown Comics' Financial District location -- just two weeks after officially finding out that they had been selected. Theirs was the first wedding ever held in the store.
The venue was a perfect fit for these "geeks in love," as Everhart describes himself and Welker, especially since comics have been part of their story since they began dating. After meeting each other online about a year ago, the couple had one of their first dates at a local Columbus comic book store. Everhart, who has been a fan since he received an "X-Men" issue as a graduation gift when he was 18, introduced Welker to the genre on “Free Comic Book Day.” From there, the couple discovered that they shared “a very sarcastic, snarky sense of humor” and a love for sci-fi movies.
“It was very easy to get along from day one. Marriage just always seemed like the natural way to go because we’re such a good fit for each other,” Welker said. “It was never really a question of if we would get married, but more when we would get married." He said he has since become a comic enthusiast himself because of Everhart.
Having their wedding at Midtown Comics was like their story coming “full circle,” the couple said. Getting married in New York also made sense since the couple’s home state of Ohio doesn’t allow same-sex marriages.
“It was just us,” Welker said of their intimate ceremony. “We didn’t have to worry about what other people wanted us to do for our wedding.”
Since they had little time to coordinate with friends and family before their wedding (not to mention find affordable flights), the couple is planning a larger celebration in Columbus for next year. “We are thinking that, on our one-year anniversary, we will have a reception-slash-ceremony of sorts -- and then make New York our honeymoon,” Everhart said.
Click through the slideshow below to see photos from the couple's wedding.
Everhart and Welker's ceremony was officiated by Matt Loter, a CT Justice of the Peace and NYC-registered wedding officiant.
The couple exchanged silver rings against a comic book backdrop. (They had initially wanted rose gold rings, but couldn't get them in time for the New York ceremony.)
Nashville's FunikiJam Music provided the music for the ceremony.
Empire Cake created the couple's comic book-themed cake.
Everhart and Welker sampling their cake.
The reception, which was held at Eventi Hotel, featured food and a cake by E Squared.