Couple wears face masks for California wedding photos near wildfire (Karna Roa/KMR Photography)
Couple wears face masks for California wedding photos near wildfire (Karna Roa/KMR Photography)

Couple pose in face masks for California wildfire wedding photos

Wedding party forced to evacuate day after wedding ceremony 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 29 October 2019 17:30

A couple made a poignant statement about the “new normal” when they wore face masks while posing for their wedding photos in California, where wildfires are raging.

On Saturday, Katie and Curtis Ferland, from Chicago, Illinois, exchanged vows at the Chateau St Jean Winery in Sonoma County, California, just miles from where the Kincade Fire has burnt more than 74,324 acres and forced nearly 180,000 people to evacuate.

Initially, both the couple and their wedding photographer Karna Roa of KMR Photography were unsure whether the wedding would be able to take place as planned.

“The first thing we see on TV when we turn it on is flames everywhere,” Curtis told ABC7.

But after numerous setbacks, which included having to move the location of the rehearsal dinner and rely on a skeleton crew after most of the vendors and staff were forced to evacuate, the couple were able to say “I do”.

On the wedding day, Roa captured the moment the bride and groom stood in front of the smoky backdrop wearing face masks, a photo that later went viral after she shared it on social media.

“I was thinking of ‘American Gothic,’ the 1930s painting that was the regular, normal of American life at the time,” Roa told ABC7 of the inspiration behind the photo. “And all of a sudden, in a very strange way, this has become our new normal of the wine country.”

According to Roa, it was the couple’s wedding planner who suggested using masks in the photos, which were available to everyone who attended the wedding.

“Because of all the changes in the plans and all of the stress leading up to the wedding, the wedding planner suggested that they do at least one image with the masks on,” Roa told Fox News.

The morning after the wedding, the couple and their guests were forced to evacuate to San Francisco.

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This is the third year in a row that wildfires have burned through Northern California’s wine country in October.

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