A photo of two Columbus State students went viral four days ago, gathering more than 1.7 million views and more than a few negative reactions.
Ashley Stevens, 21, said she was attending the wedding of her cousin Dani Carlucci last Saturday in Norfolk, Va., with her boyfriend, Christopher Reed, 21, when she caught the new bride’s bouquet.
Stevens said she and Reed sat down after catching the bouquet and posed for a goofy photo with her father, Jim Stevens.
She said she posted the photo to her Facebook page that night before her friend Stephen Pace posted it to Reddit.
The reactions to the photo were generally negative, with most people implying that Stevens was too good-looking for Reed.
“Thanks for making me internet famous.”
Stevens rebutted this, calling the reaction “shallow and rude.”
“I have won the jackpot with Christopher,” she said. “He may not have rock-hard abs like the world tells girls to want in a guy, but really, why does that even matter when you are trying to really find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with? He is so thoughtful and patient… he is my best friend.”
Stevens said though she was offended by other people’s reactions at first, she now feels sorry for them.
“It’s making us laugh a little bit because it’s people who are jealous,” Reed said.
As for catching the bouquet, Reed and Stevens said they have discussed marriage and it is something they are interested in. They said they plan to finish school first.
And to the people saying mean things about them on the internet?
“People don’t define me or determine who I am,” Reed said. “God does. And thanks for making me internet famous.”
Why it’s a highlight:
This story was a quick made-for-sharing feature I whipped up to see if it would do well on Facebook. It did better than I’d ever imagined, bringing in 10 times as many page views as a “great” story normally does. It was far and away the most popular story on our entire site that month.
I’m proud of this story because I designed it to be as share-able as possible and it worked.