Now that’s one lit wedding… quite literally. Video footage of two brides setting their wedding dresses on fire during the ceremony has gone viral for obvious reasons. The couple, April Choi and Bethany Byrnes, married at a camp in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on October 13, in a rather unconventional wedding that truly went up in flames.
The thrill-seeking pair decided to set both their wedding gowns on fire at the tail end of their ceremony. A video from the nuptials shows the brides holding hands and the officiant proclaiming: “You may now light the brides.” (Disclaimer: Do not attempt something of this caliber without seeking professional assistance and following local fire safety laws.)
Several guests then appeared to torch the couple’s trains while the two brides held hands and nuzzled noses. The flames, meanwhile, crept up their gowns until both stepped out of their detachable skirts, revealing their outfit swap of the day: white pants and their original ceremony tops.
It’s worth noting that the couple has a wedding website on The Knot that details their relationship, including how Choi proposed four times—the first three times, she was rejected and the fourth, Byrnes simply accepting the ring without saying yes. Ultimately, Byrnes finally accepted Choi’s fifth proposal three years later in December 2016.
The concept of lighting their gowns on fire has been in the works for several years, with their photographer friend Michael Huang offering to document the moment since 2013. “Every wedding I shoot is different, but this [was] way out,” Huang told McClatchy. “It was an honor to be able to capture this beautiful moment.”
According to Choi’s interview with SWNS.com, both sides of the family—especially their parents—were “very, very nervous.”
“You just have to repeat in your head that it’s fine, you’ve done this before and all of the safety has been figured out. It really is safe,” Byrnes added to SWNS. “Watching the flames creep up your wife’s gown is not something you can ever forget.”
The “Trash the Dress” concept has been around for years, but it’s overwhelmingly associated with water-related activities and shoots. In any and all circumstances, if you plan to discard of your wedding gown after the ceremony in such a method, we recommend you find pros who are familiar with the concept in accordance with the law.
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