EVERETT – It’s kind of Everett’s version of a Vegas wedding chapel, but with Reverend Barbara Rasberry, not Elvis.
After more than two decades of “I do,” Purple Wedding Church is in red.
prepare friends a GoFundMe To preserve a historic venue for $100 weddings. A purple lounger with cut-out heart shutters and a white picket fence is also Rasberry’s home.
Day or night, you will host a wedding. She had 125 attendees. Often, the spouses and a few witnesses. The berries do not matter. love is love.
Rasberry, 73, has strained hundreds of couples. Her husband, Don, passed away in March, and she faces an uncertain future due to the economic challenge of maintaining the home. As pastor by non-denominational awareness of Life Church in Renton, she says wedding fees support the church and she puts advice in pockets.
The house is located at 10814 4th Ave. W., a busy street off Everett Mall Way. Even with the constant roar of traffic, some calm prevails.
The deep backyard is an alternate world with fruit trees, a garden terrace and seating for dozens of people. Inside is a small room with 20 chairs and a garden mural. The chapel is the largest room in the house that Rasberry shares with Mocha the dog and her youngest son, Mark, 47, who has moved in to help take care of Don.
Don died a week before the 44th wedding anniversary. They married on April Fools’ Day 1978 at the Eagles Club in Lynnwood.
Mulberry has health problems. She has gone from 178 pounds to 95 pounds, from a size 16 to a size 2, over the past 18 months, she said. She cannot lift chairs or tables.
But she got the same enthusiasm from Reverend Mulberry.
During an interview on Tuesday, she apologized to herself for getting ready for a wedding that was booked an hour later. She sprinted away in jeans and a short jacket to her bedroom, straight from the elegant living room with a few chairs and a TV. She showed up five minutes later in crisp black pants and a white shirt, her face freshly completed and ready to slip.
She likes to be prepared, in case husbands show up early.
For years, it has been open 24/7. Still take visits. That’s right, you can knock on the door within reasonable hours please. And if you have a valid marriage license and $100, you can get away with getting married.
“It should be money,” Raspberry said. “I started taking checks. When I got enough bounced checks for that bathroom’s papers, I said, ‘That’s it.'”
For the record: the bathroom is painted violet.
“My goal is to give people a beautiful wedding, beautiful memories, and not wake up the next morning, ‘Oh my God, we owe thousands of dollars,'” she said.
It’s not fast. They allocate two hours per serving, so there’s time to celebrate cake and food, whatever the wedding.
Couples come in all white gowns and tuxedos. Some return years later to repeat their promises.
Rasberry used to provide dozens of scripts, but most couples chose the script I made, so it became a mainstay. “Duty makes us do things well, but love, love makes us do them beautifully,” said a line popularized by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, in the segment Before the Exchange of Rings.
Couples can write their own vows.
“It’s their wedding, their way,” she said.
These words apply to everything: who they invite, what they wear, when they come, where they tie the knot, how they walk down the aisle, why they get involved.
“I’ve had brides where I wanted to take them aside and say, ‘Please, think about this. ‘But that’s not my place,’ she said. ‘One went here five times.’
She gives advice when it comes to couples eating after the party.
“I warn them,” she said, “Trace who gets what or you’ll end up with 10 salads and six bags of chips.”
Mocha is a wedding dog. The 6-year-old dachshund provides entertainment for the children and, upon request, will roll down the aisle.
He was without her right hand. It’s set to help manage redundancy, especially those off-site orders. She said he was a long distance truck driver and good at directions.
His gender was also helpful. She said, “At the time, you were getting it from men, ‘I don’t have a woman to marry me.'”
Once upon a time, the house was white.
She said, “Don came home with purple specimens and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ ”
Rasberry said the sheriff’s deputy told her the purple house was a focal point on the scanner to give directions for scenes of crimes, fires and injuries.
It was also the perfect color to name their wedding after.
For her son Mark, it is the story of his life.
“When I was moving, I could see my mother’s picture on the wall,” he said. “I was saying, ‘I got married at the Purple Chapel. And they’d say, “Yeah, how did you know?” And I’d say, “This is my mom.”
It is presented as “Purple Chapel Mark”.
“I was at the casino that day and someone said, ‘This is Mark. He said he lives in the Purple Wedding Church, and they said “Oh, we got married there.”
People come from all over the state and from Canada. Or Reverend Raspberry goes to them.
Before the pandemic, I traveled to Monroe Correctional Complex to work when the groom or bride was behind bars. It is now a virtual venerable, using the interior fresco to add church character to the service.
Rasberry does not keep her marriage albums. Dozens of pictures on the fridge are her gallery.
Amidst the brides and grooms is a Polaroid photo of Bill Nye, the science man with a signed note. He presided over her chapel in 2005 for an episode of “Eyes Nay – Genetically Modified Foods.” Ney wears a suit, and marries wheat stalks in the gazebo.
“Do you, domesticated wheat, take this wild wheat to be a legal hybrid?” asks “Nay” in the video. “Raising food crops is a lot like getting married.”
His note to her reads: “Dear Reverend Rasberry – help them mix the genes!”
Nye did not choose the Purple Wedding Chapel, although his June wedding of this year at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. was Robert Picardo, best known for playing The Doctor in the “Star Trek” franchise.
Heather Kalia is behind efforts to help Rasberry. Kalia has attended about 10 church weddings over the years. She and Sean got married there on July 31. Service was at 10:30 p.m. because they were both late at work, GND Market, Liquor And Wine, in Everett.
“This woman was a symbol of our city to marry people,” Kalia said. “Don has gone missing fighting to keep her home. I’m just calling on the community to come together to help this woman.”
The couple set up a GoFundMe for Rasberry at: gofund.me/42d3a00a.
There are plans to fundraise for a car wash. For more information, call 425-353-7250.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: Tweet embed.
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