Just as April and Michael were about to share their vows on wedding day in their “dream location,” the Two Bulls wildfire was raging toward them and about to disrupt all their plans and expectations for the biggest day of their lives.
The wedding location was Rock Springs Ranch on the outskirts of Bend, Oregon. The bride, April Wolber, explained, “It’s just kind of become our place.” As the ceremony was nearing, all of April’s bridesmaids kept her in the dark about the fiery disaster that was ensuing. “All of my bridesmaids did a really good job keeping me calm and didn’t even tell me about the fire until about 30 minutes before the wedding,” she recounted.
The groom, Michael Wolber, and his attending groomsmen were anticipating the momentous ceremony when suddenly the fire trucks came furiously down the road with sirens blowing. The fire was getting too close: “I’d call it an all-time low. It was announced that we were going to be evacuated,” Michael said. “To get to that final minute before it was going to happen and have everything feel like it was going to fall apart – it was a pretty crazy reality to be in.”
Michael felt like his “heart was sinking,” and while gazing at the pastor he remembered saying, “I have to marry April today, and I have to marry her here.”
His wish was answered when the firefighters reversed their decision, at least partially prompted by the bride’s and groom’s parents’ pleading to let them have the ceremony. “We got to hear the ranch manager Kelly come down, waving her arms saying, ‘We can do it. We can do the ceremony!'” Michael said. The Wolbers quickly performed their ceremony in half the time that they planned and moved their reception to a backup venue.
The happy couple were able to have their traditional wedding kiss, and it will be one to be remembered not just by Michael and April but by thousands of others; the dramatic picture has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.
“The fire changed the plans of our day and completely changed the course of what we thought our wedding was going to look like,” said Michael. “We wouldn’t change a single thing about the way yesterday went off.”