Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Photo of a Wedding Rehearsal Near Sonoma Captures the Kincaide Fire

After the power went out, Curtis and Katie thought they'd have to postpone the wedding

 

November 1, 2019

Karna Roa shot this photo of a couple from Chicago on Saturday in Sonoma County.

Karna Roa shot the photo of her career on Saturday at a rehearsal dinner in Sonoma County. Curtis and Katie Furland, a couple from Chicago were rehearsing for their wedding, wearing masks over their faces. A yellow sun can be seen in the background. Vendors and guests were forced to evacuate themselves before the wedding, and the newlywed couple evacuated Sunday morning--after the wedding.

"The sunset was red and smoky because of all the smoke from the fire," said Roa. The newlyweds, from Chicago, got married Saturday night at Chateau St. Jean vineyard in Sonoma County. They were just a few miles away from the Kincaide Fire, which has burned 10,000 acres in Sonoma County.

Katie and Curtis realized they might have to postpone their wedding. First, they had to move to a hotel after power was cut to the neighborhood where they were staying. Then they had to relocate their rehearsal dinner as the power outage continued. And then, on Saturday, most of their vendors and staff were forced to evacuate.

"The night before, basically I had to redesign the entire event," Sara Sugrue, an event planner with Sonoma's Orchard Avenue Events said. "We actually worked off a skeleton crew to make this happen."

Karna Roa captured the now-viral photo to prove it. "I was thinking of 'American Gothic,' the 1930's painting that was the regular, normal of American life at the time," Roa said. "And all of a sudden, in a very strange way, this has become our new normal of the wine country,"she told KABC News.

She described her work as "the new 'American Gothic.'" After Roa posted it on social media, the picture went viral and the career wedding photographer had shot a photo millions around the world would ultimately see.

Early Sunday morning after their wedding, Katie, Curtis and their guests evacuated from the fire. They came to San Francisco and within hours someone broke into Katie's parent's car. Thousands of dollars of laptops, iPads and other merchandise from her family were stolen.

But despite all the obstacles, Katie and Curtis say this photo is their lasting memory: A reminder of all the people who came together to make the most important day of their lives happen, reports ABC news.

"We thought we would make it a beautiful trip for people," Katie said. "And now they've got a beautiful story. Now they have a story forever."

 

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