The bride was radiant in her cap-sleeved, A-line lace white gown. The groom was beaming in his gray formalwear. And waiting to officiate the Sept. 27 marriage ceremony between Kathleen Thompson and Charlie Kimball on the sun-splashed Old Washington Street Pedestrian Bridge in Indianapolis was James Hinchcliffe.
Verizon IndyCar Series driver, good friend and recently-ordained minister James Hinchcliffe.
“It’s something that Charlie, Kathleen and I joked about years ago, and after they got engaged they invited me to dinner and said, ‘Remember how we used to joke about you marrying us? Well, we’ve thought about it and actually would like you to do it,’ ’’ Hinchcliffe said. “In my mind, it’s about the greatest honor somebody could ask you to do so, of course, I accepted.”
Hinchcliffe took his minister licensing and wedding training online through American Marriage Ministries.
“They come from different religious backgrounds and I said right away that if you ask me to do this I’m going to do it my way and they said that was the point. They didn’t want anything formal,” Hinchcliffe added. “For me and what I had been asked to do and by whom, I did a lot of research into what institution made the most sense and found one that fit well with the values of the people involved.”
The couple wrote their own vows.
“This is really a celebration of the two of them and hopefully the start of a long journey together,” Hinchcliffe said.
Following the ceremony, a stroll along the Indiana Central Canal led family, friends and many from the racing community to the reception at a downtown restaurant. They’re currently on an extended honeymoon.
Kimball, 29, and Thompson, 28, attended Rio Mesa (Calif.) High School and reconnected a few years later. They moved to Indiana in 2009 when he began competing in Indy Lights. Last month, Kimball completed his fourth Verizon IndyCar Series season with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. Thompson is a founder and co-owner of Indianapolis-based Porch Light Public Relations.