In late September, Tom Hanks made headlines when he “photobombed” a couple taking wedding photos in Central Park and shared the picture on his Instagram account.
Unbeknownst to the bride and groom, Elisabeth Murphy Barclay and Ryan Barclay ’08, the photo went viral while they were on a flight to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The low-key couple had savored their “New York moment” with Hanks and didn’t want or anticipate any further publicity or attention.
“We flew to Hawaii on Monday morning, and when we landed, I had 400 text messages and my voicemail was full,” Barclay says. “We went to breakfast in the hotel and we were on the front page of the Maui newspaper, which was very surreal. Other couples on their honeymoons recognized us.”
Barclay and Murphy got married at St. Thomas More Church on the Upper East Side of New York City and went to nearby Central Park for photos after the ceremony. “We were over by the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which is a common area for people to go running,” Barclay says. “There was a guy running who stopped and tapped us on the shoulder. We didn’t know what was going on, but he said, ‘Hey, I’m Tom Hanks.’”
Despite their initial state of shock, the newlyweds asked Hanks if he would take a photo with them and he happily obliged, also making time for a picture with Barclay’s niece and nephew, the flower girl and ring bearer.
“It was two minutes. He wished us the best and a few minutes later, he posted it to his Instagram and after that, the internet had it,” Barclay says. “I was talking to people at the reception, telling them I had just met Tom Hanks, and I don’t think it registered with everyone how it was going to explode. Thankfully, he was really nice and everyone on the internet has been really nice.” ■
—Maura Sullivan Hill