By Nicole S. Daniel
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 email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
JOSEPH AND ADRIENNE ACKLIN
Married: March 24, 2001
Met: On the campus of UAB in the parking lot after a party. “His voice caught my attention along with the looks, but I must say it was the deep voice first,” Adrienne said with a laugh. “I made the first move by asking one of my friends who knew one of his friends to ask for his number. Joseph called me that night and we talked on the phone for hours. Even though I asked for the number and made the first move, he was into me as well.” Adrienne said they ended up dating for about a year, broke up and after a year ended back together again, but the second time around Joseph made the first move and 24 years later they’re still together.
First date: O’Charley’s in Wildwood (Homewood, AL) for Valentine’s Day 2000. Joseph planned the first date and it was a dinner and movie. “We had a great time conversing and laughing with each other,” Adrienne said. “We had so much of a great time that Joseph accidentally knocked over the pitcher of Sprite and it spilled all over my clothing at dinner. I was soaking wet. Still trying to remain calm, of course I said, ‘It’s ok.’ He was such a gentleman, getting up to get napkins and wiping the Sprite from my clothing and apologizing multiple times for the mishap. We were still able to go out to the movies and from the movies, went home and talked on the phone again for hours.”
After they started back talking Joseph said he knew he did not want her to get away and wanted to make sure there was no one else in the picture.
“So Valentine’s Day was the perfect way to find out if she was really not dating anyone else,” he laughed. “We went out for dinner and a movie. The incident with the drink did happen and I was so embarrassed. I was a gentleman like she said and apologized so many times while wiping the drink off of her clothing. I do remember us having great conversation and plenty of laughs. After going home, we talked on the phone for hours and I do believe Adrienne even fell asleep on me,” he laughed.
The turn: “After the first date, I can honestly say I felt a feeling of openness to the future that it could hold between the two of us,” Joseph said. “After the first date, I felt pretty happy about the possibilities of our future together and pretty embarrassed about the mishap.
“When I was ready to settle down with a ‘forever’ person, Adrienne was the one that came to my mind. I say this because of how goal oriented she was and still is today and also a major part would be the importance she placed on family dynamics and structure. It was her selfless heart for me as well. Adrienne is always thinking of other people before thinking about herself and I love her for that. She’s just a very compassionate person.”
Adrienne said she know Joseph was the one for her “after he called me back a year later. Who does that?” she laughed.
“Once, I conversed with him and knew that he was finally ready to settle down, I could see a future with him. I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, so the timing was perfect. Joseph has a great sense of humor, hard-working, attractive and always making sure he’s spoiling — I mean loving me — at all times. The fact that he was always looking forward to being around my family meant a lot to me. I’m a very family-oriented person and that was a big deal.”
The proposal: “I knew how I wanted to do it and that was in front of her family due to the fact that Adrienne loves her family,” Joseph said. “I prepared by going to her parents’ house who lived in Hueytown, AL and asking them for her hand in marriage without Adrienne knowing. Of course, they were excited and the words her father gave me were, ‘Treat her right or I will run your butt back to Sheffield, AL … He actually didn’t say the word butt but you can fill in the blank.”
Joseph said both parents gave their blessings and he proposed on Thanksgiving Day 2000 at her parents’ home. “I was extremely nervous and had rehearsed dozens of times before the actual date because I wanted my words to be sincere. Her family was there and before we eat on Thanksgiving, we always go around the table to say what we are thankful for. I went last and as it got around to me, I told Adrienne just what she meant to me and how I was so thankful that I felt a part of the family and how thankful I was to be a part of the family. After that, I got down on one knee and grabbed Adrienne’s hand, placing the ring on her finger and asked her to marry me.”
Joseph said Adrienne started crying “and I’m still holding her hand while waiting for an answer. Her family is saying to her, ‘well, what’s the answer?” she said, ‘yes’ and we hugged and kissed.”
“I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to be engaged to the man I fell in love with,” Adrienne said. “There were so many emotions going on in my mind because I was really about to take a huge step into adulthood. I was making the profound transition from single to married, daughter to wife.”
The wedding: At Trinity Lutheran Church officiated by Pastor Thomas Noon. Their colors were sage and silver.
Most memorable for the groom was seeing Adrienne walk down the aisle. “I was smiling from ear to ear. She was beautiful and all I could think about is that this is the woman that is about to become my wife. It was an exciting moment.”
Most memorable for the bride was walking down the aisle and seeing the smile on Joseph’s face. “His reaction showed me that he was proud and happy to become my husband. Of course, it made me tear up, but it was a wonderful feeling. Another memorable moment for me also would be the moment that my father gave me away. He hugged and kissed me and gave my hand to Joseph. That moment of my father giving my hand to him basically was saying, ‘I’ve done my job with protecting, providing and loving her. Now, I’m trusting you to protect, provide, and love her the same way’ and yes, Joseph has and still is protecting, providing, and loving me.
Words of wisdom: Both said, “Communication. Our goal is listen to understand and not listen to reply. We also try to apply into our marriage that yesterday’s disagreement will not stop today’s communication. Commitment, remember that love is a commitment we make every day, and our feelings follow our commitments. Acceptance, focus on that we are not perfect, accept our own faults as well as the other person. Take each other for who we are and enjoy and accept each other’s differences and love is the glue that holds all of the above together.”
They continued, “Love can’t fix everything, but it will give us the strength to get through anything…We are extremely blessed and it’s gratifying knowing you have a life partner. Don’t think it has been easy because there’s never a perfect marriage. We have sacrificed, forgave, cried, apologized, learned how to communicate, and continue to focus on our goals of communication, commitment, acceptance, and love every day.”
Happily ever after: Joseph 47, is from Sheffield, AL and attended Sheffield High School and Samford University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He works in new model automotive development, in Lincoln, Alabama.
Adrienne, 47 is from Hueytown, Alabama and attended Hueytown High School. She earned degrees from Lawson State Community College (associate’s in early childhood), University of Alabama in Birmingham (bachelor’s and master’s in elementary education) and Samford University (gifted education). She is a gifted specialist in Birmingham.
The couple also owns “Staked With Love LLC”, a yard sign greeting business, and enjoys traveling, shopping, just getting in the car and riding and “we can’t and will not forget about Friday date nights,” they said.