Bride Turns Fire Evacuation Into the Best Photo Op

Photo: Drew Noel Photography
Photo: Drew Noel Photography

We all know by now that “rain on your wedding day” is anything but ironic, with all due apologies to Alanis Morissette. Bad weather, mechanical failures, wardrobe disasters — they happen all the time. What is remarkable, however, is how some couples turn them into beautiful moments. New Jersey newlyweds Allison Russoniello and Kevin Duffy rose to such a challenge last weekend, when the fire department had to be called during their reception.

While the party was heating up the dance floor on Friday night, the smell of smoke filled the hall at Bonnet Island Estate in Manahawkin, N.J., according to radio station 101.5. The fire department arrived, and everyone was asked to evacuate.

Photo: Drew Noel Photography
Photo: Drew Noel Photography

“When we evacuated the building, I started shooting some overall shots of what was going on just to document the day,” photographer Drew Noel told Yahoo Style. “Then, seeing the fire truck empty, I started looking for Allison to find she was frantically looking for me. As soon as I saw her I said, and she said practically at the same time, ‘We need to go shoot with the trucks.’ ”

One of the shots he took of the couple leaning in to each other in front of a fire truck is basically the best illustration of those classic “for better or worse” vows.

“What am I going to do? Cry? That’s not going to fix it,” Russoniello said to 101.5.

When the source of the smell was discovered to be coming from a small refrigerator, the firefighters were recruited for another photo op.

“I definitely wanted the shot of them holding her but not in the cheesy ‘guys holding bride, girls holding groom’ type that you’ve seen a thousand times at weddings, so I jumped up on a chair, zoomed as wide as I could, and yelled at the firefighters to get her above their heads,” Noel told Yahoo.

The DJ also helped keep the mood light with guests back on the dance floor, playing Sean Kingston’s “Fire Burning on the Dance Floor” and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Noel said he has shot weddings through all kinds of inclement weather, but this was his first evacuation, and he was impressed with how the bride and groom reacted. “The way Allison and Kevin laughed it off and turned it into an amazing memory is something I’ll never forget because that state of mind is so rare these days — especially when there are those out there whose day can be destroyed by something as simple as a sad-face emoji.”

Other couples, with the help of talented photographers and videographers, have turned potential wedding nightmares into beautiful symbols of their lasting love. One thing’s for sure — no one is going to forget these events any time soon.

During a wildfire in Oregon, photographer Josh Newton made the most of the apocalyptic sky to photograph April Hartley and Michael Wolber in 2014.


Colleen Niska went viral with her photos of a couple in Saskatchewan, Canada, looking as blissful as can be with a tornado looming behind them.

Storms that hit England during Hurricane Bertha in August 2014 flooded the tent area of couple Katy Lomas and Richard Owen, but that seemed to only make their wedding video look all the more like a scene straight out of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

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