Gypsy girl, 18, marries cousin in massive ceremony that features 73 best men

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An Irish traveller has revealed that she married her first cousin in a ceremony attended by 73 best men to witness the union.

Chantelle Kielly, 18, lives in Rathkeale, south west Ireland, and married first cousin Jim in a ceremony that saw the entire town invited to celebrate the marriage.

Traditional travelling families spend ten months of the year travelling before returning home in December for wedding season, as documented in the recent episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which aired in February.

The period can expect up to ten ceremonies a week, with families preparing wedding receptions and events for future couples.

Chantelle and Jim's wedding was secured after the bride's family paid the groom's family a dowry ranging between £41,000 and £99,000.

Marrying your cousin is still legal in the UK and Ireland, with concerns over the morality raised, although the marriage of two cousins is perfectly commonplace in traveller communities.

Chantelle and Jim wanted to put on a wedding everyone will remember, with Chantelle's dress adorned with 20,000 crystals in a traveller favourite design.

The bride opted for at least seven bridesmaids, while groom Jim went all out and added a staggering 73 best men to the wedding list.

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The couple featured on Channel 4's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, with The Sun reporting the pair celebrated with a party the whole town was invited to, featuring a bespoke Barbie cake.

Dressmaker Thelma Madine, who featured on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding frequently, said: "They are really nice people, the girls are very respectable We always say the Irish travellers are like going back 50 years but the Rathkeale girls are like going back 100 years.

"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."

  • Travellers
  • Weddings
  • Family

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