Just an hour after newlyweds Sarah Ray and husband Paul exchanged vows, a photo was taken of the bride that was anything but traditional.
In the image that has quickly gone viral, the bride, Ray, who happens to be a paramedic, is smirking while standing on the side of road holding up the skirt of her wedding dress in front of a backdrop of emergency vehicles.
Between their wedding ceremony and reception, the paramedic bride and her husband, also a paramedic, received a call that there had been a crash and that the crash involved her relatives. Without a second thought, her first-responder training kicked in and she dropped her wedding plans and headed to the wreck.
“We were still at the church,” the Tennessee bride, 29, told ABC News. “Paul and I are both paramedics and a lot of our groomsmen and bridesmaids are also.” While some of the family stayed behind at the church to collect belongings and take a few more photos, Ray’s father, grandmother and grandfather left for the reception. “We just knew they had been in a wreck and the car had been totaled. We didn’t know any injuries at the time.”
As soon as the call came in, the newlyweds sprang into action and were quickly at the scene of the crash. When they arrived, they found Ray’s father with minor injuries and grandfather unharmed walking around the area. The bride’s grandmother was already in the ambulance and was hospitalized for a short time for injuries to her forearms from the airbag deployment, and to her chest from her seatbelt.
“The first thing she said to me was, ‘Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry I ruined your day,’” Ray told USA Today. But the bride and groom were able to continue on to their reception without further interruption thanks to their qualified paramedic co-workers.
“I trusted my co-workers to know what they are doing,” Ray told ABC News. “We were just there to check up on the situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s your wedding day or not.”
It was as the bride was walking away from the scene that her mother, professional photographer Marcy Martin, captured the moment that has since been shared on Montgomery County’s Facebook page.
Though Ray is getting a lot of praise for putting her wedding plans on hold to respond to the crash, she explained that it was just another day on the job. “There are a lot of people that are using the word ‘hero,’” the bride said. “I don’t think what we did was heroic. It’s just anything that any first-responder would have done.”
Now, with injuries on the mend and the wedding festivities over, Ray can look back on this viral memory fondly. “I think the photo is great,” Ray said. “It definitely makes for a memorable wedding. I hate that the actual accident had to happen, but everyone is going to be OK, so we can kind of laugh about it [the photo] now.”