I’m getting married to my first cousin — he has 73 best men

An Irish tourist has stated that she is marrying her cousin, and the ceremony will be witnessed by no fewer than 73 best men.

Chantelle Kielly, 18, of Rathkeale, is wedding her first cousin Jim in a ceremony to which the entire community has been invited. Traditionally, traveller families from the town spend 10 months of the year travelling before returning in December for wedding season, when up to ten nuptials might take place in a week.

One of them is Chantelle and Jim’s, with the bride’s family finalising the engagement by paying the groom’s family a dowry ranging from $54,000 to $129,000. It is entirely legal in the UK and Ireland to wed your cousin, but the morality is a major point of controversy. However, marrying a cousin is typical in migrant cultures, and Chantelle and Jim wanted to celebrate with a wedding that everyone in town would remember.

Chantelle donned a gown made by traveller favourite Thelma Madine and embellished with almost 20,000 crystals. The bride chose seven bridesmaids, yet it was groom Jim who went over and above with 73 best men. The pair, who appeared on Channel 4’s “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings,” celebrated with a reception to which the entire community was welcomed, cutting the handmade Barbie cake.

Madine remarked of the wedding, “they are incredibly wonderful folks, and the girls are quite respectable. The Irish tourists, we generally say, are like going back 50 years, however the Rathkeale females are like going back 100 years. They’re all family, and I believe that’s how they retain the money in Rathkeale because they just don’t let it leave.”

Wishing the best for the couple. May they have a great life together.

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