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The story behind BuzzFeed's wedding proposal

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Katie Holland didn’t think the hashtag #SayYesKatie was about her.

But she clicked anyway. The accompany BuzzFeed article was a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Len Kendall.

“I was not expecting it at all,” said Holland, who works in the social media department at McDonald’s. “It was complete and total shock, I was crying and enjoying it.”

After seeing the article, Holland tried calling Kendall, a BuzzFeed contributor who also works in digital media, but he didn’t answer his phone.

That only excited the 26-year-old Holland more, as the proposal quickly picked up steam online and led to a flurry of memes in BuzzFeed’s comment section.

Many people compared Kendall to Dean Pelton, the bald character with black rimmed glasses on NBC’s Community; and comments on the article encouraged Holland to say yes.

More than an hour later, he finally texted her back giving her instructions on where to meet him. Kendall, 28, proposed to her in a meme-free way in a downtown Chicago park.

“When we met up in real life, he was more traditional and saying very nice things [to me],” said Holland from Austin, TX, where she’s covering the South by Southwest Interactive conference. “It was a dream,” she said, adding that no wedding date had been set.

The nontraditional proposal racked up more than 70,000 views on BuzzFeed, but it wasn’t the hits that counted most to Holland—but the thought.

“This is our passion; this is our career choice,” she said. “For us it was completely fine, people have weddings that people share, might as well share it with the Internet.”