Michael Wolber and April Hartley were getting married at Rock Springs Ranch, near Bend, Oregon, Saturday. There was just one small problem: the Two Bulls wildfire raging outside Bend.
“It was like a movie. We saw a fire truck roll up with sirens blaring,” Wolber told The Oregonian. The crews informed the wedding party that the ranch would have to be evacuated. But that’s not where the story ends, thankfully.
The firefighters who initially ordered the evacuation apparently had a change of heart, because the wedding’s organizer – Kelly Louden of Rock Springs Weddings – informed the guests they’d be able to go on with the ceremony, provided it was a shortened one. The minister, Liz Leavitt, wasted no time and married the couple, and the entire party proceeded with the evacuation.
“I’ve had a lot of surprises, being in ministry,” Leavitt said. “But I have to say: I’ve never had this happen before.”
The party relocated to nearby Drake Park, at which point photographer Josh Newton stole away with the happy couple to take some photos, which conveniently featured the wildfire in the background.
Newton uploaded one of the pics to Facebook, and the image went viral, eventually getting picked up by Good Morning America.
Michael and April are currently on their honeymoon in Cancun – neither regret the day’s turn of events, calling their wedding “the most beautiful ceremony either of us could have ever imagined.”
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