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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
AMBER AND AMAURII PARKER
Married: March 8, 2014
Met: September 2006, at Purple Onion on the Southside. Amaurii, then a senior at Jackson Olin High School, and a group of friends went for a bite to eat after a high school [sports event] when they ran into Amber, who attended Minor High School and was also a senior.
“I was sitting there eating with one of my friends and Amaurii came over and tried to talk to me, and one of his friends tried to talk to my friend. His friend was unsuccessful, but I gave Amaurii my number,” Amber said.
“She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and I had to seize the moment,” Amuarii remembered.
They began chatting on the phone and became friends but did not go on a date for nearly two years during their freshmen year at their respective colleges. Amber was at The University of Alabama, and Amaurii was at Jacksonville State University, and they both drove up to Birmingham to meet for a date.
First date: Spring 2008, at the Wildwood Movie Theater on Lakeshore, for a movie they can’t recall, and O’Charley’s for dinner afterward.
“I remember that it was raining when he came and picked me up from my parent’s house [in Forestdale], and he actually got out of the car and came to the door and got me with the umbrella,” Amber recalled. “That’s when I realized that we weren’t going out as friends, and was actually a date… And I remember we ate off the two-for-twenty menu,” she laughed.
“Of course, I went to the door with the umbrella and got her,” Amaurii said. “I had home training. Yes, we did [eat off of the two-for-twenty menu], we were college students back then,” he laughed. “And I remember liking her green dress, she looked beautiful.”
The turn: Fall 2009, both were still at their respective colleges when they decided they didn’t want to date anybody else and began a long-distance relationship.
The proposal: On Amber’s birthday, Oct. 4, 2012, at her home before a dinner in her honor. “I got the ring, but I put the paperwork [to the ring] in a necklace box and gave it to her and she thought she was getting a necklace, but when she opened the box and saw [papers] she looked at me with a confused face, and I [got down] on one knee and said Amber ‘will you marry me?’” Amaurii said.
“I was really confused because I didn’t read the paperwork, I just thought he was giving me papers, and then when I realized that he was asking [me to marry him]. I was excited and I said ‘yes,’” Amber said.
The wedding: At Faith Church in Homewood, officiated by Reverend Aubrey Miller. Their colors were khaki, gold, and coral.
Most memorable for the bride was, “our first dance. [We danced to] ‘Neva End’, by Future, Ft. Kelly Roland, and it was the [realization] that we were married,” Amber said.
Most memorable for the groom was “when she walked down the aisle, I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Amurii said, “It was a surreal moment.”
Words of wisdom: “Use open communication and remember to remain friends first. Over the years you both evolve, but if you remember the basis of your friendship and why you fell in love that will help keep you going,” Amber said.
“Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes so that you can understand where they’re coming from. Grow together, be each other’s biggest supporter, and encourage one another,” Amaurii said.
Happily ever after: The Parkers attend Faith Chapel in Wylam, and have three children, two daughters, and one son.
Amber, 34, is a Forestdale native, and Minor High School grad. She attended the University of Alabama where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing, and Samford University where she obtained a doctorate degree in nursing. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and works as an instructor at a local institute.
Amaurii, 33, is an Ensley native, and Jackson Olin High School grad. He attended Jacksonville State University and The University of Alabama where he obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and works at a local accounting firm.