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Gay Couple Marries in Front of Erupting Volcano
A gay couple in Iceland threw the hottest wedding ever when they exchanged vows and rings in front of an erupting volcano. According to reports in The Observer and elsewhere, Sumarlidi and Jonsi had planned on a traditional ceremony before the global pandemic sent the lovers into quarantine, but with the help of Pink Iceland, the couple were able to marry in front of one explosively magnificent background.
"It was beyond perfect, a day we'll never forget," Sumarlidi said.
All photos by Stymir & Heiddis / Pink Iceland
The pair met in 2015 and live together in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. Jonsi had proposed to Sumarlidi on Bastille Day in France in 2017. They had planned to marry in a public ceremony with friends and family in attendance until the quarantine cancelled their plans. But with the help of Pink Iceland, the pair were able to get married, in a less traditional setting but with an explosively magnificent background.
Of course, getting married in front of a volcano came with some unique logistical and safety issues. Birna Hronn Bjornsdottir of Pink Iceland (@PinkIceland) explained they had scouted numerous locations for the wedding, but the main deterrent proved to be poisonous gasses.
"Mother Nature is in charge," Bjornsdottir told the BBC. "So one of the security measures was to have a gas measurement type of thing with us at all times."
Sumarlidi told Queerty via email the plans were "very last minute" as a result and they had only four days to make all the arrangements. Then there was a 90-minute hike in full protective gear through a snowstorm just to reach the volcano. The pair added "the hike was fun" but the snowstorm "stressed Sumarlidi out as he was terrified of freezing to death once he'd changed into his wedding suit."
The wedding party soon learned they had nothing to fear as the clouds parted and blue skies appeared just in time for the two to exchange vows.
"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," the pair revealed.
Video of the event prepared by Kaco Films (@KacoFilms) shows an almost surreal setting for the marriage, with rivers of red hot lava flowing from the erupting crater in the Fagradalsfjall mountains roughly 20 miles from Reykjavik on the Reykjavik Peninsula. Volcanic activity is common in Iceland, but the region's relative accessibility, spectacular eruptions, and lava flows have turned the volcano into a tourist bonanza.
"In simple terms, Iceland is one big volcano," Thorvaludur Thordarson, professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, told The Observer, adding this particular volcano is "very approachable, people can get reasonably close and still be safe."
The Icelandic Tourist Board said more then 5,000 people visit the volcano on busy days, including Sumarlidi and Jonsi. They pair wished they could have invited more friends to share in their dream of a wedding, but the rushed nature of the event and Mother Nature herself made that impossible.
"We couldn't invite anyone to the volcano, and we didn't tell anyone until the day after," Sumarlidi told The Observer. "The whole thing feels like a dream."
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