Wedding diverted, but not interrupted for B.C. couple in wildfire country
'We love each other, so it'll be a wedding forged in fire,' says groom-to-be
Wildfires and evacuations in B.C.'s Interior threatened to derail the wedding a couple had planned for two years.
Jesse Bird, a forest firefighter, and his wife, Katy Burkholder, a teacher, who live in Burns Lake, B.C., northwest of Prince George, had set a wedding date for July 22.
They planned to tie the knot in 108 Mile House, but last week wildfires prompted evacuations in the area.
"The highways were being closed, and also later, 100 Mile House, 108 Mile House, were evacuated because of the risk of the fire," Burkholder said.
"We realized pretty early that our wedding was probably not going to be happening there, unfortunately."
Once the evacuation orders went out, Bird realized they would need to change the wedding venue. He made several calls to friends and family. A friend's parents agreed to let them to hold the ceremony at their estate near Salmon Arm, east of Kamloops.
They're still planning to hold the wedding July 22.
"The only issue we still need to worry about are transporting our wedding cake and cupcakes from Prince George all the way to Salmon Arm," Burkholder said.
Bird says he's grateful to all the people who have helped them deal with the change of venue.
"Thankfully, me and my wife only planned on a small wedding up to 60 people. We've built a lot of our own stuff — games, dresses, and flowers, all that — we built all ourselves, so it was mainly just the venue, food that have been difficult."
Even though the process has been stressful — they're still making alternate arrangements for their guests and the catering — Bird says none of that will matter once the big day arrives.
"If I have to eat hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, then so be it," Bird said. "That's not why we're getting married, we have other reasons. We love each other, so it'll be a wedding forged in fire."
With files from Cherise Seucharan and On The Coast.