Getting married outside a volcano? Why not?!
Sumarliði and Jón from Reykjavik, Iceland are trending online after they held their wedding outside an active volcano. Earlier this month, the Fagradalsfjall volcano began quietly erupting on the country’s southern peninsula. Since then, the volcano has been slowly leaking lava. This is the first in the area for 800 years, and the quiet activity allows visitors to visit at certain times. This has led to 50,000 visitors in the past few weeks.
After having their September wedding postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and hearing this volcano quietly erupted, Sumarliði and Jón decided to get married outside the Fagradalsfjall.
“The whole idea was very last-minute as we then had four days to find suits, polish our rings, get Sumarliði’s hair cut, and meet with Árni, the wedding officiant,” Jón told Queerty.
Sumarliði and Jón brought in the help of Pink Iceland, an LGBTQ-owned wedding and travel company, to throw the wedding. They also elected the help of photographers Styrmir & Heiðdís to capture the event.
“So we were well aware we were not in charge. Mother Nature is in charge,” said Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir of Pink Iceland. “So one of the security measures was to have a gas measurement type of thing with us at all times.”
Not only are the logistics of throwing a wedding so quickly hard to manage, but getting to the volcano is a trek of its own. After going on a nine-hour expedition, the group had to be conscious of which direction the wind was blowing. Otherwise, they risked gas exposure.
“The volcanic eruption site lies in a valley about 90 minutes from where we parked. So we hiked together in full hiking gear with trekking poles and the whole nine yards,” the couple explained. “The hike was fun but we had to walk through a snowstorm most of the way which stressed Sumarliði out as he was terrified of freezing to death once he’d changed into his wedding suit.”
When they arrived, the conditions were dangerous. So, the couple and their team set up a camp to wait. And, thankfully, the area’s condition got better.
“Something magical happened: the wind died down, it stopped snowing, and the sun came out,” the couple recalled. “As we were about to start the ceremony, a wall in the crater burst and a slow river of neon-orange lava flowed past us as we said our vows, exchanged our rings and got married.”
“It was beyond perfect, a day we’ll never forget,” Sumarliði told the Observer.
Since holding their wedding, the couple’s relationship and wedding have been reported through many sources and networks. The BBC documented the wedding while reporting activity at the ongoing volcano (both involving the volcano itself and the human interactions around it).