FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Cold feet before a wedding, very common. A snake chomping on the groom’s ankle? Not so much.
Johnny Benson and his new wife, Laura, were strolling hand in hand through a lush green field in Fort Collins, Colorado on Monday. They said “I do” less than two hours before at a church.
As the sun began to set, wedding photographer Madeleine Wilbur captured their intimate first moments together as newlyweds.
Then their photo shoot was photobombed.
A sneaky rattlesnake slithered up to Johnny and gave him an unwanted wedding present — a chomp on his ankle.
Wilbur, whose business name is Maddie Mae, caught the whole “surreal” ordeal on camera and snapped colorful photos of the couple’s wild wedding day.
“I couldn’t really help in any way except continue to do my job and capture the story of their wedding day,” Wilbur said. “I’m glad I got to tell their story!”
A park ranger examining Johnny’s foot, Laura standing beside Johnny’s hospital bed in her wedding dress, and finally the couple triumphantly arriving at their reception. This is the story their wedding album will tell.
Having photographed couples in the jungles of Costa Rica and hiked mountains for the perfect shot, Wilbur didn’t expect her only indoor wedding this year to be so eventful.
Wilbur rode behind the ambulance as they rushed to the emergency room at Poudre Valley Hospital, and drove the couple to their wedding reception after doctors had determined that the rattlesnake had not injected any venom.
Arriving just one hour late, the couple made a grand entrance.
“All 184 guests cheered when Johnny and Laura walked in, and showered them in a sea of passionate hugs,” Wilbur said.
“I admire Laura and Johnny so much for staying calm, and holding each other’s hand through the first great test of their brand new marriage.”