TORONTO - The force was with Leslie Seiler and Paul Kingston the day they said I do. Now, so is Internet fame.
The Toronto couple have had to curtail their own honeymoon to deal with the spate of publicity surrounding one of their wedding photos.
The image — snapped on May 31st in central Toronto — depicts the two aspiring comedians and their wedding party being chased by the iconic All-Terrain Armored Transport vehicles (At-Ats) from the Star Wars franchise.
Since the image appeared on social media earlier this week, requests have been pouring in for the newlyweds who appeared to survive a near brush with Empire combat vehicles.
Surreal as the image may seem, Seiler said the ensuing notoriety has felt even more unusual.
"To be honest, I'm not sure how this happened," Seiler said in a telephone interview. "I guess we're at the beginning of a trend. That's how it kind of feels. We didn't realize it at the time."
Seiler said she has been a longtime Star Wars buff renowned among her friends for making obscure references to the classic space saga, but never formally considered incorporating her favourite film into her nuptial plans.
But when Toronto photographer Tony Lombardo of Little Blue Lemon Photography proposed a wedding shot that paid homage to Star Wars, both Seiler and Kingston were all ears.
Fate smiled on the notion too, Seiler said, adding the normally bustling intersection outside their wedding venue happened to be nearly empty when Lombardo had his brainwave.
Seiler barely had time to exchange her bridal shoes for more practical flip flops before the photo op passed them by, she said.
She, her husband-to-be and the members of the wedding party simply waited for a red light before dashing across the street miming expressions of terror. The At-Ats shown to be in hot pursuit were added into the image afterwards, she said.
Hours later, Seiler and Kingston boarded a plane for Jamaica as newlyweds and had put the impromptu photo shoot out of their minds.
When they returned a week later, however, they quickly realized their additional week of rural rest and relaxation would have to be postponed. The photo had been posted online in their absence and had become the talk of social media.
ABC's "Good Morning America" had called to request an interview, Fox News was on the line soon afterwards, and their lives as Internet stars were just getting started.
Seiler said the couple has spent their second week as husband and wife fielding media requests both at home and abroad, opportunities they hope to parlay into more stable acting gigs closer to home.
Notoriety hasn't dimmed Seiler's affection for the photo, she said. The picture is slated to be blown up, framed and given a prominent place in their home, she said, adding the image is a reminder that even something as potentially draining as a wedding should have a light side.
"You can have fun on the day amidst all the stresses and pressures and stuff like that," she said. "Letting loose and doing something really crazy like that kind of makes it even more memorable."