When they’re not out in the field helping to restore power, electric cooperative bucket trucks have made festive floats in Christmas parades or sturdy props in safety demonstrations.

But it turns out they also make excellent post-wedding getaway vehicles. Just ask Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Annie (McGinnis) Watson and Kenny Watson, who climbed into a bucket truck while dressed in their wedding finery before bidding farewell to guests at their Gunter, Texas, reception.

“The operations crew did a great job, shining and cleaning it up,” said Annie Watson, director of communications at the Aledo-based co-op. “I don’t think there was one speck of dirt.”

The bucket truck send-off was the crowning touch of the May 21 co-op-themed nuptials for Watson and her groom, a journeyman lineman at Tri-County EC. Nearly every element of the couple’s big day touched on rural electric co-ops.

“Electric cooperatives are very near and dear to my heart,” said Watson, the daughter and granddaughter of general managers of two Texas co-ops, Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative in Van Alstyne and CoServ Electric in Corinth.

She said the lightbulb moment came from her father, David McGinnis, general manager and CEO of Grayson-Collin EC. As a guest at co-op retirement events, he had seen old electrical equipment refurbished into attractive decorations.

“It wasn’t supposed to be a co-op theme, but Annie is third-generation co-op, and when she believes in something she goes 100% plus,” he said.

“Even the wedding band had a connection to co-ops,” said Watson, who knew lead singer Clayton Gardner from college and recommended him to perform at a Connect Conference several years ago.

McGinnis said the best part about the wedding, besides exchanging vows with her lifetime partner, was the involvement of the couple's co-op family.

“Our co-op family from across Texas, relatives and friends truly made the day special, she said. “We could not have imagined a better day with better people.”