(UPDATE at 8 p.m. PT, June 8, 2014: After posting the photo and the description that was on Instagram, we heard from the managers of the facility where the wedding took place. We added more details below Mr. Newton’s description.)
On Saturday, June 7, a wedding about three miles east of the Two Bulls Fire near Bend, Oregon had to be evacuated just before the bride walked down the aisle.
Below is the description of the above photo on Instagram, which was taken by Josh Newton:
“Rock Springs Ranch Weddings, Bend OR
Yesterday’s wedding is definitely one for the books. About 11am, a small brush fire turned into a giant wildfire about 6 miles from the ceremony site. The wedding was at 4, and everyone was setup. Right as the bride was about to walk down, a firetruck came in sirens blaring and told the bride we had to evacuate. In tears, her father announced to all the guests that we had to move the wedding. Incredibly, the fireman then told us we could have the ceremony and then had to leave. I’ve never seen anything like what happened next. Everyone moved the entire wedding to a park in Bend, all with smiles and good attitudes. It showed everyone at the wedding what really mattered – the people and the couple. The location change didn’t affect the wedding at all, it was the most beautiful day. In planning my own wedding, it was an incredible reminder to really value and cherish the most important things in life. While the guests, caterers, and DJ all moved to Drake Park and setup, we snuck away and got some of the most incredible wedding photos I’ve ever taken. This is just with my phone, but can’t wait to show you all the rest.”
The rest of the story
As we said in the update above, after posting the photo and Mr. Newton’s description we heard from Kelly Louden of the Rock Springs Ranch near Bend, Oregon, the venue for the wedding. Much of their time at the ranch between June and October is spent planning and hosting weddings at their facility.
Ms. Louden told us that the bride had actually started to walk down the aisle when a white fire vehicle drove up with its siren going. The driver, presumably a firefighter since he had on a yellow shirt, told the wedding party that they had to evacuate immediately because of the threat from the Two Bulls Fire. The bride explained that they were just beginning a wedding. The firefighter then excused himself and talked on his radio for a few minutes. He came back and said the ceremony could go on, but then they would have to leave. — there would be no time for a reception at that location.
After a shortened 15-minute version of the ceremony, everyone at the wedding, the friends, family, caterers, and DJ began throwing stuff into their cars and trucks. Everything needed for the reception had to go, including food, dishes, utensils, furniture, beverages, the cake, gifts, DJ equipment, speakers, flowers and decorations. The caterer had an idea about an alternative location in a park in Bend, and while the relocation was getting underway, Josh Newton, the photographer, took the bride and groom aside and shot a lot of what he described above as “some of the most incredible wedding photos I’ve ever taken”. Josh, by the way, is a professional photographer based out of Santa Barbara, California, and takes assignments all over the world. The photo above was taken with his cell phone, but he no doubt has hundreds of photos taken at the wedding with real cameras to sort through and post process.
They all went to the park where they reassembled the wedding. It turned out to be a very positive experience for everyone. And they all now have a story to tell.
UPDATE June 10, 2014: the photographer, Josh Newton, posted more photos of the wedding.
More information about the Two Bulls Fire west of Bend, Oregon.