An Illinois couple has received national attention as they near their wedding.
Joel Burger, 24, recently proposed to 23-year-old Ashley King, his girlfriend of more than five years. The wedding will be billed as Burger-King, the State Journal-Register reports.
Burger and King have been friends their whole lives, growing up together in the New Berlin area. Although they did not begin dating until college, they remained close friends throughout their days in high school.
"I didn't really ask her out until going into freshman year of college," Burger said, "but we had talked all through junior and senior years in high schools. I would have called that dating. That's what I would have called it anyway."
King explained the origin of the Burger-King nickname to the State Journal-Register, which goes as far back as the fifth grade: "We had a yo-yo assembly ... The guy at the assembly was a motivational speaker, and he used yo-yos,” she clarified.
"After the man was finished with his motivational speech, he asked the two fifth-grade (student council) representatives to stand up as he wanted the students to applaud our efforts in helping set up his event," she continued. "As soon as he said, 'Joel Burger and Ashley King,' he started to laugh out loud and pronounced we were 'Burger King.'"
"We have yet to escape the teasing," King told the publication. “But we have fully embraced our nickname.”
The couple is committed to their Burger-King name, as they broke tradition and put the soon-to-be husband's name first on the engagement announcement to make the moniker work (King-Burger just doesn't have the same ‘whopper’ to it).
Although Burger and King were initially unsuccessful in reaching out to the global fast food chain to notify them of their connection, there is a 'happily-ever-after' update to this story. The State Journal-Register reports that Burger King has offered to cover the full cost of the couple's wedding. The company contacted the couple on Monday afternoon after their story went viral.
In addition to paying for wedding expenses, Burger King will also provide personalized yo-yos to wedding guests in honor of the couple’s Burger-King moniker origin story, along with personalized gift bags, Mason Jars and Burger King crowns.
"When we heard about the happy, Burger-King couple, we felt an overwhelming urge to celebrate their upcoming marriage," said Burger King spokesperson Eric Hirschhorn. "On so many levels it felt like fate; they found each other and their story found us ... All we ask in return is that they live happily ever after."