Photographer from Alaska captures viral “Wildfire Wedding”
It’s the wedding photo seen ‘round the world.
Michael Wolber and his new bride April stand on a deserted highway as a plume of smoke billows out behind them.
It’s a day Wolber’s aunt, Juliana Wood, will never forget. She said the picture is like a scene from a movie.
“It’s so amazing. I know a lot of people have said it’s like Gone with the Wind.”
She scrolls through Facebook pages where articles about the photo have gone viral.
“I like this one, ‘Real men get married in wildfires. Rain on your wedding day doesn’t look so bad anymore,’” she laughed.
It was a wedding that almost didn’t happen though.
A brush fire near the ceremony site in Bend, Oregon exploded into a wildfire, prompting fire crews to evacuated the area.
Wood said family members were in tears until the fire department gave the couple just enough time to tie the knot.
“Really? Here they’re telling us we need to leave and evacuate and they gave us that few moments to get them married,” she said.
As family and friends packed up and moved the reception to a new, impromptu location, photographer Josh Newton took the couple out of the craziness.
“Let’s just go take photos and relax and you guys enjoy being married and try to ignore all the insanity going on,” Newton told them.
While the Woblers call Portland home now, Michael and Newton grew up together in Anchorage. Newton is now based in California.
Newton posted a picture he took with his iPhone on his Instagram account and it took off overnight.
The picture’s gone viral now but while he was in the moment Newton wasn’t sure if the couple would even want the reminder of the wildfire that almost ruined their wedding.
“I felt like, are they even going to want those photos? But they were stoked to be taking them and when they saw the back of the camera, they were like, ‘Oh my God, these are amazing. I’m so glad you went and got them.’ I was like, ‘Cool, glad you like them.’”
The couple is now on their honeymoon in Cancun. Newton is preparing for upcoming weddings in Greece and Ireland.
Wood said sometimes you just have to have faith everything will work out even under the worst circumstances.
“Even though it’s such a beautiful photo and things could have gone awry, it ended beautifully and it will be a wedding to go down in the books,” she smiled.
For more info, visit www.joshnewton.com
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