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‘We pray with our kids and we share the same values’

By Anita Debro
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 who would,  please send nominations to Ariel Worthy at aworthy@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

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Live: Clay

Married: August 9, 2014

Met: Randell, who is from Mt. Vernon, Alabama and Lovely, a native of Alberta, Alabama, were both living in Birmingham in early 2012.  They first met on an online dating website. “He messaged me,” Lovely recalled. “She ignored me at first,” Randell remembered. Eventually, the two began a virtual conversation, messaging back and forth.  They learned then they had friends in common. They decided after a couple of weeks of sending messages to meet in person.

First date: O’Charley’s Restaurant in Roebuck, which is now closed. Randell said he immediately noticed how beautiful Lovely was. Lovely was surprised by the good conversation. “We just had so much to talk about,” she said. “The conversation kept my interest.”  The two ended up talking until the restaurant was preparing to close.

The date went so well that Randell was already smitten.  So he  made Valentine’s Day reservations for the two of them. Lovely, however, was feeling differently. “I was not looking for a boyfriend,” she said. “I guess I was just on the dating website and I was curious.”  She said she was also hesitant about Randel l— a social butterfly with a lot of friends. Randell said Lovely stood him up on Valentine’s Day.

The next day, the two met up at Randell’s job to talk.  Randell told her his desire to be in a relationship and said he was willing to work at it. “He made a lot of good points, so we decided to give the relationship a try,” she recalled.

Randell and Lovely’s relationship grew closer over the next few months and by May of 2012, Lovely had met Randell’s family. Randell met Lovely’s family in August of that year. By then they knew they were serious and committed.

The proposal: June 8, 2013. Randell made plans for Lovely and a friend to visit Ozan Winery and Vineyard in Calera.  He told her he had to work and could not make it. Lovely rode the train through the vineyard and when she got off Randell was there.  He proposed to her then. “I cried,” Lovely said. “I was very surprised. “He had had a car accident and lost his job within two weeks of proposing, so I never anticipated it.”

The wedding: The couple married on the beach in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  It was a large wedding with 247 guests and a wedding party of 24 – 16 bridesmaids and eight groomsmen.  Lovely said it was an emotional day, recalling how Randell was crying when she walked down the aisle. “I remember how beautiful she looked when she walked down the aisle,” he said.

Words of wisdom: For Randell, the key to a happy marriage lies within that old saying: “Happy wife, happy life.”  Communicating with each other is important, he said. “I had to learn and adapt to being open and honest.”

“It is important to try and make decisions together, to be on the same page about things,” Lovely said.

Randell and Lovely also agree that being on the same page spiritually is important. “We pray together, we pray with our kids and we share the same values,” Lovely said. “We have a lot of different opinions of other stuff, but we agree that church is important.”

Happily ever after: Lovely and Randell have two sons — Randell Jr. 4, and Liam, 2.  Randell works at RWDSU (Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union) and Lovely works for EBSCO Industries.  They both look forward to growing together. “We have already grown so much and I can only seeing it get better,” Randell said. “And I look forward to seeing our boys grown and gone,” he joked. The couple recently purchased their first home and enjoy entertaining at home in Clay. “Well he likes to have people over,” Lovely laughed. “I’m not really that into entertaining.”

“She likes to plan the parties and decorate,” Randell said.