A TEEN BRIDE MARRIES HER FIRST COUSIN IN A HUGE CEREMONY ATTENDED BY 73 BEST MEN
Chantelle Kielly, 18, tied the knot with first cousin Jim in Rathkeale, southwest Ireland – with the entire town invited to celebrate the couple’s big day. An Irish traveler has revealed that she is marrying her cousin, and they have no less than 73 best men to witness the union.
Traditionally, the town’s traveler families spend ten months of the year traveling before returning in December for wedding season, when up to ten ceremonies are held per week.
One of them is Chantelle and Jim’s, with the bride’s family finalizing the engagement by paying the groom’s family a dowry ranging from $54,000 to $129,000.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is perfectly legal to marry your cousin, but there is a big matter of contention surrounding morality.
However, in many villages, marrying a cousin is usual, and Chantelle and Jim wanted to celebrate a wedding that the town would never forget.
Chantelle donned a dress by Thelma Madine, a traveler favorite, that was encrusted with 20,000 crystals.
The bride chose seven bridesmaids, but it was groom Jim who went all out with a total of 73 best men.
The couple, who were featured on Channel 4’s “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings,” celebrated with a party the whole town was invited to, celebrating by cutting the personalized Barbie cake.
Madine said: “They are really nice people, the girls are very respectable. We always say the Irish travelers are like going back 50 years, but the Rathkeale girls are like going back 100 years.”
The whole town witnessed and enjoyed the ceremony, the bride said: “They’re all family and I think that’s how they keep the wealth in Rathkeale because they just don’t let it go out.”