Appalachia Folklore

Love is in the Air

heart rock

As you’ve likely guessed love is in the air around our house this week. Still hard for me to believe Chatter’s wedding has snuck up on us and will be this weekend.

Austin and Chatter have dated almost four years and The Deer Hunter and I dated for four years before taking the leap. Pap and Granny dated a short three months before running off to get married.

Granny says she was all for getting married, but once they were married she was terrified to tell her mother. Of course in the end it all worked out and her mother adored Pap.

The Deer Hunter and I used his grandparents’ wedding rings and I think that made our wedding extra special.

Chatter and Austin are using his parents’ rings which just makes my heart sing.

I’ve been reading about the tradition of shivarees this week. If you’ve never heard of them, a shivaree is a loud greeting given to newlyweds on their wedding night by family, friends, and neighbors. The group gathers around the house and makes a lot of noise! They beat on pots and pans, blow horns, shoot guns, and serenade with a lot of whooping and hollering. Putting the couple, or at least the husband, in a wheel barrel or on a rail and riding or pushing him around the house was sometimes part of the fun as well. The bedlam usually ended with refreshments and gifts for the newlyweds.

A few other Appalachian customs or sayings concerning weddings:

  • If someone sweeps under your feet you’ll never marry. I heard this one my whole life.
  • The couple jumps the broom after the service to signify crossing over from single life to married life. This one reaches far beyond Appalachia.
  • The word courtin was used to describe a couple who was serious in their relationship and most likely headed for matrimony. When I was a young girl someone was always asking me if I was courtin yet.
  • When young ladies gathered to put the finishing touches on a new quilt they each held a piece of the quilt and someone threw a cat onto the quilt. Whoever the cat jumped off closest to was the next girl to be married.

Like much of the rest of the country the tradition of throwing the bouquet is still alive and well here.

Last night’s video: Younger Days: A Collection of Photos from the Appalachian Mountains.


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  • Reply
    Lisa I
    March 12, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    Congratulations to Corie and Austin and warm wishes for all of God’s blessings in your life together. Enjoy all the moments this weekend

  • Reply
    Kathy Patterson
    March 12, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    I am happy for Austin and Corie ! You must post pictures to your online family.
    Here in the Blue Ridge today we are having snow, terrible winds, and dark skies.
    After Charles’ parents died he got their wedding rings and his grandmothers wedding rings.
    I had his granny’s wedding band made into my second engagement ring. I had my first engagement
    ring, his mother’s engagement ring, and his other Granny’s engagement ring made into a ring for me.
    I don’t have to worry about loosing the diamonds and we can enjoy them together.
    Our family is starting to do this– pass down family rings to our children. It saves the children a bunch of money and all of us can enjoy the rings again instead of having them in our underwear drawers in boxes. My boys each have a star sapphire saved for them that we dug up at one of those gem mines in the Smokies when they were little boys. Yes, I kept it in my underwear drawer in a box. Something special for a special time in their lives.
    Kathy Patterson

  • Reply
    March 11, 2022 at 11:08 am

    I hope you all have a beautiful day and make lots of sweet memories.
    Best wishes to the soon-to-be newlyweds!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Congratulations to Corie and Austin! I wish them and your family all the best!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    My wife and I dated about 4 months and so far we have made it through almost 58 years together.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    March 10, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    I know it will be a beautiful day. Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Gloria Hayes
    March 10, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    My husband and I also dated for 4 years. Forty-five years later we are still together. Congratulations to Austin and Corie and all of the family. The memories you make will be with you for the rest of your life. God bless all of you.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    Ron Stephens expressed it so well I shan’t compete.

    In less than a month, we will have been married for 61 years. It’s hard to believe. We married young, at 19. About everyone predicted it wouldn’t last . . . and it might not. :).

    Our daughter has been married 10 years. She brought us a wonderful son-in-law as it’s clear that Corie as done.

    May the Blessings of the Lord shine about all of you as this glorious occasion comes to pass.

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    March 10, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    I hope you all have a beautiful day!

  • Reply
    Betty Blalock
    March 10, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    We missed our son ( only child) so much after he moved out and then married. When the two grandchildren were born, it has been like having our son back to love on and spoil. God bless you all.

  • Reply
    Kim Smith
    March 10, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Just want to tell you that snow makes for the most beautiful wedding pictures! Best wishes and prayers for a joyful day and married life!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 10, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Doesn’t seem possible that she’s a grown woman and about to marry. I have so enjoyed seeing her growing up. Prayers for the bride and groom and for the Mama and Daddy. I would be crying constantly for what must be a bittersweet time.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    March 10, 2022 at 10:39 am

    God bless you all on the special day! We will be married 50 years in December. I can still remember how excited I was. Btw, we are still happy and God has blessed us tremendously. My husband always tells the bride and groom – love God and love each other! Have fun. Take care and God bless

  • Reply
    Hank Skewis
    March 10, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Congratulations and all good wishes to the lovely couple! Loved the idea of the shivaree!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I had no idea the wedding was this weekend! How exciting! Tipper, you must be the busiest person in town as the big day approaches. I bet your reader would not complain if you push the pause button on here for a few days.
    When a couple got married in my hometown, everyone within miles knew about it when the newlywed’s car hit the road. Pranksters would write on the windows with shoe polish, tie aluminum cans close enough to drag the ground, and anything else that might be an attention-getter.

  • Reply
    Bob Lingle
    March 10, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations and ‘best wishes’ for the young folks! May their lives be blessed with Godly love. When we got married (1970) my wife’s brothers chased us all over town in their cars, blowing their horns. We had the shaving cream and the ‘Just Married’ signs also. Ah, the memories!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 10, 2022 at 8:26 am

    I certainly am glad no one gathered outside on my wedding night and make a loud ruckus. I’m also glad my kin didn’t put Murr in a wheel barrow and roll him around the yard—- he may have run off before we got started… but I sure wish I’d have known of this tradition when my babies got hitched and maybe their fellas woulda run off…. it’s an idea for desperate mamas and daddy’s… lol but on a serious note, I wish the couple all the love, health, happiness and goodness there is!!! God bless the younguns as they make their way together in this old world!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 10, 2022 at 8:22 am

    We ‘went together’ about 3 years before we married, waiting until I was out of tech school, had a lot of our household stuff and a job plus a house rented. In looking back later, I realized some folks thought we married young. (She was 19 and I was 20.) But for us it was not too young. I never gave it a thought at the time, for myself or her, and was surprised to realize others did. (Those who were not raised as we were.) It isn’t calendar years. It’s maturity and it differs individually. But then all you all know that. Much depends on how one was raised and Corie has been raised well. I know ‘as well as I know my own name’ (as my Dad sometimes said) there is no need for concern in that regard.

    In a certain hard-to-explain way, I feel for Austen because he cannot know how it is with you and the Deer Hunter. He can understand it with his head but (unless he has the of empathy) does not have the insider ability to feel it. And he won’t have unless and until his turn comes. He can’t change that no matter how much he might want to. It is just the way it is between generations. We who have lived through such life changes must be generous for the sake of those who have not, just as our parents had to be with us. And that goes for any of those life changes we have met and they have not. I wish I could say this better.

    Why do I have a feeling there had better be several boxes of tissues around? God bless all the folks who “wear their feelings on their sleeve” instead of armoring their hearts to keep from being hurt. I only cry on the inside, partly by nature and partly by my expectations of what I ought to do.

    We BP&A readers will be there with you all in spirit. We know that about each other by now. I mean that in the most practical way, not mystic nor eye wash. I hope you all feel us in the background.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    March 10, 2022 at 8:08 am

    May God richly bless Corie and Austin’s new home.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    March 10, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Congratulations on the new addition of a son to your family! We have 2 that we just love. This will be a busy week leading up to the wedding, not that you haven’t been busy with the preparations, anyways enjoy and have fun!

  • Reply
    Martha Justice
    March 10, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Loved the song Paul and Pap sang , and it’s so true, Younger Days Will Pass You By !❤ Wishing Chatter and Austin God’s Blessings on the soon coming wedding and their new life together .

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    March 10, 2022 at 7:28 am

    Congratulations to your daughter and her future husband. My husband and I dated for 7 years before we married. I’ve heard the superstition about sweeping under your feet too. But I always associated the word courting with meaning the same as dating. There’s a couple at our church who got married in the 1950s and they were shivareed when they got married. They are the only couple I know that had that happen to them. The only things we did was throw the bouquet and garter belt and they decorated our car up so much with shaving cream we could barely recognize it. When my oldest son got married, they filled the inside of their car up with balloons.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 10, 2022 at 6:49 am

    I can’t believe it either, Tip. In my mind she is still the little girl playing out in the yard. Now, day after tomorrow she is getting married. I know Austin is a great guy, but she is our little girl!
    I am sure it will be a beautiful wedding and a beautiful day, but she is our little girl, no matter how grown up she is.
    It will be a beautiful day to remember, looks like I may be crying at the wedding…

    • Reply
      March 10, 2022 at 8:55 am

      Congratulations to your family and Austin’s on the wedding of your daughter to Austin. I never heard of Shiveree until the Waltons. A cousin of Olivia’s married a young man from the city. It was a very entertaining episode .

  • Reply
    Tammy Howard
    March 10, 2022 at 6:36 am

    So interesting! I’ve always wondered about “jumpin the broom” and where that came from!
    Thanks for the post!

    • Reply
      March 10, 2022 at 7:41 am

      Tammy-thank you! I don’t think the tradition originated here but it is a popular saying

  • Reply
    donna sue
    March 10, 2022 at 6:19 am

    I have never heard the one about throwing the cat on the quilt! Thank you for taking the time to write for the blog this week. I know your minutes are going in a thousand different directions, and your heart is happy and sad at all once. You are in my prayers, as all of you are. Enjoy the next few days – the chaos, and the quiet. Hugs and love to you, Tipper!

    Donna. : )

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