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‘I wrote a poem from the heart, got on one knee and pulled out the diamond ring’

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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 Barnett Wright bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

TERENCE AND BRITTANY MARZETTE

Live: Trussville

Married: June 15, 2019

Met: In Anaheim, California at a NAF [National Academy Foundation] Educator’s Conference, Summer 2015.

Brittany attended the conference with her father, who was also an educator, when they ran into Terence. “It was a general ‘hey’ in passing,” Brittany recalled. “And it’s ironic because my dad was [Terence’s] science teacher [at Huffman High School], so he and my dad spoke …”

Once the fall semester rolled around, Brittany and Terence ended up teaching at the same school, with classrooms in the same hall.

“I started teaching at Huffman High School in the 2015-2016 school year and that’s when I saw him again,” Brittany said. “At the time, I was on the freshman academy team and our classrooms were in the same hallway, and we just talked as teachers . . . and finally exchanged numbers in December 2016.”

“… I felt like she was a very attractive lady with a good head on her shoulders and I noticed that I had caught her eye a couple times and decided to ask her for her number,” Terence said. “. . . we started off as coworkers and then friends, just finding out a lot about each other. God worked everything in because at the time, we were both getting out of relationships and took that chance with each other.”

First date: March 2017 at Brio’s in Brookwood Village. “We were out on spring break and finally agreed to go to lunch, and he asked me where I wanted ot go and I told him my favorite place was Brio’s,” Brittany said. “I kinda remember him being nervous, but we laughed off the nerves.

“Although we had exchanged numbers we never saw each other outside of the halls of Huffman High, so it was really nice to see him outside of the teacher element and enjoy each other’s company. He’s a very funny people person, that’s one of the things that attracted me to him.”

“Brio’s was new to me, [although] I had never been there I felt it was a nice elegant place to take her to let her know what kind of level we were going to be on if we were going to start seeing each other,” Terence said. “Brio’s is a romantic, white table cloth environment, we had good food, the vibe and the conversation was good and we had a great time with each other.”

The turn: Toward the end of April 2017, but it was during a weekend getaway in July 2017 that the energy changed.

“I asked her to go out of town for the weekend and I made plans for us to go over to Georgia just to be alone and have a nice time. We got a nice 5-star hotel we had dinner reservations at nice restaurants, we went to the aquarium and enjoyed the city,” Terence said.

“We went to Atlanta that’s when we exclusively said we were dating, and he called me his lady, and his woman, I had to learn his terminology but that’s when I knew we were serious,” Brittany said. “He had made the plans, and made me feel like a lady . . . like we were truly an item.”

The proposal: May 19, 2018, at Brio’s in Brookwood Village. “I booked the reservation at her favorite restaurant which is where we had our first date. I spoke to the staff, the chef, and pre-ordered our meals, I had the flowers, and a camera set up in the corner to get the proposal [on video] …,” Terence said. “It was all a complete surprise to her . . . I tried to do it like a regular date, I didn’t try to put on too much because I wanted to throw her off. Everything went as planned. I got up during the meal and gave the manager the heads up that I was ready to propose and the staff came out with the roses behind me. I wrote her an original poem from the heart and I got on one knee and started reciting it, pulled out the diamond ring, and asked her for her hand in marriage . . .  she said ‘yes’.

“I had an inkling that this was going to happen because of the table setting, our table stood out from the rest because we had a red tablecloth, and when I saw them come behind him with the roses I said ‘ok, this is it’,” Brittany said. “I couldn’t help but cry those tears of joy because this was finally my time, and that was a moment that I’ll never forget, it will always replay in my mind.

The wedding: In Hoover, at Soiree Event Gallery, officiated by Bishop Awalski M. Moore. Their colors were coral, gold, and cream.

Most memorable for the bride was “coming down the aisle singing. I’m a singer, and it’s my most memorable moment because it was a complete surprise to everyone, I didn’t tell a soul. I kept it to myself because I didn’t want anyone asking me about it [making me nervous or more emotional], it was even a surprise to my wedding coordinator, I told her [day of] that I needed a mic… I sang ‘I Believe In You And Me’, by Whitney Houston, and I held my tears till the end and then let it out,” Brittany said. “From [my groom] to my oldest brother, everybody was crying… my mom and Terence had a bet that [that they wouldn’t cry] … all bets were off, everybody was crying, it was a really beautiful moment.”

Most memorable for the groom was his bride “coming down the aisle singing to me, she held her key and pitch, but [more memorable] was our dance. We worked on a dance intro for our reception, and we practiced for about a month. We danced to ‘Powerglide’ by Rae Sremmurd, and it was fun to do that together,” Terence said. “We both hit our mark on the dance, we were in tune with each other, and as soon as the song was over everything was turned up from that point.”

They honeymooned in Montego Bay Jamaica for five days and six nights. “Neither one of us had ever been, and it was nice to embark on that together . . . it was a beautiful trip,” said Terence

Words of wisdom: “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” Terence said.

“Keep God in your marriage and in your home. Continue to learn each other, it’s ok to continue learning each other because it’s [building] the life you desire to have with your spouse, keep dating,” Brittany said. “With us having new babies in our home it’s hard to set that time aside for each other, but you have to put in the effort to make that happen and continue to be friends.”

Happily ever after: The Marzette’s are a blended family with three children, Terence Jr., 13, and their daughters Tamia, 2, and Talia, nine months.

Brittany, 31, is a West End native, and Ramsay High School grad. She attended Alabama A&M University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, and the University of Montevallo where she obtained a master’s degree in secondary education, with a concentration in mathematics. Brittany is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and teaches Algebra II with statistics at Huffman High School and serves as the department chair of mathematics.

Terence, 43, is an Ensley native, and Huffman High School grad. He attended Alabama A&M University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and Athens State University [Athens, Alabama] where he obtained a master’s degree in career technical education, Level 5. He is lead teacher at the Academy of Architecture and Construction at Huffman High School, and serves as the department chair for Career Technical Education.

They attend New Rising Star Church in Birmingham.

Updated at 5:59 p.m. on 5/25/22 to correct the year of the proposal. 

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