One of the most talked about celebrity weddings that occurred in Ringgold is that of entertainment superstar and Country Music Hall of Famer Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton came to Ringgold with her fiancé Carl Dean in May 1966. “We picked Ringgold to get married because for some time in his youth,
my husband lived on Missionary Ridge, right on the Tennessee-Georgia border just outside of Chattanooga,” Parton said. “I also liked the idea of ‘rings of gold’ –Ringgold. I thought that sounded like a good sign.”
Parton intentionally chose a site away from the mainstream of Nashville. “I didn’t want anybody in Nashville to know that I was getting married because of my business,” she said. “So we thought we’d get as far away as we could and still have it as close to
Tennessee as we could.”
While many couples choose to have a civil ceremony, Parton wanted a church wedding. “We married in the church as opposed to going to the courthouse. Rev. Don Duvall at the Ringgold Baptist Church married us,” Parton said. “But we had to come back on Monday to get married because I refused to get married in the courthouse where we got our license because I wanted to be married in a church.”
The wish to be married in a church resulted in two trips to Ringgold for Dolly.
“We went down there, got our license, had to come back home and then go back,” she said. “My mother made my little dress and she was our only witness. So we had to keep my mother over the weekend which was the hardest part. Ha! just joking.”
The couple married Memorial Day, May 30, 1966 and posed for their wedding photo in front of the church.