The bride wore a short beige dress and heels with a Batman motif, and the groom donned a faux-tux T-shirt and camo shorts.
They stood together in the bed of a ’78 GMC Sierra Grande pickup that boasted a modified engine and 39.5-inch tires. The officiant, a friend, wore a “Hooters” T-shirt.
When the couple finished saying their “I do’s,” the smiling pair kissed a couple of times, then climbed inside the pickup. With the groom at the wheel, they drove through a 12-inch-deep mud pit, splattering themselves and their clothes with the sticky, black muck.
In other words, the wedding went off without a hitch.
Aspen Aggas and Nick Zugg, both 26, chose the unusual way to celebrate their big day. The Billings couple asked if they could tie the knot at Saturday afternoon’s Magic City 4X4’s Mud Drags, where vehicles race against each other in the mud.
“Originally we were going to go to Vegas,” Aggas said, before the ceremony.
But she had been to the club's events with Zugg in the past and had always had fun. Plus, Aggas had an idea for a way to remember the occasion, and it involved a little mud.
“I wanted him to take me through a puddle of mud in his truck so we could spatter my dress,” she said. “And then I want to hang it in a shadow box.”
She also plans to put his wedding clothes and the bouquet, made out of Batman comic books, inside the framed case made by a friend. Batman was a big part of the day’s theme: The Batman logo peeked out of Zugg's T-shirt and Aggas' two children, Vincent, 9, and Callista, 6 1/2, wore Batman shirts and capes.
The pair served as ring bearers during the ceremony.
About 100 people were on hand for Saturday’s mud drags, some of them friends and family of the couple. They stood close to an orange mesh fence, which separated the crowd from the races, as the couple exchanged their vows and their rings.
Brandon Lasar, standing in the pickup with the couple, took them through their vows. Each promised to be a faithful partner in sickness and health, in good times and bad, in joy and sorrow.
“I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live,” Aggas and Zugg repeated after Lasar, speaking over the noise of the blustery wind.
The wedding was put on jointly by Magic City 4X4, MORE Racing and Oscar’s Park, which sits next door to the racing site, said Vern Ball, president of the four-wheel-drive club.
“We were doing the mud event and they approached us to see if they could be part of it,” Ball said of the couple.
The annual event was a Magic City 4X4 fundraiser, to help with trail maintenance and expenses. Mud isn’t always involved in the events, Ball said.
“We try to change it up so we appeal to different user groups,” he said.
A mud drag sets up two evenly-matched vehicles against each other, Ball explained. On Saturday, 20 people signed up to compete.
The races give onlookers in the stands a chance to see grown-ups playing in the mud, Ball said. He doesn’t do it himself.
“For every minute you’re in the mud, it takes an hour’s worth of cleaning,” he said.
Ball was impressed that the idea to get married at the mud drags came from Aggas.
“That’s one of the gals a guy looks for,” he said.
After the initial races, the action took a break so the nuptials could take place. Zugg, asked if the bridal party had music to play, said it wasn’t necessary.
“Who needs music when you have a big-block?” he asked, with a nod to his rig’s big engine.
Then he started it up and drove the pickup to the spot where the two would get married.
Deanna Young, who wore a “Team Bride” pin, snapped photos of her daughter as Aggas finished her last-minute preparations. Asked what she thought of the ceremony, Young said she thought it was fabulous.
“She’s marrying her perfect man, her Batman,” Young said. “The whole thing is very them.”
At first, she admitted she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of the mud drag wedding.
“But then, as I listened more and saw what they were about, it was perfect,” Young said. “They’re not formal. They’re very down to earth.”