Stunning as in: Uh, are you sure you guys should be doing this?
A young couple in the Philippines decided to proceed with their wedding earlier this week, despite the ominous rumblings and spewing ash of the Taal volcano about 12 miles away.
According to wedding photographer Randolf Evan, the wedding party tried to keep abreast of the developing situation on Sunday, Jan. 12 as the ceremony approached. Taal erupted that afternoon.
“We were actually nervous because while working we kept on checking social media for updates on the volcanic eruption,” Evan told CNN. “We also discreetly discussed among ourselves what we should do when worst comes to worst.”
Kat and Chino Vaflor tied the knot as Taal sent ash and smoke high into the sky — and eventually down on the earth below, where thousands of citizens had been evacuated. Evan said that the wedding guests remained “calm” despite the looming shadow of destruction.
It’s one thing to embrace some unpleasant weather, such as precipitation, on your big day. It’s quite another to celebrate in the face of a massive volcanic eruption. Evan posted the photos on social media and they’ve gone viral — you can see why:
The wedding venue, Savanna Farm Tagaytay by Solange, posted another jaw-dropping photo credited to Warren S. Garcia. It shows the volcanic plume rising above the Vaflors at the altar. “Tuloy ang kasal!” reads the caption in Tagalog — it translates to, “The marriage continues!”
As of this writing, officials in the Philippines were warning almost half a million people to evacuate a 14-kilometer (8.6-mile) radius around the volcano, located about 60 miles south of Manila.
While NPR reports that the volcano has become quieter, officials are keeping the Alert Level at a 4 out 5. Hundreds of tremors have taken place before and after Sunday’s eruption, which may indicate a bigger explosion is coming.
“The speed of escalation of Taal’s volcanic activity caught us by surprise,” Maria Antonia Bornas, chief science research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told Reuters. “We have detected magma … We still can expect a hazardous eruption any time.”
It’s a good thing these two got married and then the whole party got out of there!