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By: CJ Rena Johnson

Getting Married in the Mud at the Hatfield-McCoy National TrailFest

Richard Lafferty and Cindy Shriner
Richard Lafferty and Cindy Shriner

Roses for the Bride
Roses for the Bride

Rick, Cindy and Family
Rick, Cindy and Family

Wedding Couple Cleaned up
Wedding Couple Cleaned up

With This Ring, I Thee Wed
With This Ring, I Thee Wed

 I Do
 I Do

You May Kiss the Bride
You May Kiss the Bride

The 9th Annual Hatfield-McCoy National TrailFest had a lot of great things to offer this year, but one thing that none of us expected to see was a wedding in the mud pit!

Richard Lafferty and Cindy Shriner were officially married October 10, 2009 in the mud pit just before the mud bog competition on Saturday night. Even though it was not planned prior to the event, it was still a huge success in the end. That was the second wedding, according to my source, that has taken place at the Hatfield-McCoy Annual TrailFest. The one last year took place out on the trail. I wonder if this is becoming a trend with TrailFest.

I interviewed them to find out just what prompts someone to get married in this out of the ordinary way.

Q. How did the two of you meet?
Cindy:  We met at my sister Sherry’s house at a Super Bowl Party. I had asked Sherry to give Rick a call and tell him that his new girlfriend was waiting to meet him. We met and actually starting dating on February 14. We have now been together for nine years.

Q. How did each of you get into ATVing?
Rick:  I have been into ATVing all my life. You don’t live in Bakers Summit and not own an ATV.
Cindy: I started riding when I met Rick.

Q. What made you two want to get married at an ATV event and specifically in the mud pit?
Rick:  We both thought it would be cool to get married at an event with so many people that love the same sport we do. We had heard about another couple getting married on the trails last year and wanted to get married in the mud pit so it would be different.

Q. Where are the two of you from?
Cindy: We are both from Bakers Summit, PA

Q. Do you always attend the Hatfield-McCoy National TrailFest, or was this your first time?
Rick: This was the first time for both of us. We have every intention of coming back next year to celebrate our 1st anniversary.

Q. What are your occupations?
Rick: I am an inspection mechanic for Longs Tire of Martinsburg, PA.
Cindy: I am a shrink operator for NPC (National Printing Company) of Claysburg, PA

Q. Is this your first marriage?
Rick: We have both been married once before. Both of our first marriages were done in the traditional fashion.

Q. Do either of you have children?
Cindy: I have 2 children from a previous marriage, Kathryn (23) and Eugene (19). I also have a granddaughter, Deerin (6)
Rick: I have two daughters, Arizona (9) and Gloria (8)

Q. Were your families involved in the wedding at the TrailFest?
Cindy: Neither of our families was involved in the wedding, because none of them knew about it. Eugene did not even believe us when we told him we had gotten married. He wanted to see the marriage certificate.

Q. How supportive is your family of this marriage?
Cindy:  They are very supportive and happy. I think they all wanted us to get married, but none of them were holding their breath.
Monica (Rick’s sister): You’d think that after 9 years, if they were going to get married, they would have done it by now. Rick’s girls were happy to have a stepmom.

Q. Did you know of another couple who had a wedding similar to this?
Rick: No. Neither of us knew of anyone who has ever had this type of wedding before.

Q. Was the wedding all you expected it to be?
Rick: Yes, it was all we expected and more.

Q. Were there any surprises during the wedding or as a result of it?
Cindy: The biggest surprise was the wedding itself. When Rick asked a friend of ours, Donna McCauley, how to go about getting the marriage license, I almost fell off of my 4-wheeler.

Q. Is there anything you would change about the wedding if you had the opportunity?
Rick: I would have thrown her in the mud pit after the ceremony.

Q. Would you suggest this type of wedding to others?
Rick: Yes, we both recommend this kind of wedding to anybody who wants their wedding to be remembered by all.

Q. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Rick: We went home for our honeymoon. We spent our wedding night at Livingood Lodging in West Virginia with a bottle of homemade wine given to us by my best man, Jeff McCauley. We wanted moonshine, but couldn’t find any.

Q. Have you received much publicity about your wedding?
Cindy:  We haven’t really received much publicity about the wedding. But by the next morning, everybody knew who we were and what we had done.

Q. Were you nervous about the ceremony?
Rick: I wasn’t nervous at all.
Cindy: I kept getting my friend Donna to pinch me to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I was worried that something would happen, and we wouldn’t be able to do it.

Q. Were you worried about getting stuck in the mud or falling?
Cindy: I wasn’t really worried about it, but once it was all said and done, I nearly lost my shoe in the mud.

Q. What was your favorite part about the wedding?
Rick: The best part for both of us were all the great people that helped us pull the wedding off and make it a memorable event for everyone.

Q. Was there a least favorite part and if so, what was it?
Cindy:  None of our family was there to be with us. Rick’s sister, Monica Ott, is trying to talk us into having our vows renewed in a couple of years, just so she can be there.

Q. Were there alternate wedding plans you were considering?
Rick: We hadn’t really thought about getting married until on the way there. I was trying to come up with a way to pull it off. I didn’t think about the mud pit until we arrived at the festival.

Q. Is there anything else you would like people to know about your wedding?
Cindy:  We both want the world to know, if you are single or divorced, don’t give up on love. There is always someone out there for everybody, even if you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to your prince.

Q. Were you able to accomplish everything on such a short notice to make it a legal ceremony or did you have to re-perform the ceremony somewhere else?
Rick: A lot of people ask us this. Yes, we were legally married in the mud pit, and we have the license to prove it.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add?
Rick:  We are planning a wedding reception to be done in the colors of camouflage. We would like to give thanks to all the people who helped to pull this wedding together on such a short notice and a special thanks to Carl, Bonnie, Matt and family, Rob, Glen and his son, Jack, Rich, and Ann.

So there you have it. The wedding in the mud! Who knew that the decision for the Hatfields and McCoys to bury their hatchet and build an ATV trail system would open up a way for others to work together and begin their lives together?

Will there be another wedding next year at the TrailFest? I guess we will all have to wait and see. With or without a wedding, it promises to be a very exciting event.

Make your plans now to attend the 10th Annual Hatfield-McCoy TrailFest on October 7-11, 2010. To find out more about the 2009 and 2010 TrailFests, please visit the official Web site at

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