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 Erica Wright firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
DONNETTA AND CHRISTOPHER MAYWEATHER
Married: June 25, 2005
Met: Donnetta and Chris met one night in Brighton at the R&B night club. “He had a thing for me,” Donnetta said, “we talked just about the whole night but my intentions were not to talk to Christopher after we left the club because he told me [that night] that I was gonna be his wife and I wasn’t looking for no husband or no boyfriend so I wasn’t planning on calling him,” Donnetta said.
Chris remembered, “I was walking through the club and I was standing and talking to one of my partners when she caught my attention. She was standing there looking good. We talked for a little while…we exchanged numbers and I called her that night but a guy answered the phone, so I wasn’t gonna call her back.”
Donnetta decided to comment on that and did say she called Chris a month later. “The night we met he told me he had some business to take care of out of town for a couple weeks so I called to see how things went. And, actually, Chris did not remember me [when I called], he could not recall who I was.”
They agreed to meet at the same club where they met a month prior. “He instantly knew who I was,” Donnetta said. The pair hit it off and scheduled a date two weeks later.
First date: Chris and Donnetta had dinner plans and planned to meet at his house, but his family had a gathering she couldn’t pass up. “I ended up playing cards so we didn’t go out,” Donnetta said, “[but] that was my type of atmosphere. I love family time, kicking back playing cards, that was right up my alley, I enjoyed it.”
“It wasn’t even planned,” Chris said. “We [my family] get together and do all kinds of stuff; cookout, hangout, play cards, and that just so happened to be one of the days it happened,” he said “She clicked right in, it was just like she was one of the family…I also recognized that I had a true card player on my hands,” he laughed, “everybody was talking trash, and she fell right in, they loved her and they all fell for her right then.”
The turn: Donnetta said, “I went from friendzone to fiancee, we were never girlfriend and boyfriend.”
“After playing cards, we pretty much began hanging every week with one another, and after about a month I asked him what we were doing and he said ‘hold up, let’s take this thing slow and see how it works out’.
“That’s how I know she was special because I never told another woman nothing like that…I had good vibes about her,” Chris said. “I really wanted to see what she was about and really get to know one another. Once I realized I had something I didn’t want to let go, I locked it in,” he said.
The couple met summer of 2004 and Chris proposed in October of that year.
The proposal: “We were having a little cookout and I had told some of my folks what I was gonna do and so they all came over to the house . . . and I think I got down on both knees and asked her to marry me,” Chris said.
Chris said that he went to Donnetta’s mother and asked her hand in marriage. “I was trying to do the right thing,” Chris said. “Her eyes got real big, I don’t think she was looking for it that soon.”
The wedding: Faith Chapel Church in Birmingham. Their wedding colors were ivory and periwinkle blue. Donnetta wore a wedding gown and Chris wore an ivory-colored tuxedo.
Donnetta said that she didn’t want a wedding, but Chris did, and the irony of it all is that “Chris hated the whole wedding,” Donnetta said. “I don’t think the wedding turned out like how Chris wanted it to.”
She was correct.
“Everything after that [the nuptials] went downhill,” Chris said. “I requested to have a limo to take us from the church to the reception, that didn’t happen. The limo driver didn’t show up so I had to drive us from the wedding to the reception [at the event center in Ensley],” he said.
“Then the picture guy was claiming that he hadn’t gotten paid all his money, so I had to leave the reception and go to the bank to get him some more money…then the food wasn’t good either,” Chris said.
“When we left the reception we ended up stopping and getting food from Hardee’s,” Donnetta said, “but we would still get married all over again.”
They did head out on their honeymoon the next day, a cruise to Cozumel and Jamaica.
Words of wisdom: “Sometimes I gotta be quiet and go into my quiet place,” Donnetta said. “My biggest challenge is my mouth, it’s been the hardest challenge for him to figure out how to deal with, but I have gotten a whole lot better. Now, I just keep it zipped, I have to bite down on my tongue. I got a saying, ‘Please God wrap your arms around me and put your hand over my mouth,’ she said.
Also, “keep everybody out of your business,” Donnetta said. “We don’t do social media drama, if we got something going on, it’s gonna stay inside this house.”
Chris said, “When I got a problem, I go downstairs to my man cave. It just helps me handle stuff, I go be to myself and stay down there until I feel like being bothered and coming back up.”
Happily ever after: The Mayweathers have two sons, Christian, 12 and Cameron, 10, and a total of seven children and three grandchildren between them, when counting previous relationships.
Christopher is a Bessemer native and Hueytown High School alumni. He is an Independent Security Systems Installer, and father to Ry’chelle, 22, Christopher Jr., 19, Ry’kishia, 18, and Aysha, 16.
Donnetta is a College Hills native, and a Phillips High School graduate. She attended Walden University online and received her B.A. degree in Health Administration. She is a physician’s assistant at Cardiology PC in Birmingham, and also mother to 21-year old daughter Ja’merra from a previous relationship.
The Mayweathers enjoy traveling.