Hillbilly weddings have a look and design aesthetic all of their own — it’s not surprising. The hillbilly lifestyle is a true American cultural phenomenon. It has roots in Appalachia and the Ozark region, but has often been used to describe the type of life lived in the largely rural areas of the country from Ohio to Florida. It’s a lifestyle based around the outdoors and life in the country, whether it’s farming, fishing, hunting or other woodsy activity.
Ironically, male hipsters and hillbillies both sport beards these days, the latter without the meticulous grooming and trimming, however. But, in general, it’s a lifestyle without post modern irony, and one that rejects the urban lifestyle that’s hyped in the media. No $5 lattes. No uber-cool black leather jackets. No mermaid hair.
There is, however, lots of camouflage. And you’ll be getting mud on everything, eventually, anyhow. At least, that’s what we can gather from these incredible photos of true hillbilly weddings.
15. The Bridesmaid Dresses
Wedding days are special days that everyone in the wedding party will remember for the rest of their lives — not just the bride and groom. But, you also never know when you’ll want to go hunting or fishing and maybe that’s even part of the wedding day ceremony or celebrations. That’s where camo bridesmaids dresses come into the picture. You can have your wedding ceremony and then just melt into the woods. We especially like the way this bride has allowed her bridesmaids to create their own fashionable gowns using the same camo fabric, then coordinated that into her own sash. We can barely make them out against the forest. There’s also an orange ribbon sub-theme — maybe it’s the reflective tape so your hunting party doesn’t shoot you among the trees? Don’t forget the guns ladies!
14. Barefoot Wedding Party
There’s a lot of people talking about the benefits of walking barefoot these days, but they must be city folk who forgot that’s what people used to walk on for centuries. You don’t need to tell these hillbillies that shoes are for city dwelling liberals — they never stopped going barefoot. Along with the dearth of footwear, we like the way this bride has pulled her wedding party together with a green theme (the color, not that eco-liberal crap) ranging from the sea green for her gown and the maid (matron?) of honor’s gown, through the flower girl’s dress. It’s even echoed nicely in the blue of the tractor, isn’t it? But then she boldly added camo bridesmaids in a darker hue, sporting ensembles in a contrasting design we’d call practical. They might need to plow the fields later this afternoon. Or maybe they’ll be hunting down the entree for the reception while the rest of the party is taking pictures.
13. The Topless Look
A lot of men — even those northern Yankee urban-dwelling men — don’t particularly like wearing suits and ties, much less tuxedos. Trashing the button-downs is the dream of many urban office workers. The hillbilly style book for men (we’re just making that up) pushes the envelope even more in the concept of ditching all fabric worn above the waistline — not even an undershirt, not for the true hillbilly spirit. They will grudgingly put on a t-shirt — stained, if possible — if legalities or store rules or something equally stupid demand it, but only as long as it takes to get back home. It’s just you, tattoos, and God. Naturally, this style extends to wedding parties. On the plus side, all skin shades match denim, so you don’t have to worry about that, only in coordinating the underwear waistband colors so they match.
12. Getting The Right Band For The Reception
Now hillbilly music, whether you classify that as bluegrass, country, or folk is nothing to be sneezed at. There are many fine practitioners of the art. But, when it comes to your wedding, you want not just the sound, but the look too. While you’re perusing the ads for various bands for your hillbilly wedding, you might come across promo pics like this one. Now, we don’t really like them fancy decorations on the stage itself, but, the band definitely has their shtick down. Overalls pull the look together, along with shirt in Earth tones, and of course, the hats in black. Bales of hay on the stage are a nice touch, too. What puts this band over the top is the buck teeth on the middle dude. You have to admire that kind of dedication to authenticity.
11. The Wedding Cake
Wedding cakes can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to over $1,000 in urban centers, depending on what you want. That’s kind of crazy and in the end, will that high-end patisserie actually have the deer-hunting motif you’re looking for? Do they really understand the hillbilly lifestyle? You might be best to go with Aunt Edna and a trip to the dollar store for the figurines to flesh out the theme. A little icing, a little food coloring, and voila. We like the way this bride has chosen to depict a multi-dimensional version of the hillbilly life, including fishing, hunting, and camping with your ATV. We’ll also note that the table itself has been decked out like the forest around it – which will nicely tie in with the camouflage wedding dress and bridesmaid gowns.
10. Elvis Officiating
“Elvis: The Hillbilly Cat” is actually an album compilation of Elvis’ music from 1953 to 1955 and contains his work with Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s the early tracks that launched his career, and it’s the work of a true man of the South. Naturally, it is canon in the world of hillbilly culture, as is the late artist himself. In fact, there is a whole Elvis subculture centered around Graceland, his former estate in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s only to be expected that we find Elvis-themed hillbilly weddings, complete with an Elvis impersonating pastor, as in this case. We like the way this couple has chosen the bloated, middle-aged, tacky Elvis nearing the end of his career, rather than the younger, sexier version. It’s somehow more appropriate.
9. Don’t Get Cold Feet
The McMillan dictionary defines getting cold feet as, “to suddenly feel nervous about doing something that you have planned or agreed to do — Sally got cold feet at the last moment and called off the wedding.” If Sally or, more importantly, Elmer, gets cold feet at this wedding, grandpa and his shotgun are ready to make sure the ceremony takes place as planned. This pic looks like it was taken just before the festivities began, and gramps is making sure that the young man knows just what the consequences will be if he don’t treat that girl right! He may be small, but his gun is long, and he’s shot many possums back in the day, so don’t be underestimating the old man, Elmer. The time for hesitation is long gone. Now that we think about it, this could very well be an actual shotgun wedding. We wonder when the baby’s due?!
8. Moonshine Toast
Moonshine has its roots in the anti-tax sentiment of early America. Along with a thumbed nose as the taxman and a good alcoholic kick, moonshine was also a way for poor farmers to turn a bad year into a good one by converting corn into whisky. Despite its illegality, brewing moonshine flourished in the South from the late 1700s into the 20th century. In the 21st century, the government finally got smart and legalized moonshine in 2010. So you don’t have to worry about the feds raiding your reception anymore. Nowadays, you can proudly serve it out in the open, as this couple did, served in those classy monogrammed moonshine jars.
7. That First Mud Wrestle
Many brides and grooms take a while to choose the very best song to represent their love story when they take to the floor at their reception for that very first dance as husband and wife. Maybe it’s “Everything” by Michael Bublé or “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys featuring Usher. It’s a highlight of the whole day. But, traditions are a little different at your hillbilly wedding. There’s the bride and groom’s first mud wrestle — a popular part of many weddings where the guests are in cutoffs or bathing suits, and the men are, of course, shirtless. And, naturally, there is a mud hole nearby. We think the bride and groom are actually a little overdressed at this ceremony and we’re wondering, “why white?” We’re also wondering what soundtrack you’d choose for the event. “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC? Or maybe the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “I Like Dirt”?
6. Picturesque Wedding Pics
A woodsy locale, ATVs, a mud hole, and a bride in butt-kicking boots who isn’t afraid to get a little dirty all make for the most perfect redneck wedding. There may be something to this hillbilly wedding theme after all, something with more of a universal appeal. After all, who doesn’t want to kick out of those stuffy, tight wedding shoes and cut loose after all the protocol of the ceremony? We’re a little surprised at the formal white gown, but the accessories work well. Maybe the bride was using the trashing of a pure white gown as a metaphor for repudiating traditional capitalist values. Or maybe she just thought it was hot. Thanks, faceless hillbilly bride.
5. Alternate Limo
Sure, you can go for the usual stretch limousine for your wedding reception, decorated in camo or maybe just streaks of mud to create that real down-home look. But, why go to all the expense when there are perfectly good vehicles right there at home? The green of the truck goes nicely with the dirt/gravel drive and the classic white/black leather/denim of the bride’s and groom’s ensemble in this wedding photo. The couple can go for a number of looks when it comes to the wedding pics with this baby. They could even do that hillbilly classic scenario where the groom drives as his bride is carted around the field in the bucket — memories to cherish.
4. Sleeveless Groomsmen
If you want the hillbilly spirit but still want to create a more formal look, then the sleeveless jacket is the way to go for the groom and groomsmen. That way, the boys can still flash a tattoo or two while still having the sophistication of a tie. While the top half is more formal, though, the look still maintains its hillbilly cred with rumpled bootleg jeans and cowboy boots. It’s a unique hybrid take on menswear at weddings. The bride, we’ll note, stuck with a traditional white wedding gown. It creates a nice contrast but begs a few questions. Now, we’re just speculating here, but we’re guessing this look was the result of some kind of compromise.
3. The Whole Package
Wedding pictures last a lifetime. Or, at least as long as the marriage, let’s say. That’s why planning a wedding must incorporate a meticulous attention to detail. This bride has got the whole package together, although we do have a critique or two. Pick-up truck belching out good old American black smoke? Check. Booze in camo-decorated bottles? Check. Dudes in baggy, possibly unwashed jeans and Western shirts — and note, the groom’s shirt has a special color combo – with open necks? Check. The only thing we can fault with this classic hillbilly wedding party’s look is the bride’s gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. They’re not camo. They’re not even dirty. But, the festivities look like they’re just starting up. We’re sure the mud hole is the next stop.
2. Camo Limo
Many couples spend a lot of time thinking about getting the right kind of vehicle for their wedding. After all, it not only has to get the star-crossed pair around, but the wedding party too. And, it’s not just transportation — it will also be in the wedding pictures. When you look back on that wedding album years later (hopefully) you’ll want to be looking at images that capture the magic of the day, so every detail is important. This couple chose a conventional limo that was coordinated to their camouflage wedding ensemble theme. The groom’s overalls and hat match the car, we’ll point out, along with the pattern on the bride’s dress. The tongues are that extra touch that really set the mood. Kudos to the photographer for capturing the special moment.
1. Who Can Forget Honey Boo Boo’s Mom’s Wedding?
Who can forget Honey Boo Boo, her mom Mama June, and the faux wedding ceremony with papa Sugar Bear? Back in 2013, when Honey Boo Boo was a media sensation, Mama June and Sugar Bear held a huge wedding-like ceremony at their Georgia home. There was Mama June’s ruffled antebellum-style gown in a delicate camo print with flowers — a romantic touch. There were the orange accents for safety in case a gun-toting guest saw movement in the woods and did what any red-blooded hillbilly would do instinctively and shoot. Honey Boo Boo’s own gown was a confection in orange and fuchsia, and the guests seemed to choose either camo or golf shirts and baseball caps. As entertainment reporting sleuths later uncovered, the ceremony was not an official wedding, but something they were calling a “commitment ceremony” to reaffirm their love. The couple split in 2014 after multiple allegations of cheating.
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