“You Had Me at Hello” highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please send nominations to Ariel Worthy at email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number and what makes their love story unique.
Meagan and Darrius Peace
Living in: Birmingham’s Southside neighborhood
Married: Sept. 15, 2004
Met: A mutual friend introduced Darrius and Meagan in 2002 while both were attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Darrius was also in barber/styling school. Meagan and Darrius were from Mobile and found they had a lot in common. In fact, their parents lived eight minutes from each other in Mobile.
“I thought he was hilarious,’’ said Meagan. “He made some jokes that only people from Mobile would understand.’’
They became friends and started dating after a friendly spat during Thanksgiving 2003.
Said Darrius: “I had to ask myself, ‘Why was I so emotionally triggered or stimulated by this person?’ Only someone you have such a deep attraction to would be able to have that effect on you. I gave it some thought and I realized it was because I loved Meagan.’’
Meagan was speechless when she learned how Darrius felt. Darrius was everything she wanted in a boyfriend. (He was ambitious, smart, handsome, funny and hardworking.) But she wondered how a relationship would impact their friendship.
She’s so glad she agreed to be his girl.
“I was really excited but I was careful about how we navigated those waters,’’ Meagan said. “In my heart, I knew he was ‘the one.’ ‘’
Baby, I wanna hold your hand: After they got engaged in April 2004, they got the peace sign tattooed on their ring fingers to embrace themselves as artists and as a couple. Darrius has his tattoo on his left hand and Meagan has hers on her right hand because she wears her wedding ring on her left hand.
“We always hold hands, so that means we have to physically touch in order for the tattoo rings to be complete,’’ Darrius said, adding that they do what fits them. “Allow yourself the freedoms to be as a couple as you see it.’’
The wedding: They had planned to get married at Twin Pines Resort and Conference Center in Sterrett, Ala. in September 2004. But because Hurricane Ivan prevented both of their families from driving up from Mobile for the wedding, they changed their location. They moved the wedding to their home on Birmingham’s Southside. They celebrated their wedding for five days, designating a special day for something about their relationship. On every wedding anniversary, they celebrate their union for a week.
Sept. 15 is their day of rest.
Sept. 16 is their day of honoring their love.
Sept. 17 is their communion.
Sept. 18 is their day to be victorious of their love.
Sept. 19 is their day of faith.
Their vows, which are painted on a huge canvas at home, remind them of their purpose every day. “It’s like our mission statement,’’ Darrius said.
Words of wisdom: “When it comes to the marriage, do what works for you as a couple,’’ said Darrius. “You don’t have to follow the standard of your parents or friends. Their journey is fit for them. If walking down the aisle in a white dress is not a fit for you, … then don’t it. Just follow your path.’’
Said Meagan: “Be friends. That’s been the consistent thing throughout our entire relationship. When I see Darrius as my friend, I know that my friend has my back, … supports me and wants the best for me.’’
“He will always be by my side, no matter what.’’
Respecting your spouse: “Anything that has to be said about Meagan Peace, is said to Meagan Peace,’’ Darrius said. “I do not talk about Meagan in these streets. I protect her name and her image with everything in me. To talk about your spouse to others is almost like defaming your spouse.’’
Happily ever after: Darrius and Meagan have five children and are co-owners of HAYAH Beauty, a natural hair care salon, hair care line, and make up line in Birmingham. Their website is www.hayahbeauty.com.
Meagan, a graphic designer, is the creative director and brand manager for the company. Darrius is the company’s head natural hair care expert and the author of three books on natural hair care.