Tennessee Mountain Stories

Wedding Memories


Well it’s the wedding season.  These days, June is the preferred month for brides, although only by a slim margin over August (0.6% more).   I love to hear stories about people’s weddings and as I’ve mentioned here before the old stories are very different from today’s. 

At a recent friends’ wedding someone commented that the bride’s day started before 7:00 because she had so much to accomplish before the afternoon ceremony.  I couldn’t help but think how different that day was compared with brides through history.

Diane Franklin recounted a story I love about her own wedding day.  It was 1965 and her family home had been crudely wired but there was still no running water.  But she was intent upon having a bath on her wedding day.  So she started her day by drawing water, heating it on the stove and filling a corrugated tub.  Her fiancé had moved up north to work in Ohio and picked her up in his 1964 Plymouth. 

There don’t seem to be any stories on the mountain of church weddings until the early 1960’s and I can’t seem to ferret out the inspiration to start this tradition – you will recall that all of the Appalachian stories I hear are about weddings in the preacher’s living room or the courthouse.  I suppose there were always some such ceremonies in town by the few somewhat wealthier families.  It seems like once a few folks started marrying in church the tradition took root pretty quickly.

Of course it helped that the groom in today’s story, Lewis, was doing pretty well.  He’d waited to marry until he found steady work and had good prospects for his future.  He bought flowers to decorate the church, someone took photographs and the bride’s sisters were attendants. 

So I’m curious about your stories.  What is the earliest church, or large formal, wedding you’ve heard about on the mountain?  Just click “comments” below.