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Parmalee talk wedding crashing, that one “awkward” time fans followed them for 30 miles

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Ever since they put out their romantic “Take My Name,” Parmalee have found a new hobby: crashing weddings to surprise the bride and groom with a performance. It’s a habit they picked up around Valentine’s Day, and they’re still at it this summer.

But there’s some logistical difficulties that go along with being frequent wedding crashers.

“It’s interesting because you never know what you’re getting into when you go on these things, and it’s their special day,” says the band’s Matt Thomas.

“The last one we did was fun,” adds Josh McSwain. “We didn’t know these people at all. We just walked right in on their reception and started singing and playing.”

That experience was memorable for another reason, too: They had a surprising encounter with fans while they were on their way from the show they’d just played to the wedding. “It’s 30 miles away, and we notice there’s a car behind us,” Barry Knox says.

“And then it pulls up to us on the two-lane, you know, and they’re waving. We’re like, ‘OK, well, that’s some fans from the show. OK, cool.’ We wave, and then we figure we just mosey on,” he says, explaining that it turned out things weren’t going to be that simple.

“For 30 miles, they were right beside us,” Barry says.

“We were trying to shake them before we got there because it was gonna be awkward,” Josh says. After all, they were already showing up unannounced to somebody’s wedding. “It’s weird enough, us going in there — and then you have people following you. We did lose them before we got there.”

When they’re not crashing weddings, Parmalee is gearing up for tour: They’re hitting the road with Walker Hayes this fall.

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