Sara and Michael Kramer of Fort Collins, Colorado, had their dream wedding planned for months when the unthinkable happened. The couple had already booked the venue, their decor, and the catering for the big day, but when a wildfire struck, their perfect wedding day seemingly went up in smoke. But when life handed them ashes, this couple turned their setback into something beautiful.
The Kramers were originally set to tie the knot at Cascade Village north of Durango on June 9 when the 416 fire in southwestern Colorado threatened the safety of their ceremony. At the last second, the couple was forced to relocate the event to a relative's property. There, the "I do's" went off without another hitch.
But following the ceremony, the couple headed across the street from the venue to watch the harrowing wildfire as it annihilated a nearby forest. Wedding photographer Alexi Hubbell managed to capture the stunning moment on camera, which resulted in some completely jaw-dropping shots.
"It's crazy how something so devastating and so scary and so dangerous can be so beautiful from a distance,” photographer Hubbell told Denver's ABC 7.
Though the newlyweds were originally upset that they had to move their wedding venue, they were far more concerned about those who had to evacuate or lost their homes due to the blaze. The groom's uncle even had to leave the celebration to monitor the flames with the local search and rescue team.
"He was in his search and rescue gear with a blazer over the top, and they still showed up and they were ready to rock and roll and help out and do everything they could," the groom told the news network. "He had to step out to take a radio call in the middle."
Amazingly, the couple stayed positive throughout the experience, saying that they were most thankful that the celebration still happened despite the natural disaster going on around them. "We are in absolute awe of our friends, family, photographer, and vendors who made this incredible wedding come to life," the bride captioned the stunning wedding photo on Instagram. "The 416 fire forced us to change venues last minute and it was a little hectic. Thank you to the firefighters working hard to keep the Durango community safe, we are so grateful. What an unbelievable weekend."
In her ABC 7 interview, the couple's wedding photographer added, "I hope that anytime they have a struggle in their relationship, they go ahead and look at that photo in their wedding album and go, 'So we got through that. There was a giant forest fire behind us and we survived, so we can survive anything.'"