They were right — though not in the way they expected.
Wedding photographer Karna Roa captured a stunning photo of the newlyweds posing together under the grey-orange haze of a raging wildfire in Northern California on Oct. 26. The photo shows the Ferlands standing side-by-side amid the grape vines. Both of them are wearing face masks and the sun in the background is unnaturally dark, as though it were sunset.
Roa says she framed the image “in the style of the 1930s painting American Gothic,” by Grant Wood. She told Global News that the original painting was meant to depict “normal life” in that era, so she hoped to update that definition with her new wildfire-tinged photo.
“I wondered if this was the ‘new normal’ for the California Wine Country in 2019,” Roa said.
She captured the photo at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood, Calif., close to the region where the Kincaid Fire is currently burning. The blaze has scorched over 305 square kilometres and forced nearly 180,000 people to evacuate. It’s also triggered widespread power outages in the region, some of which were imposed by the regional utility.
Roa told Fox News that the area was “super smoky.” She added that this is the third time wildfires have had a major impact on wedding season in California’s wine country.
The couple have since departed on their honeymoon, but they told local station WLS-TV that the wedding was plagued by logistical concerns caused by the fires.
The Ferlands’ wedding planner, Sara Sugrue, said she had to act quickly to revamp the wedding amid evacuation orders and power outages.
“The night before, basically, I had to redesign the entire event,” she told WLS-TV. “We actually worked off a skeleton crew to make this happen.”
The Kincaid Fire is one of several blazes burning throughout California, where droughts brought on by climate change have created tinder-dry conditions in large swaths of the state.
Sonona County Sheriff Mark Essick warned locals that the fire continues to threaten the area on Tuesday.
“The danger has not passed yet,” Essick told reporters, according to CBS News. “Nothing is imminent right now, but … I would encourage everyone to be prepared to go at a moment’s notice if things change.”
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