I Married My Cousin

I married my cousin

Some responsibility settles on your shoulders like the heavy yoke of an ox cart but other responsibility, no matter its weight, lightens your load and gives joy. This weekend, I married my cousin. (In spite of how the photo looks, I’m performing the ceremony–not wedding my beautiful cousin.)I cried when they asked me to do it, I cried when I spoke the words to them, and I get teary now thinking of how hopeful a marriage, especially theirs is.

At Bret and Elly’s request I wrote the ceremony for them–that and a few photos are below the fold.


The Bride’s Brother–Ren

The Groom, Bret

Looking at Bret

Kissing is catching


Bride’s Aunt


Wedding smiles

The photos above were taken by me

The Photos below by Kevin

Seeing the Bride

Groom’s Father and the dogs

My two oldest and me

Groom and his mother

The Ceremony

Like the ocean is made up of millions of droplets of water, a marriage is made of millions of moments. Elly and Brett, right now take a moment to promise yourselves and promise each other that you will make most of those small moments. Join  hands. Try to fill the moments with kindness, respect and understanding. Scoop up handfuls of life, splash each other with love and laughter.


Remember, like the tides, love ebbs and flows. Yes, hard as you find it to believe, there are times when you will wonder why you married this person–you won’t even be sure you like them. But, just as the tides always return so too will love’s intensity if you give each other time and attention. Enjoy each other’s sense of humor. And laugh. Always, Laugh often.


Spend time with each other. Spend time apart. Spend time taking care of each other. Spend time taking care of yourselves. Spend time laughing. Spend lots of time laughing.


Refresh yourself and your marriage with time together in nature. Walk together along the seasons of life—splash through the Spring wind tossed waves, wander hand in hand along warm sandy summer beaches, explore tide pools lit by autumn sunlight and, wrapped in each other’s arms gaze towards the magic of whales across Winter waters. And laugh with the sheer joy of sharing your life together.

Vow to help each other out of the dark gray waves of troubled times. Vow to wrap each other in the warmth of understanding even when the waters of daily life are cold.—Remember why you chose each other. And when you cry, try and cry together and when you laugh, try not to laugh at each other. (But you will and that will be alright, too.)


A marriage, like a ship at sea, requires the crew—the husband, the wife—to put in more than a fair share of work. Each person must do more than required. Spouses must do more than half the work in a relationship. When each of you does more than half willingly—eager to make the partnership stay afloat—unworried about whether the other is currently pulling his or her share, then you and your marriage will not only survive but thrive. So be willing to carry more than your load, I promise the warmth and laughter, the ease and trust that will result will be worth the extra work.




Elly and Brett, we–your family, your friends gather here on the shore of your marriage to share your day with you. Remember we love you and will be here to lend a hand, to offer shoulders to cry on and always, always we will help you laugh.


Here with your family and friends, by the power you have entrusted in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for here and forever. For now, for always, may our love surround your love. May your love always last. May your laughter echo in your great granchildren’s ears. May the ocean of life treat you kindly.


Remember we love you.



Let the kisses and laughter begin…..

Photo by Kevin Church



  • This is so beautiful. I love what you said about how touchingly hopeful a wedding is. I went to a wedding in 2001 and took that very feeling away, with the addition of a strong sense of longing. The very next week met the man who would become my wonderful husband. By autumn 2002, I was celebrating with a beautiful, hopeful wedding of my own.

    I didn’t know you were ordained, Kym. That’s really interesting. A woman filled in for the pastor just last Sunday at the church I just started attending in McK (Grace Good Shepherd). Are you Presbyterian? At this point, I think the Presbyterians have more women pastors than men.

  • I’m not a minister of a traditional church. I am a minister of the Universal Life Church which is recognized legally but doesn’t fit into normal Christian categories. When Ellie asked me to give her ceremony, I was troubled because I’m agnostic when it comes to God. I believe in good and reaching peace inside myself by trying to be kind and loving but I don’t practice a formal religion. I wanted to help surround her with love like she asked but neither her nor I believe in a personified God. The Universal Life Church matched our needs and allowed Elly and Bret to have the ceremony they wanted.

  • That picture goes great with the caption. Perhaps if you were still active in the religion you mentioned earlier, you could marry your cousin?

    Seriously, though, beautiful pictures. It was a great ceremony and a fun time.

  • I love the words. Thanks.

  • Thanks for posting the vows/ceremony. It was very beautiful.

  • I love the dogs in their little tuxedo bibs.

    Wow your sons have gotten so tall.

  • Absolutely beautiful. They were very lucky to have you. What a beautiful family you have.

  • Great job Kym. Had mine and my wife’s wedding been a bit more normal your ceremonial words, both wonderfully poetic and heartfelt, would have been great for us.

    And I had no idea you are so tiny!

  • I always knew I had a very special niece but after reading this I realized just how special. I continue to learn more about you as I read your daily blog. Great job!

  • Don’t tell Middle Boy, but I think I’m in love! I always was a sucker for guys with long hair 😉

    That was a beautiful ceremony, Kym. Beautiful pix as well.

    sigh. Yet another family gathering that I’ve had to miss this year. sniff.

  • “I was troubled because I’m agnostic when it comes to God. I believe in good and reaching peace inside myself by trying to be kind and loving but I don’t practice a formal religion.”

    Yes, but you believe in tradition, love and laughter, and the natural and the tangible things about you, that make up the fabric of reality. You are a far better person because you believe in the goodness of mankind, rather than goodness because you fear God.

    Your family is very lucky to have you, and your beautiful cousin was very lucky to have someone of your depth marry them.

    Ren seems to have placed a new face in his picture. He is growing into a very mature young man. How did that happen? Did I blink?

  • Thanks everyone, you are very kind indeed.

    Max, I put the dog pic up for you. It didn’t turn out that crisp but I knew you’d love them.

    Uncle Jim, I’m glad you come by and I love that you comment!

    Forkboy, iI am not short, I’ll have you know I am five foot five but my sons’ bracket the six foot mark.

    Heather, no more missing family stuff. We miss you all!

    Ernie, Ren is growing more handsome all the time. His eyes are beautiful!

  • This is all so lovely – photos, ceremony, comments – that I can only say “amen” and keep sighing.

    Now I’ll be able to spot you if you ever sneak into Willits! 8^)

  • Greg and I were married by a Universal Life Minister, our former neighbor in Ferndale. It worked! We are still crazy for each other and will be celebrating our 8th anniversary next month!

    Beautiful pictures, Kim. You are a lovely lady and have a beautiful family, too!

  • Opps. My bad. Well……well…..you’re all short to me. I’m 6’4″! So you’re still tiny, which is wonderful anyway.

  • Looks like you did a great job, Kym. What fun to be able to officiate at a family wedding. Sounds like you really hit your stride.

  • Great job at the ceremony and on the blog, Kym. It was so much fun!

  • Beautiful.

  • They asked you to write the ceremony and marry them? It’s clear they love and respect you, Kym. What a beautiful family you have–and what a great job you did!

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