Thrill Seeker Brides Set Their Wedding Gowns on Fire After Saying 'I Do' — Watch
True love lit a fire under two brides — literally.
On Oct. 13, April Choi, 32, and Bethany Byrnes, 28, tied the knot in Iowa with a twist: They set their wedding dresses on fire — while they were still wearing the gowns — for a ceremony that guests will not soon forget.
In an SWNS video of the dramatic nuptials, the brides clasped hands as a voice boomed, “Fire extinguishers ready?”
“You may now light the brides,” the officiant said. Two guests knelt down with burning torches to approach the long trains of the gowns.
“Three, two, one. Go,” he called. The guests touched the torches to the trains, and the flames billowed into large fires. The women remained still, looking into each other’s eyes as the blazes whipped behind their backs and the crowd cheered.
As the fires raged in the SWNS video, the women at last hopped out of their dresses and out of danger. Both were wearing pants under the gowns. With the help of their guests, they tried to extinguish the fires by rolling up the remains of the dresses.
“Congratulations again, you too,” the officiant concluded. “It could be warm, people.”
Choi and Byrnes met in February 2012, and started dating in July 2013, according to their page on The Knot. Choi popped the question four times unsuccessfully — though Byrnes did accept the engagement ring as a birthday present on the fourth try — until she finally got a yes in December 2016.
The brides listed February 2014 as the month when “Beth agrees to be put in a wedding dress and lit on fire.”
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“We tried to get [the fires] to match evenly, but mine ran up first and Bethany’s took a while but it slowly burnt up the skirt,” Choi told SWNS.com. “I have never seen two brides do something like this. I don’t know many same-sex marriages first of all.”
The couple’s parents “were very, very nervous,” she added.
“I have done fire performance for fun and professionally, but as I watched the fuel being poured on April’s dress I couldn’t help but think it was a ton of fuel to be wearing,” Byrnes recalled to the news service. “You just have to repeat in your head that it’s fine, you’ve done this before and all of the safety has been figured out. It really is safe.”
“Watching the flames creep up your wife’s gown is not something you can ever forget,” she said to SWNS.
The brides reportedly wore cotton leggings and pulled up their hair as safety precautions. They had detached and reattached duck cloth to their gowns.
Byrnes posted on Facebook, “Thank you to our awesome wedding party acting as fire and fuel safeties, my big sister for lighting me on fire, Jake for being on point with the fire extinguisher and to Harmonic Threads for making awesome fire-retardant legging that totally saved my leg.”
“Every wedding I shoot is different, but this is way out,” photographer Michael Huang said, according to The Kansas City Star. “It was an honor to be able to capture this beautiful moment.”