- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2003


At the Rev. Al Holm’s drive-through espresso place, you can get a latte, a mocha or a husband.

Cheri Henderson chose the last on that list and married Bryan Myers in a five-minute ceremony.

“Well, wham bam,” Cheri, 35, said after the wedding, witnessed by a waitress and some customers of Holm’s Sacred Grounds caffeine-and-commitment emporium.

Sacred Grounds occupies a former pizza counter in the back of the A-n-D Mini Mart, located on a busy street a block from Interstate 90.

Mr. Holm, 67, is ordained in the First Christian Church, but the counter of Sacred Grounds is his only pulpit. He is a retired police chaplain and drug counselor in the Coeur d’Alene area.

“I can’t sit home and watch ‘Oprah,’ so I decided to open an espresso stand,” Mr. Holm said. Last month, his wife suggested he also offer weddings.

“I laughed, but we talked about it and said, ‘Why not?’” Mr. Holm said.

Idaho requires no waiting period and no blood test, but only a wedding license for a legal marriage.

Cheri and Bryan, on vacation from Whitehall, Mich., were the first to go through the marriage grinder at Sacred Grounds.

The happy couple had dated for more than a year and a half and had planned to get married for some time, but they still expected their family and friends to be surprised when they came home hitched.

Cheri, a receptionist at a weekly newspaper, said the couple first entertained the idea of getting married while vacationing in the San Juan Islands of Washington, but the state had a pesky three-day waiting period.

“It’s like buying a gun,” said Bryan, 33, a FedEx driver.

Driving from Seattle to visit friends in Montana, they spent the night in Coeur d’Alene and spotted an ad for Sacred Grounds.

“It was fate. It was meant to be,” Cheri said.

They stopped by the Kootenai County Courthouse for the license, called Mr. Holm to say they were coming and walked into Sacred Grounds around noon.

Before the ceremony, the couple filled out paperwork and answered some questions from Mr. Holm.

“How much religion do you want?” Mr. Holm asked.

“Short and sweet, right?” Cheri asked Bryan.

“Yes,” Bryan said.

“Do you have your own vows?” Mr. Holm asked.

“No,” Cheri said.

“Really?” Bryan asked her. “Nothing at all? You couldn’t say five or six words?”

Cheri did not want to be married in front of the coffee bar.

“This feels very exposed,” she said. “Could we go back there a little bit?”

They stood in front of the drive-up window. Cheri held a small bouquet of flowers she had picked up on the way to Sacred Grounds. They did not have wedding rings.

Mr. Holm read the Apostle Paul on the subject of love, and asked each of the couple if they would take the other as a lawfully wedded spouse.

Then, by the authority of the state of Idaho, he pronounced them husband and wife, and the couple kissed. It was the first wedding for both.

“In August we’ll do a reception and have the wedding blessed by a priest,” Cheri said afterward.

“This is a good change. We’re ready for it.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide