Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Couple makes remarkable use of wildfire that threatened to ruin their wedding day

The couple and photographer made it clear they were not trying to 'glorify' the fire

Chelsea Ritschel
in New York
Tuesday 12 June 2018 19:30 BST
Newlyweds Michael and Sara Kramer shot their wedding photos in front of the 416 Fire (Alexi Hubbell Photography)
Newlyweds Michael and Sara Kramer shot their wedding photos in front of the 416 Fire (Alexi Hubbell Photography)

A Colorado couple made the most of a wildfire that threatened to ruin their wedding day - by incorporating it into their memorable wedding photos.

Michael and Sara Kramer, from Fort Collins, Colorado, had planned to tie the knot at Cascade Village on Saturday June 9 2018 but had to make other arrangements when the 416 Fire, which has burned 22,100 Colorado acres already, threatened to engulf the location.

Rather than calling off the wedding, the newlyweds moved it to a nearby relative’s house instead.

And towards the end of the night, once the celebrations had begun to wind down, the couple and their photographer Alexi Hubbell decided to shoot their wedding photos against the fiery backdrop.

The resulting photos are both stunning and ominous - but the newlyweds and Hubbell want people to know that their intention was not to “glorify” the dangerous blaze.

In a post on the Alexi Hubbell Photography Facebook page, Hubbell shared the pictures alongside a caption expressing her gratitude to the firefighters “on the ground trying to contain this thing.”

“I know the crews out there are working extremely hard to protect this valley and the homes in it, including the one we were at last night,” she wrote. “From all of us at Alexi Hubbell Photography and the entire Carver, Kramer, and McLaughlin families, thank you for your service!”

Hubbell concluded her post with a note that reiterated the photos were in no way taken to glorify the fire or “minimise” its impact.

“This photo is not meant to glorify the situation here in Durango or minimise the impact it is having on our town and the economy or what the families that have been evacuated are going through. We fully understand everyone’s pain. We are in this together!” the photographer wrote, before encouraging those who share the image to consider donating to the fire and rescue efforts taking place.

The bride also thanked the firefighters and first responders working to contain the fire in an Instagram post she shared of the incredible photo.

Referring to the last-minute change of location as “hectic,” Kramer wrote: “Thank you to the firefighters working hard to keep the Durango community safe, we are so grateful. What an unbelievable weekend.”

And to encourage people to visit the locations unaffected by the fire, so as not to disrupt the tourism season, Kramer included the activities wedding guests engaged in while in Colorado, including rafting, hiking, visiting breweries, and shopping.

“Support these communities in need!” the newlywed wrote.

Speaking to The Independent, Kramer said: "We are so grateful for the photo to remember the day and remember the impacts the 416 Fire is having on the community.

"The shuffling we had to do for our wedding is minimal in comparison to the impacts the fire is having on the thousands of evacuees and the economy of the Durango and Silverton communities. These towns are still open for business and our wedding guests were able to enjoy all that the area has to offer despite the fire."

Roughly 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the 416 Fire, which doubled in size over the weekend and is currently only 15 per cent contained.

More than 900 firefighters are working to contain the Colorado blaze which began on June 1.

You can donate to the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado's Community Emergency Relief Fund on their website.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in