by Margaret Campbell
Lettie Collett McKay and Zachary Cole McCord first met at a gospel singing to which mutual friends had invited them.
"Neither of us knew many people there and, upon discovering that I had an interest in agriculture, one of Zach's friends declared that I was his future wife — the rest is history," Lettie recalled.
McCord knew what he wanted in a wife.
"She always supports me in anything I do, and I will always enjoy having someone in my life helping me get through the hard times," Zach said. "I was not expecting to fall in love, but she was everything I had been looking for in a future wife."
The daughter of Joe and Kim McKay and the son of Eddie and Dawn McCord are planning an autumnal ceremony Nov. 22. The bride-to-be describes the wedding as moderately sized and country in style at Rose Marry Farms.
There will be four bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid and flower girl in attendance of the bride. The groom will be attended by four groomsmen and a ring bearer. After the nuptials, the pair plan to honeymoon in Gatlinburg.
The rural life runs deep for this couple. Lettie holds a bachelor's and master's in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and currently works for Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Zach, who has an associates in business administration from Motlow State Community College, works for Madison County Co-op.
In their down time, the couple enjoys "spending quality time together, helping on our families' beef cattle farms, deer hunting and listening to music and singing in the car. We have a calf named Rosie that we raised on a bottle," Lettie said.
The proposal was a complete surprise for the bride, with the entire clan in attendance.
"Zach proposed on Feb. 1," Lettie said. "Both of our families were hiding in the dark at my house; when they turned the lights on it scared me and I screamed. When the fear turned to laughter and I realized what was happening, I noticed all of their smiling faces and a string of our pictures together as he got down on one knee."
Of course, Lettie said yes.
"Zach and I have so many common interests and so much fun together," she said. "I fell for him because he makes me truly happy. He always has a smile on his face and it is contagious. How could you not want to be with someone who brightens your mood every single day?"
As far as the future, the couple plans to stay in Southern Middle Tennessee and carry on both of the families' traditions of farming.
"Everyone always told us that relationships come and go, but the right one would eventually come along," Lettie said. "They were right."