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‘Marriage is a test of faith … but prayer works’

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By Anita Debro
Special to the Birmingham Times

“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Ariel Worthy at aworthy@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

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BRIAN AND BRANDY LACEY

 Live: Homewood

Married: May 8, 2010

Met: Brian, who is from Calera, and Brandy, a Birmingham native, met at a pub in Homewood in 2005 while she was out with friends and he was out with cousins. “I saw him across the room and it was love at first sight,” Brandy said. “I don’t usually approach guys, but when I saw him I had to introduce myself.”  The two exchanged numbers that night but it would be three months before Brandy heard from Brian. “I didn’t want to seem desperate,” Brian recalled. Brandy was not happy with the long wait. She knew when she saw the telephone number on the caller id that it was Brian and she answered.

First date: The two decided after a few phone calls to meet at Star Lake in Hoover. They looked at the ducks and talked. During that first date, “I was thinking, this isn’t real,” Brandy said. “I was recently out of a bad relationship and he was such a gentleman, he really paid attention to detail. He opened doors and pulled chairs out. I knew he was a keeper.”

After that first date “we were always talking on the telephone,” Brian said. “It was like when we got together we didn’t have that much to talk about because we had talked before on the telephone.” But the couple decided eventually see other people and they decided to part ways. “We were young,” Brandy explained. “We went back to other people.” But they did not stop thinking of each other. It would be a couple of years before they got back together, however.

The proposal: Four years after first meeting, Brian and Brandy were back together. Brian was sure about his future with Brandy. “In 2005, when I first met her I told her mom I was going to marry her. So when it was time, I asked her mom’s permission first,” Brian said.  He proposed in December of 2009. He presented her with a ring in February 2010. “It was very heartfelt,” Brandy said of the proposal. “I never knew I would get married.”

The wedding: The couple did not initially plan on a wedding. They were going to go to the courthouse to make it official. But Brandy said she changed her mind when she considered her daughter from a previous relationship. “I wanted her to see me get married.”So with just two weeks, Brandy made decorations and planned the details of a wedding. They were married at the Elks Lodge in Calera. “I was nervous,” she recalled of her big day.  There were nerves for Brian as well. “I was scared,” he said. “I was the first in my group to get married and I was about to take on a family.”

Words of wisdom:  Brian and Brandy believe that a healthy relationship is rooted in spirituality. “Keep God first,” Brandy said.  She said that couples should be mindful that challenges will come up in every relationship. “Just understand it is a test (of faith),” she said. “There will be temptations lurking everywhere but just know you have to pray those things off.”

Brian said communicating with one another is also important. “If you talk then you will know what is going on with one another,” he said.

Happily ever after: Brandy, 39, and Brian, 37, have two daughters ages 14 and 6.  She is the owner of a hair, make-up and nail studio, Her Studio, in Homewood.  He is a dispatcher at Builders First Source in Pelham.  The couple enjoys going out to eat together and they both love to window shop together.  A perfect family outing involves getting in the car and driving.  They both look forward to watching their girls grow up and helping other couples. “We want to be a blessing to others,” Brandy said.