This photoshoot was *totally* worth it.
Love can stand the test of time—and even the red-hot lava of Hawaiian volcanoes. Alex and Lauren Michaels proved just that with one of the most stunning (and dangerous) wedding photo locales we've seen in quite some time.
Lauren and Alex are high school sweethearts to both grew up in the deaf community. Lauren wears a hearing aid as she's hard of hearing and both know sign language because they have family members who are either deaf or hard of hearing.
They moved to Hawaii in 2010 (her) and 2011 (him) for Lauren's health and moved in together in 2013. They got engaged in 2014, became homeowners in 2015, and got married this summer—marking 10 years together—and included sign language interpreters in their ceremony.
Trekking to the top of Kilauea—an active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii—barefoot with photographer Jenna Lee on August 11, the two newlyweds brought flowers as an offering to Pele (the Hawaiian goddess of fire) and were definitely rewarded by the deity.
Lee tells InStyle the most difficult part of it all was the estimated 8 hour roundtrip hike that required each person to bring a gallon of water for themselves. The scariest part, she admits, was making their way across the lava fields.
"It's incredibly eerie," she explains. "You look down and can actually SEE the molten lava below the surface through cracks as well as feel the heat from within. If you feel the immense heat you know you better move because the lava could potentially break through at any moment. It's incredible how fast it hardens though and you're able to walk across it."
This adventure is totally legal to do and Lee calls "definitely a RUSH" as sometimes it "becomes unbearably hot if you're downwind and too close." The couple—who are from Colorado—had to move away from the lava river after a few frames because of the heat.
Lauren had told Lee before the shoot that Alex wasn't a fan of having his photo taken and that he "probably won't last long" but Lee promises that he was quite the trooper and got into it.