A couple’s wedding photo, showing them wearing protective masks while a wildfire rages behind them, has gone viral.
The photograph of newlyweds Katie and Curtis Ferland shows the pair at their wedding in Sonoma country, close to the Kincade wildfire that has burned over 76,000 acres of land, according to US broadcaster CBS News.
Photographer Karna Roa of KMR Photography photographed the Chicago-based couple, whose wedding took place a Chateau St Jean vineyard.
The bride and groom were forced to relocate their rehearsal dinner due to the devastating wildfire: guests and vendors are said to have been evacuated from the site hours before the wedding itself took place.
In the photograph, the bride and groom are dressed in their wedding attire and wearing gas masks to help them withstand the smoke.
“It’s not a Hawaiian sunset,” said Roa, owner of KMR Photography, in a statement.
“I immediately thought of the American Gothic painting from the 1930s and how that couple at that time represented the normal America,” said Roa.
“As long as it can bring more attention to the wildfires and the problems that Sonoma and Napa County and Northern California are facing, then I would love more people to see it,” she added. This is Roa’s fourth wedding in the last three years that has been evacuated or disrupted by wildfires.
Some have praised the sharing of the image, calling it a “perfect visual warning”.
Thank you, newlyweds. This is a great photo. A perfect visual warning to the world.— Bonnie Hogue (@bonhogue) October 29, 2019
Behind your vow of love, the place you call home burns in the background. Joy and sorrow, a perfect juxtapose, a brilliant photo.— Ahn Rho (@Ahn_Rho) October 29, 2019
Very nice, very sad. Damn. #CaliforniaFire
The photo is beautiful ☠️🖤— Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo (@JaneidyEve) October 30, 2019
Hope our planet does not become that that polluted and chaotic to the point we all wear masks in the future though.
However, it has received a significant backlash on Twitter, too, with some calling the couple “attention seeking” and pointing out that many local residents lost their homes in the wildfires.
With all due respect, many homes nearby are being destroyed, and they're making a "statement".— Victor Overall (@JamChrisJoy) October 29, 2019
Why didn't they get married in Chicago?
how could they even have fun + celebrate knowing people are losing literally everything down the road? baffled— Palm Beach (@palmbeachpink) October 29, 2019
Please remove this shallow and attention seeking couple from this hashtag. People want fire updates and to know if their home is still standing.— Green Future (@Icedteahc) October 29, 2019
But some have contested that it takes a very long time to plan a wedding and it’s likely friends and family will have flown out for the occasion.
Have you ever planned a wedding ? The timing of the fires was very fast- started Friday. They may not have been close Friday. They are from out of state and prob had their entire family flown in already. why are ppl reacting so negatively?— Debbie Kuhl 🆘 (@DebbieKuhl) October 29, 2019
A lot of wedding days don’t go to plan. Earlier this year, one couple marrying in New York were about to say “I do” at the Plaza Hotel when the lights went out across the city.
To their surprise, the Manhattan district was plunged into darkness with thousands of city dwellers left without power - coincidentally 42 years after the Big Apple famously lost electricity for 25 hours.
But, the newlyweds handled the situation perfectly and ended up having the most romantic outcome possible.