BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY
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 Erica Wright firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
AUDRIANNA AND DEBRUNSKIE DUBOSE
Married: Sept. 9, 2017
Met: In 2004, Audrianna and Debrunskie met at a high school house party in Alexander City, their hometown. Audrianna, then a sophomore at one high school, and Debrunskie, a junior at another, were all mutual friends because they ran in the same dating and social circles. Although they first met in 2004 it wasn’t until four years later when they reconnected at a Montgomery (Ala.) nightclub called ‘Front Street’ that the relationship blossomed while Debrunskie was visiting with one of their mutual friends who was attending Alabama State University.
“We were hanging out, and she was wearing heels, and after we got out of the club, she started pretending she forgot how to walk… and she had me walk her to the car,” Debrunskie said. “That walk to the car, that’s what really kicked it off.”
Audrianna agreed. “I told my cousin ‘I think I like Dubose’, and my cousin told him what I said and it went from there,” she said.
First date: Fall 2008 at the Auburn-Southern Mississippi game in Auburn at the Jordan Hare Stadium.
“It was the date from hell,” Debrunskie said, “it had to be the hottest date ever. Her uncle had some free tickets and the seats were at the top of the stadium, it had to be 105 degrees. And when it was over we left and went straight and got some water…,” he laughed. “When we got back to my apartment [in Auburn] we laughed about the tickets and just chilled out for the rest of the day.”
“It was not that bad,” Audrianna said, “it was hot, no lie, but I enjoyed it. I remember we had to walk very, very far… I actually kept the ticket, it’s still in my keepsake box… But, despite the heat, I was excited to be out and about with him. Even with it being so hot, I didn’t even care.”
The turn: Shortly after their first date, Debrunskie went off to the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Virginia, where he served four years. Audrianna was in college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB] and was about to graduate. Over the four-year span, the two remained close, Audrianna visited several times.
However, things took a serious turn when Debrunskie was preparing to move back to Alabama, and the two began discussing getting an apartment together. “In February 2013, we moved in together, and the rest is history,” Audrianna said.
During his four years in the Navy Debrunskie said he’d tested the waters, and “there was nothing out there. And, I had come to a point in my life where I was ready to settle down completely, and I knew her. I knew who she was as a person, and she never changed, even over the years. I knew she was it.”
The proposal: In 2016, Audrianna’s family threw her a big celebration for earning her master’s degree from Troy University.
The night before the party, Debrunskie snuck down to their hometown and asked Audrianna’s mother and father for her hand in marriage.
“At the party, everybody was giving a toast and standing up and saying what they love about her… When the toasts were done, she was mad at me, asking why I didn’t go up there and say anything, but she didn’t know I had a plan. The party went on and everybody was dancing and having fun. But when everybody sat down to eat, I went and took her hand and walked her up there [to the front] and grabbed the mic from the [disc jockey] and gave her a toast. And at the end I said ‘earlier you told me that I’ve bought you everything that you ever wanted except for a ring’, Debrunskie said. “Then I pulled the ring out my back pocket and got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife…and tears fell.”
Audrianna remembered she was upset because “I was thinking he should’ve been first to speak about me, but I had no idea he was going to do that. I was shocked. It was the happiest day of my life, I was on high,” she said. “I didn’t know he had all that planned the whole time… His whole family was at the party, and mine, and he had gotten the blessing from my parents the night before and I didn’t know any of this. It absolutely made it [the proposal] more special.”
The wedding: At Harvey’s On Noble event center in Sylacauga, Ala. Officiated by Gary Varner. The colors were purple, fuchsia and gold–jewel tones.
Most memorable for the bride and groom was their “first look” at one another.
“We did a ‘first look’ before the wedding and the planner had him standing with his back turned with my flowers in his hand and when he turned around and saw me, he told me how beautiful I was. And, of course, I started crying and messed up my makeup. It was the look on his face, it stole my heart,” Audrianna said.
Debrunskie said “That first look got me. When she turned around, and I saw her, she was perfect, like flawless.”
Their honeymoon was scheduled for Cancun but was canceled because of a storm, “so we booked a last-minute trip to Vegas. It was fun,” they said.
Words of wisdom: Going through life with a partner makes the rough days easier knowing that you have peace and stress relief at home, said the couple.
“Communication is the key, but we are like best friends, we don’t argue because we are on the same level mentally,” Audrianna said. “Things that used to make me mad that I would give the silent treatment, don’t anymore. I’ve just learned to cool off first and then we talk about why it made me feel the way that it did, and we just move past it.”
She added, “We love to travel, that’s part of our self-care, if we haven’t gone anywhere in a while, we’ll be spontaneous and we’ll pick someplace we want to go, book it and go. And we go on adventures and it helps us band together and have new experiences. We like to experience different things outside of the norm.”
The couple recalled one trip to Niagara Falls when the temperature was minus four degrees. It was a learning and bonding experience.
Debrunskie said, “Setting goals in your marriage and obtaining them helps a marriage grow — financially, spiritually and naturally. Being open to new experiences and not being selfish and thinking about just your needs. Like this interview on a Sunday when there’s football on TV. It’s part of marriage, she wanted to do this, and so I was with it.”
Happily ever after: Audrianna, 30, is an Alexander City native and attended Horseshoe Bend High School. She earned a bachelor of science degree in Health Information Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB], and a master’s degree in management from Troy University. She works as a data reporting specialist for Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation.
Debrunskie, 31, is an Alexander City native and attended Benjamin Russell High School. He served in the U.S. Navy, and works as an Extrusion Operator for Meridian Brick.