Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tender Tennessee Redneck Weddings

East Tennessee is on my mind today, mostly because the area surrounds me with natural beauty, homegrown folks and very odd wildlife. I was driving on the Interstate today about a mile from my exit and noticed what I thought was a black cat. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a wild hog. It was just grazing along the interstate as if this was a perfectly natural thing for it to do.

East Tennessee has also been on the television screens of CMT viewers across the country. With the writer's strike still threatening the quality of our television choices, many of us (myself included) have turned to reality TV for our viewing pleasure. CMT premiered a new program a couple of weeks ago entitled, My Big Redneck Wedding. It's sure to be a classic: 30 minutes of pure redneck glory, interjected with random comments from Tom Arnold that make me want to beat my head against a wall. Seriously, it's like nails on a chalkboard and completely unnecessary. Trust me, the content of this show requires no narrative. It is totally self-explanatory.

The most recent episode features a young (18 & 19) couple from Copper Basin, Tennessee, just up the road from yours truly. They got married outside. The bride wore a green dress. The groom wore a camo suit and the entire bridal party wore camo. The bride arrived on a tractor and the reception featured beans and cornbread. It was Southern to the core. The groom's gift to the bride on the wedding day was a pink rifle. Her gift to him? A skink. Classic. I enjoy this show a great deal for two reasons:

  1. The couple on the second episode lived in California. Ha! There really are country folks in California. I thought this was a myth.

  2. I see these people every day in my community at the stores, on the road, on my street. I wouldn't be surprised if they filmed an episode of MBRW on my street. They are unapologetically country and cross all socio-economic lines in the great state of Tennessee. As long as they aren't waiving a rebel flag the size of Texas from a flagpole in their front yard, I find them to be good people, good friends and good neighbors.

The episode failed to shock or surprise me except for one thing.  The minister said and the bride promised to honor her, "commitment to be submissive to his leadership" while all the groom had to promise was to, "love and care for her." I was a little stunned that the bride was willing to make such an antiquated promise, especially with zero reciprocation from the groom. To each his own, though. Who knows what I would have said if I had fallen in love and married at age 19?


  1. Forgive this questions, but bear in mind that I am from a cornfield... a skink?? What the heck is a skink?

  2. You're forgiven. I lived in a cornfield once too. It's a lizard. Here's Wikipedia's definition:

  3. I saw was the bride and bridesmaids picking out the camo at Wal-Mart. And I was cracking up when they were looking at the golf course clubhouse and she said, "We can cover that fan up with a quilt. And we cover that golf stuff up with a quilt. And we can cover up that ____ with a quilt."
    And he said, "And we can bring over some of the animal heads, too."
    Good ol' country folk ... ain't nothin' like us! LOL

  4. I enjoyed the quilt thing too. I might start to implement it in my home. I'm tired of that end table. I'll just cover it with a quilt. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying new furniture!

  5. Just to jog your memory, Sean's Uncle Jim was in attendance at your wedding, T-shirt and all, and even though it was a little fancier setting, Alerton Park IS an outside facility. Hummm, maybe you been Redneck longer than you thought.

  6. Oh thank goodness, and here I thought I was the only one who had no idea what a skink was. Based on the vows then I think the gift was VERY appropriate. I'm not in a cornfield though, just a snowbank. I don't think we have skinks up in the cold north.
    Gosh, I'd hate to think who or what I would have married at 19...scary that.

  7. Too funny! I am definitely going to have to watch this show! It takes all kinds to make this world go round don't cha know.

  8. I'm glad you have a sense of humor about the good ole' South...28 years ago (I can't believe I'm that old), I actually tracked down a producer for Days of Our Lives by calling Chattanooga, New York, and then, California long distance on a poor single working woman's salary (every penny counted) just so I could complain bitterly about their Southern storyline (2 main characters ran off, ended up in the south, and, of course, the people they met were idiots with red checkered shirts on, girls in cut offs, barefooted and no in door toilet). I was livid and informed them I worked on computer (alright, it was a word processor, but whatever), had an indoor toilet and owned more than 2 dozen pairs of shoes (I'm only slightly embarrassed about that last item). Anyway, they got an earful. Sorry, this is so long!

  9. I happen to live in the country in California and yes, we do have rednecks here, complete with shotguns, saloons and cowboy hats, with guys who actually walk around wearing them and chewing tabakky. (I'm not sure whether they dress in camo at weddings, as I've yet to be invited to one). We have wild turkey and hogs. But no skinks.