A hillbilly (redneck) wedding.

Now I know that the first thing that is probably going through your mind is that these photos are from West Virginia. Who knows, they just might be!

The first one definitely looks like it has been a victim of photoshopping, but the second one looks real. Real or not, they strike me as funny so I figured that I would pass them along.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A good friend of mine had a wedding that looked eerily similar to this. It was out in his front yard and was complete with a noose hanging in a tree that they were standing under, a very drunk groom and drunk groomsmen, a dog (or two) that wouldn’t leave anyone alone, and another friend shooting a 12 gauge shotgun into the air multiple times after the pastor said “You may kiss the bride”. Yes, this one did take place in good ol’ WV. Less than a mile from my house in fact.The wedding day ended with everyone taking turns riding a couple of ATV’s (fourwheelers) with only one minor accident. One of the drunks (no, not me) flipped the 600 lb. monster of a fourwheeler over frontwards. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. He had no injuries other than a bruised ego. Good times man…good times.

REDNECK – “cracker,” 1893; attested 1830 in more specialized sense (“This may be ascribed to the Red Necks, a name bestowed upon the Presbyterians in Fayetteville,” from Ann Royall, “Southern Tour I,” p.148). According to various theories, red perhaps from anger, or from pellagra, but most likely from mule farmers’ outdoors labor in the sun, wearing a shirt and straw hat, with the neck exposed.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

HILLBILLY-“southern Appalachian resident,” c.1900, from hill + masc. proper name Billy/Billie. As a type of folk music, first attested 1924.

“In short, a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires of his revolver as the fancy takes him.” [“New York Journal,” April 23, 1900]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

7 thoughts on “A hillbilly (redneck) wedding.”

  1. Hysterical Yeh, that first pic has floated around alot, but it sure is funny. And I love the wedding story…what a hoot! I bet it was more fun than most of the stuffy weddings here in Wisconsn!

  2. Do fathers of the bride still carry shotguns to Redneck weddings? Just wondering cause I am working on some Red Neck wedding design ideas. Merry Christmas Y’all 😀

  3. Your definition for the term “Redneck” is incorrect. It originated after the West Virginia Mining Wars in the early 20th Century. Union Miners or those siding with the UMW wore a red bandanna around their necks and were referred to as Rednecks.

  4. Actually the term redneck came from ireland..People stereotyped as rednecks are largely descendants of the Irish, Ulster-Scots and Lowland Scots immigrants who traveled to North America from Northern Ireland and Scotland in the late 17th and 18th centuries, although some of them are descended from people of Germanic and other stock. The Ulster-Scots had historically settled the major part of Ulster province in Northern Ireland, after previous migration from the Scottish Lowlands and Border Country. These pioneering people and their descendants are known in North America as the Scots-Irish. (The 18th century influx of Highland Scots into the Carolinas also contributed to the bloodlines.)

    The “Celtic Thesis” of Forrest McDonald and Grady McWhiney holds that they were basically Celtic (as opposed to Anglo-Saxon), and that all Celtic groups (Irish, Scottish, Welsh and others) were warlike herdsmen, in contrast to the peaceful farmers who predominated in England. U.S. Senator James H. Webb of Virginia uses this thesis in his book Born Fighting to suggest that the character traits of the Irish and Scots — loyalty to kin, mistrust of governmental authority, and military readiness — helped shape the American identity. According to Webb, these people characterized as “rednecks” and “crackers”, were unwelcome in the “civilized” coastal regions and were encouraged by colonial leaders to settle the Appalachian mountains, as a bulwark against the Indian Nations. Although sometimes hostile to the Indians, they found much in common with them and engaged in trade and cultural exchanges. In the Appalachians they also encountered pockets of Melungeons, English-speaking people of mixed racial origins (black, white, Indian), whom they tolerated and over time, they intermarried with English from the West Country and absorbed members of other groups through the bonds of kinship.

    Fiercely independent, and frequently belligerent, people characterized as rednecks perpetuated old Celtic ideas of honor and clanship. This sometimes led to blood feuds such as the Hatfield-McCoy feud in West Virginia and Kentucky.

    In colonial times, they were often called rednecks and crackers by English neighbors. A letter to the Earl of Dartmouth included the following passage: “I should explain … what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, who often change their places of abode.”

    The fledgling government inherited a huge debt from the American Revolutionary War. One of the steps taken to pay it down was a tax imposed in 1791 on distilled spirits. Large producers were assessed a tax of six cents a gallon. Smaller distillers, however, most of whom were of Scottish or Irish descent located in the more remote areas, were taxed at a higher rate of nine cents a gallon. These rural settlers were short of cash to begin with, and they lacked any practical means to get their grain to market other than fermenting and distilling it into relatively portable alcoholic spirits. From Pennsylvania to Georgia, the western counties engaged in a campaign of harassment of the federal tax collectors. “Whiskey Boys” also made violent protests in Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. This civil disobedience eventually culminated in armed conflict in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.

    People characterized as rednecks, and sometimes merely as southerners, serve in the U.S. armed forces at a much higher rate than other Americans. This trend is also present among the Scots in the British armed forces. Stereotypical rednecks, and especially Tennesseans, are known for their martial spirit. Tennessee is known as the “Volunteer State” for the overwhelming, unexpected number of Tennesseans who volunteered for duty in the War of 1812, the Texas Revolution (including the defense of the Alamo), and especially the Mexican-American War. During the Civil War, poor whites did most of the fighting and the dying on both sides of the conflict. Poor Southern whites stood to gain little from secession and were usually ambivalent about the institution of slavery. They were, however, fiercely defensive of their territory, loyal to family and home and typically resolute in the cause of independence from the Union.

    Although slaves fared the worst by far, many poor whites had “a hard row to hoe” as well. The disruptions of the Civil War (1861-65) and Reconstruction mired African Americans in a new poverty and dragged many more whites into a similar abyss. Sharecropping and tenant farming trapped families for generations, as did emerging industries, which paid low wages and imposed company-town restrictions (see Carpetbagger). Once-proud yeomen frequently became objects of ridicule, and sometimes they responded angrily and even viciously, often lashing out at blacks in retaliation. Destitute whites were increasingly labeled “poor white trash” (meaning financially and genetically worse off than others) and worse; “cracker,” “clay eater,” “linthead,” “peckerwood,” “buckra” and especially redneck only scratched the surface of rejection and slander. Northerners and foreigners played this game, but the greatest hostility to poor whites came from their fellow Southerners, sometimes blacks but more often upper-class whites. Generally, the view of poor white Southerners grew more and more negative, especially in modern movies and television, which have often stressed the negative and even the grotesque while reaching huge audiences. Rednecks have borne their full share of this stereotype of lower-class Southern whites who share poverty status with immigrants, blacks, and other minorities.

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