— -- Erick and Lauren Fix both work in show business so it is ironic that their wedding photo – showing the couple surrounded by deer in a forest – looks like some kind of green screen moment that plopped them right into the middle of a fairy-tale background.
The moment, however, was live, real and in-person and it came just as the newlyweds were enjoying dinner at their wedding reception Saturday in Stockton, New Jersey.
“During dinner, during sunset, this whole herd of deer came up out of the woods,” the couple’s wedding photographer, Ian Christmann, told ABC News. “I convinced the bride and groom in the middle of dinner to come with me.”
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Christmann, the owner of Catalyst Photography in New Haven, Conn., took the couple as close to the deer as they could get and then told them to smile and pose, just as the deer were wondering what was going on.
“They were really jittery and then at one moment they all just looked up,” Christmann said. “They had a really funny expression on their faces.”
The groom, Erick Fix, told ABC News the wedding was held on the farm of a family friend. The farm, he says, has around 40 wild deer that were coming out of the woods for their dinner feeding, by chance, just as the wedding party was sitting down for their own.
Fix, a filmmaker, says he and his wife, Lauren Ruff, an actress, are happy that Christmann captured such an extraordinary moment on their special day.
“The reason we hired Ian is because we’re both artists and we wanted someone who really created artistic photos and not just documented the day,” Fix said by phone from Martha’s Vineyard, where the couple is enjoying a mini-honeymoon.
“We think they’re great,” he said of the series of around four photos Christmann snapped of the couple with the deer.
Christmann posted one of the photos to his Facebook page on Sunday, the day after the wedding, for the couple to see. The photos – which Christmann later posted on his blog, titled, "Deerly Beloved" – quickly went viral, showing up on Reddit and across the Internet.
“My first reaction was that Lauren and I have worked on a lot of projects together where we try to build buzz together and, of course, this is the one that goes viral, not our projects but our wedding photo,” Fix said.
Though it did not receive as much attention as their deer-bombed wedding photo, Fix says the couple's engagement is also captured on camera for posterity.
“We met on set of a short film four years ago, and three years into our relationship we were shooting another short and it was about someone proposing to the wrong person by accident,” Fix said. “In the final take, I swapped myself out with the actor and surprised her with a proposal.”