Olympia women legally marry on 28th anniversary of relationship

Olympia women legally marry on the 28th anniversary of their relationship

rboone@theolympian.comDecember 10, 2012 

Twenty-eight years ago, long before domestic partnerships and marriage equality, Kim Ridgway simply asked Kimberly Bliss to be her girlfriend.

On Sunday afternoon, they became spouses for life.

Ridgway and Bliss, both of Olympia, plus about 15 of their friends and family gathered Sunday afternoon in Thurston County Superior Court to get married, three days after the couple were among the first in line to get a marriage license and a little more than a month since same-sex marriage in Washington was approved by voters.

The couple wanted to exchange wedding vows Sunday because it was the 28th anniversary of their relationship.

“I met the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” said Ridgway during a short interview before the wedding while her mother, Claudine, helped with her makeup.

Like any relationship, they’ve had their ups and downs, she said, but they never gave up on each other.

“We have too much invested in each other to give up,” Ridgway said.

Both, too, were thrilled when same-sex marriage was passed.

“We knew this was the beginning of history for a lot of people,” she said.

Ridgway and Bliss posed for pictures with family and friends before the wedding, and then took their places for the 1 p.m. ceremony with Superior Court Judge Jim Dixon.

Ridgway, 49, and Bliss, 51, also were joined by longtime friends Connie Williams, who was the maid of honor, and Joe Picucci, who stood as the best man.

Dixon began by welcoming everyone and thanked them for sharing in the moment. After some more prepared remarks, Dixon led the couple through their vows and the exchanging of rings, and then ended by quoting Scripture.

“Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love,” he said. He then pronounced them “spouses for life.”

Afterward, Claudine Ridgway said the marriage was meant to be.

“How many wait 28 years to get married?” she said.

She also said she was thankful that “legally, they can take care of each other.”

Ridgway, her daughter and Bliss embraced before the ceremony, and the three of them hugged again after the ceremony.

During the ceremony, Bliss said she did her best to stay calm, wanting to say her vows clearly and to not get too emotional.

She also reflected on the ceremony, saying it was a great moment for civil rights.

Kim Ridgway said she felt a great sense of joy and pride, and that the tear that rolled down her cheek was a tear of joy. “I’m so happy,” she said.

She also thought it would never happen. Instead, the couple have become part of history.

“The moment is here and it happened,” Ridgway said.

After the wedding, a reception was set for the Mayan Restaurant in Hawks Prairie, and next spring the couple plan to have a more formal reception with invitations. A DVD of the wedding will be played for guests, she said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone

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