Texans are fiercely loyal to their favorite brands. Texpats returning home weep when they first venture back into an H-E-B. Dr Pepper carries a significance here unmatched by fandom for any other soda. Children and adults alike eagerly await the chance to meet the buck-toothed rodent mascot of the state’s chosen gas station. Blue Bell ice cream had to issue a total recall after a listeria outbreak that killed three people, and we all still clamored to get more.
But no brand has cultivated its connection to Texans quite like Whataburger has. The chain sells silver, Texas-shaped James Avery charms emblazoned with its logo and t-shirts boasting how their burger is “so big, it’s gotta be from Texas.” An ode to the fast food chain performed at the Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival in Bryan in 2015 became a viral hit and the ever-responsive chain subsequently launched a poetry contest (grand prize: free Whataburgers for a year). The chain makes it clear: If Texans love Whataburger, then Whataburger loves them back.
If Whataburger is all about love, it makes sense—at least in terms of marketing—that the company now has a page on its website celebrating couples who headed to the restaurant immediately after getting married. The page features a number of newlyweds whose post-reception activities included spicy ketchup and honey butter: Bethany and Mark Anthony Vidaurri, John and Alyssa Coker, Levi and Madalyn Yancey… Daniel and Priscila Gonzalez even took a professional wedding portrait outside of the Pasadena location, an homage to their Friday tradition of catching up over a burger dinner at the end of the week.
Among the newlyweds on the site are Houston-born Pace Murphy and his high school sweetheart, Kylie, who high-tailed it to Whataburger after tying the knot to celebrate their love of both one another and of burgers. The couple had their first date at a Whataburger after a homecoming game—too bad Murphy’s new position as offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers means they’ll have to make do with In-N-Out.
It’s all rather silly, but Whataburger as a post-reception snack does make some sense. It’s open 24 hours, it’s fast, and as a bonus for hungover newlyweds, all the bread and grease do a good job of soaking up the excess from the open bar. The giddy photos? Those are documentations of love—or at least signs that Whataburger’s marketing is on point.