marries in Wal-Mart parking lot
It’s amazing how a radio station contest can turn into love, but it happened. Misty Kelley was determined to win tickets to the fair so she listened to WIVK Radio for the opportunity. When the radio personality would announce where the WIVK van and its mascot The Frog would be, Misty would hop in her car and go there. She won fair tickets; she also won the love of The Frog, Howie Weeks. “She would come to get tickets to the fair,” stated Weeks. “After she had about 27 tickets she said, ‘I don’t want anymore tickets – what do I need to do to get a date with you?’ Really though, she wanted seven tickets and we could only give one to a person so she came to seven places to try to win the tickets. She went to Karns, to Solway, she even went to Morristown!”
That was a little over a year and a half ago. Weeks said he proposed to Misty at the Grand Hotel in Pigeon Forge at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
When it came time to plan the wedding and deciding where they should get married, it became very clear to Weeks. The place he chose was Wal-Mart. “We first met at Wal-Mart, at the old location,” stated Weeks. “But I didn’t want to get married there because it is basically empty now. So I called the store manager of the new location and asked if we could get married there.”
The Wal-Mart location was a surprise to Misty. “She didn’t know until we got there that this was the place we were going to get married. I told her I had to make a few stops before we got to the wedding site so she thought I was getting a cake or picking up film. When we pulled into the parking lot there was a crowd of people all cheering that heard about the wedding on the radio.”
The original guest list of 20 people grew to 70-80, thanks to the announcement on WIVK.
Wedding gifts included about $300 worth of Wal-Mart gift certificates from guests.
“People from remote areas came to the wedding,” stated Weeks. “It blew my mind. Mac the hotdog man who usually gives hot dogs away at our remotes drove from Lenoir City to be there.”
The bride said the highlight of the day was of course the wedding, but another added bonus was the reunion with her high school friend. “She was my best friend and we just lost touch with each other. She saw the sign that we were getting married when she came to Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription so she stuck around to see. It was great to see her again and get reconnected.”
While Wal-Mart may not be everyone’s chose as a wedding spot, for Misty it is the perfect choice. “I was totally shocked. But it was very romantic because it’s where we first met.”