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Dolly Parton Is Planning the Wedding She Never Had for 50th Anniversary

Dolly Parton 50th wedding anniversary
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Not much in Dolly Parton‘s life is low key, but her wedding to her husband Carl Dean on May 30, 1966, was. The vow renewal ceremony the couple has planned in honor of their upcoming 50th anniversary, however, will be anything but.

In 1966, Parton had just signed with Monument Records, and label head Fred Foster asked the then-engaged singer to delay her nuptials.

“He was investing quite a bit of money in me to try and get me started in the business,” Parton recalled to The Boot and other reporter at a recent media event. “He heard that I was engaged, and we had already sent out our wedding invitations, and so he called me in the office and said, ‘I would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t get married for at least a year, so I can kind of make sure I can get a return on my investment, because I want you to be free to work and do whatever you need to do.'”

Instead of delaying her marriage, however, Parton and Dean headed to Ringgold, Ga., and more or less eloped.

“[We] got married [there] so it wouldn’t be in the Tennessee papers,” Parton explains with a laugh. “We went down there, and Mom went with us, and Mom made me a white dress. I said, ‘I’m not getting married in a courthouse,’ so we had to go back the following Monday … We actually got married in Ringgold, Ga., at a Baptist church. Inside. No people there, just the preacher and his wife, the witness and Mama and Carl and I.”

The 70-year-old has fond memories of her nuptials, but she acknowledges that she is eager to have the chance to do it all over again.

“I missed having a wedding dress and all that,” Parton admits. “I’m being fitted up for that. He’s looking for suits. We’re going to take a bunch of pictures. Might even sell some to the rag mags and take the money and give it to the Imagination Library. That’s my plan.”

During the same media event, Parton also announced that she will be embarking on an American and Canadian tour later this year, as well as releasing a double album, Pure & Simple With Dolly’s Biggest Hits.

“We’re so excited to get out there and see the fans again,” Parton says. “I’m really looking forward to singing songs the fans have not heard in a while, as well as the hits, while debuting a few new ones off Pure & Simple.”

Details, as they are announced, will be available on Parton’s website.

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