Who knew what an impressive backdrop a raging wildfire could make for wedding photos?
When April Hartley and Michael Wolber got married Saturday at Rock Springs Ranch in Oregon, a natural disaster threatened to ruin their big day.
Hartley was about to walk down the aisle when firefighters stopped the wedding. Her father told guests with tears in his eyes that everyone would have to evacuate.
But there's a happy ending to this stressful moment: The firefighters changed their minds, as long as the ceremony was shortened. The guests cheered, and the couple were quickly married.
After the ceremony, photographer Josh Newton pulled the newlyweds aside to grab portraits, while the wedding guests helped to pack up everything and relocated to a nearby park. The resulting photos are breathtaking.
"Every wedding has its little hiccups," Newton shared. "Nothing of this scale has ever happened." Newton has captured images for 200 weddings. as the wildfire raged in the backdrop.
The wedding photo has since gone viral with over 88,000 likes on Facebook to date.
With thousands of shares and likes on social media, people are clearly moved by the unexpected scene. Newton said people think the photo looks like the cover of a romantic novel, or a poster for 'Gone With The Wind.'
Since the images were the couple's first moments alone, away from all the chaos, Newton was worried about how they would react. Maybe they wouldn't want photos with the smoke and fire that forced them to abandon their wedding venue.
"I wouldn't blame them if they were bummed about it, but it would have made the photos less awe-inspiring," Newton said. "They were just happy to be married and that's what's important."
He credits Hartley and Wolber for making the photos so powerful, saying they were all smiles, and even excited about the wildfire because they knew they would never forget it.
His advice to couples on their wedding day? "Don't let any hiccups get in the way of the joy."