Metro Weekly

Iceland gay couple marries in front of active volcano

The Reykjanes peninsula eruption made for an incredible backdrop to Sumarliði and Jón's ceremony

gay, iceland, marry, wedding, volcano
Sumarliði and Jón married in front of volcano in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula — Photo: Pink Iceland

An Icelandic gay couple removed the possibility of getting cold feet prior to their wedding by opting to marry next to an active volcano.

Sumarliði and Jón, who live in downtown Reykjavík, tied the knot in front of a spectacular, lava-streaked landscape courtesy of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano, which recently started erupting for the first time in more than 800 years.

Rather than having to be concerned about drunken wedding guests or messed up vows, the grooms instead had to beware of the intensely hot lava, gusts of volcanic gas, and the two-hour hike through wind and snow just to reach the volcano.

They told Britain’s Observer that it was “weird, gorgeous and terrifying all at the same time,” with Sumarliði adding that he “thought I might freeze to death at my own wedding.”

The couple hiked in full winter gear, before changing into their suits in a pop-up tent at the site of the volcano, where they exchanged rings and vows, popped champagne, and ate cake.

“It was beyond perfect, a day we’ll never forget,” Sumarliði said.

Deemed a “very quiet” eruption by Thorvaldur Thordarson, professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, the Reykjanes peninsula volcano is “very approachable, people can get reasonably close and still be safe.”

As such, Sumarliði and Jón deemed it a suitable backdrop for their ceremony after the volcano started to erupt last month, arranging the wedding in just four days.

gay, iceland, marry, wedding, volcano
Sumarliði and Jón during their ceremony — Photo: Pink Iceland

Pink Iceland, which planned the wedding, told the BBC that they were “well aware we were not in charge” of the conditions.

“Mother Nature is in charge,” Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttirm said. “So one of the security measures was to have a gas measurement type of thing with us at all times.”

But the end result was serendipitous for the couple.

“We had the luxury of picking from three craters that were erupting when we got there,” Björnsdóttirm said. “And almost immediately, as we chose the spot, after we had hiked for three or four hours, the sky kind of cleared and we got a blue sky.”

Speaking to Queerty, the couple elaborated on the “perfect” conditions.

After changing into their suits, “something magical happened: the wind died down, it stopped snowing, and the sun came out.”

And the surprises didn’t stop there: “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 end results speak for themselves:

Sumarliði and Jón also likely won’t be the last couple to tie the knot in front of the dramatic scenery.

An estimated 45,000 people have already visited the volcano and scientists predict that it will continue to erupt for some time.

“The lava flow is gradually working across the landscape,” Thordarson told the Observer. “I have a feeling it will continue [to erupt] for some time, maybe years, but there is no guarantee.”

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