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DACULA – As the famous twang of Hank Williams Jr. blasted from an SUV stereo Friday afternoon, about 30 folks socialized, sipped soda and puffed on cigarettes.
No, this wasn’t a Fourth of July backyard barbecue. It was the run-up to a wedding.
In a Waffle House parking lot.
The lucky couple, George “Bubba” Mathis and Pamela Christian – both 23 and employees at the Dacula diner located at the Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29 interchange – wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I don’t know, it’s something different,” Mathis said while fixing his tie prior to the ceremony.
For years, the couple tried to marry on their Independence Day anniversary. But the bride was always scheduled to work. Instead of waiting any longer – she got the day off at the last minute; Mathis had to report for the morning shift – the couple of nine years decided to seal the deal at work.
The result was what a NASCAR tailgate might be like if Hank Jr. himself stopped by with all his rowdy friends: Loud and proud – country music, storytelling and plenty of Dale Earnhardt paraphernalia – and not an iota of pretentiousness.
Shortly after exchanging vows under the shade of a tree next to the parking lot, both man and wife let out sighs of relief as they picked up their two little blonde girls and chatted with family and friends. But there was not time to relax – the wedding cake had to be cut inside.
“It’s been crazy, madness,” the bride said. “Finally, everything worked out.”
Standing nearby, the father of the newly minted Mrs. Pamela Mathis, William Christopher, wondered if anyone had videotaped the ceremony. He wants to send it in to CMT.
“I think it’s pretty redneck myself,” he said, laughing. “But I’m a redneck anyway, so.”
The couple plans to honeymoon Monday and Tuesday, but then it’s back to work.
“I don’t know yet,” Mathis said.