It’s enough to make a romantic comedy film writer drool over their keyboard. A young Meg Ryanesque Florida gal named Kelly Hildebrandt discovers a shirtless, Matthew McConaughey-type Texan with the exact same first and last name on Facebook.
Kelly girl sends a cyber shout-out to Kelly boy, and he answers back. Three weeks of viral flirting leads Kelly boy to head east to Florida to meet girl Kelly. A couple of months later, he’s relocating — and come October, just eight months after their first connection, Kelly Hildebrandt will marry Kelly Hildebrandt.
TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe gave the inside scoop on the strange, unlikely, but all together heart-warming story of the two Kellys, talking with the beaming pair via satellite from Coral Gables, Fla., on Sunday.
But first, Wolfe had to figure out how to address that pair without creating an Abbott-Costello routine.
“Usually, I’m Kelly girl, and he’s Kelly boy,” the future Mrs. Hildebrandt told Wolfe. And her prospective groom added, “We’ve thought about Hildebrandt squared, but probably not that often.”
Kelly girl, 20, recounted her story how, in February, she found herself homebound and bored stiff, so she searched her name on Facebook. She came up with one match; a Lubbock, Texas, fellow with the exact same first name, exact same last name, and — bonus! — a torso unrestrained by a shirt.
She sent a note: “I just told him I saw we had the same name and thought that was kind of cool, and that I just wanted to say hi,” Kelly girl told Wolfe. “It was like a sentence, the whole thing.”
But Kelly boy was intrigued. “I thought she was pretty cute,” he said. He kept the cyber chatter going for a few weeks and then made his play, taking a leap of faith and taking off for Coral Springs to meet his mirror-image name in the flesh.
Wolfe openly wondered if Kelly boy’s family might have been shocked by his behavior, but Kelly boy just smiled and told her, “I’m kind of an action-type person, so they weren’t too surprised, and once they met her, they could understand, so it was all right.”
Kelly girl’s family was a bit leery as well — hearing as many horror stories about couples hooking up via Internet as ones with happy endings — and Kelly’s mom rode shotgun when the pair first met in person at the local airport.
Things heated up quickly, and happily for both Kellys, kinfolk on both sides came around that theirs was a match made in heaven. Kelly boy was so convinced he had met the Kelly girl of his dreams he quickly put in for a transfer with his financial firm so he could be with Kelly in Coral Springs, while she finishes up her college degree.
Kelly Hildebrandt and Kelly Hildebrandt heard wedding bells, but they did have one cause for concern: Could they actually be related? The couple began poring over their respective family trees, after going back 250 years and finding no common ancestors, knew they were good to go toward a trip down the aisle.
To be sure, sharing the exact same names makes it a little crazy come mail delivery time, and the Hildebrandts have already caused head-scratching for at least one business.
“Kelly (boy) booked us a cruise, and they almost deleted one of our tickets because they thought there was a typo, that they had put in two of one person,” Kelly girl told Wolfe. “Kelly had to call to explain that there were two people with the same name.”
While both Kellys seems to revel in the novelty of their shared names, Kelly boy told NBC he believes there was fate involved with Kelly girl finding him, and then he making the bold move to meet her in person.
“I felt like there was a good possibility that before I ever came out to meet her in person, this could be the girl I’m gonna marry,” he said.
Marrying a Hildebrandt carries an extra bonus for Kelly girl’s family. Her father is the last male Hildebrandt on his side of the family, and now his daughter Kelly’s marriage affords the chance the family name will be carried on.
Wolfe gave the couple one bit of advice when it comes time to start a family. “If you have kids, please don’t name them Kelly, it’s just going to make it so much more confusing!”