Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
HEBER CITY – Traditional weddings are, you know, traditional — and they don't typically include things like setting yourself on fire as you head off into the night.
For one Utah couple, however, being sprayed with a fire extinguisher to douse errant flames is commonplace, so doing the same on their wedding day was just par for the course.
Gabe Jessop and Ambyr Mishelle, of Ogden, are stunt doubles who work on film and television sets for shows such as "Yellowstone" and "Hereditary." According to Jessop, having a wedding that showcased their "day job," was a way to show friends and family what brought the two of them together.
So, with the help of professionals in pyrotechnics, securing the proper permits and all that jazz, the couple blazed their way down a beachy aisle on the shores of the Jordanelle State Park in front of family and friends and millions of viewers who caught wind – or shall we say smoke — of their flaming wedding.
"It was a Ambyr's idea," Jessop said. "We wanted to involve our families and give them a behind-the-scenes experience. The fire seemed fitting and way more exciting than just the two of us lighting a candle together."
The two have worked in the film industry for many years. Jessop has spent most of his 25-year career in the arts department on set, with production and design. But when he got the chance to be a stunt double, he didn't think twice.
"I started doing stunts because I had a ranch and horses, and working in the industry I know that stunt coordinators need somebody to rear a horse or get shot off a horse. So, of course, I jumped on any opportunity I could get to do stunts," Jessop said. "Ambyr went to a stunt academy and is trained to do stunts. She has been in the industry for six years, and we met working on set."
With all that experience, the two were ablaze to enter their new life together. That said, it took some major preparations, including making sure they got fire-resistant wedding attire, retained the proper permits and emergency help on standby — it didn't hurt to have a large body of water nearby.
"We did it at the end of the evening, for our send-off," Jessop said. "The DJ played fire-related music as we got dressed in our fire gear. Everybody observed the preparation process. Once we were ready, we had everybody line up and get the safety meeting, and then we took our positions with our safety team in place. We took every precaution to make sure everything and everyone was safe. We had a stunt team on hand, along with a special effects team. We had a 650-gallon fire-retardant trailer on standby, as well as Wasatch County Fire Department fire trucks."
Logistics aside, Jessop and Mischelle had the wedding only stunt doubles could have, and are currently honeymooning around state and national parks like perfectly (un-normal) normal people do.
As for the fire? Over the next several weeks it will likely only make an appearance within the confines of a responsibly lit campfire, under the night sky.