If this wedding photo, hailed by various news outlets as the best ever, set off your bullshit detector, your instincts are good. Although the photo is genuine, the feel-good backstory that helped make it ubiquitous on Facebook earlier this month is mostly bogus.
Legend has it that the bride accidentally texted the details of her photo shoot to one of the teenagers in the photo, and when she tried to correct her mistake, he replied,"We still coming." And when he and his friends actually showed up, the couple welcomed them into the shot.
The photo became ubiquitous on Facebook, #westillcoming turned into a Twitter trend, and everyone lived happily ever after.
But that's not how it happened. BuzzFeed has tracked down the real story behind the photo and discovered the roles were completely reversed: The kids in the photo didn't crash the photo session; the happy couple crashed their rap video.
The bride and groom in the photo—Kirsten and Roger or Kristen and Roger, depending on which fake text message you read—are actually named Amy and Ian. According to their wedding photographer, Adam Sparkes, they showed up for photos in Detroit's theater district and found rap group 7262 shooting a video.
"We actually crashed their video. Frankly, they were hilarious, fun and totally inviting to the idea. Detroiters are always amazingly gracious and congratulatory to my bridal parties," he wrote in a Facebook comment.
And here's that video:
Sparkes found the fake story "cute," and speculated that it became so popular because "the ambiguity of it won everyone's attention and speculation[.] This is just made-up entirely, but hey, good for a laugh."
It seems whoever originally fed this into the viral meat grinder jumped to the conclusion that the black people in the photo were the uninvited guests (or assumed it would be more popular if they framed it that way) and fabricated some text messages to fit that narrative.
"Hey, you don't actually know the story behind that photo. You just entirely made it up!"
"We still posting."