July 20, 2009 in Nation/World

Same-name couple to wed after Facebook meeting

Sarah Larimer Associated Press
 

MIAMI — This October, Kelly Hildebrandt plans to vow to share her life with a man who already shares her name.

This is not a joke. Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, 20, and Kelly Carl Hildebrandt, 24, expect just over 100 guests to attend a ceremony at the Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club in South Florida, where they will become husband and wife.

“He is just everything that I’ve ever looked for,” she said in an interview. “There’s always been certain qualities that a guy has to have. And he has all the ones I could think of — and more.”

Their modern romance was a match made in cyberspace. She was curious and bored one night last year, so she plugged her name into the popular social networking Web site Facebook just to see if anyone shared it.

At the time, Kelly Hildebrandt, of Lubbock, Texas, was the only match.

So she sent him a message.

“She said ’Hi. We had the same name. Thought it was cool,”’ Kelly Carl Hildebrandt said. “I thought she was pretty cute.”

But there were also concerns.

“I thought, man, we’ve got to be related or something,” he said.

For the next three months the two exchanged e-mails. Before he knew it, occasional phone calls turned into daily chats, sometimes lasting hours. He visited her in Florida after a few months and “fell head over heels.”

“I thought it was fun,” he said of that first online encounter. “I had no idea that it would lead to this.”

Months after Kelly Hildebrandt sent her first e-mail, she found a diamond engagement ring hidden in treasure box on a beach in December.

“I totally think that it’s all God’s timing,” Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt said. “He planned it out just perfect.”

She’s a student at a local community college. He works in financial services. They plan to make their home in South Florida.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. A trip on a cruise ship almost got canceled when the travel agent deleted one ticket from the system, thinking someone had plugged in the same information twice.

There was also some uncertainty about how to phrase their wedding invitations, so they decided to include their middle names. But any confusion likely won’t carry on past the husband and wife. Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt said there are no plans to pass along the name to future children.

“No,” she said. “We’re definitely not going to name our kids Kelly.”

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