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.
TIFFONY AND BRUCE EDWARDS
Married: June 20, 2015
Met: Fall 2003, at Auburn University in their freshman biology class.
“When I first saw her she was walking in class and what most attracted me to her was how she dressed and how she carried herself,” said Bruce. “Her mannerisms illuminated the type of person she was. Eventually, one day I sat beside her in class and asked her if I could walk her to the transit stop [the university shuttle] and that started our daily walks. During that time she actually had a boyfriend she had been dating for eight years and that didn’t deter me.”
Even though she had a boyfriend, Tiffony said she saw no harm in Bruce walking her to the transit stop.
“We did study together a few times because we had the same class and could help each other out. I didn’t mind talking to him as long as he wasn’t trying to take it too far,” Tiffony recalled.
They got reacquainted eight years later in the spring of 2011 when they bumped into each other at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover.
First date: May 2011, at an eatery at the Summit. “The food was horrible,” Bruce remembered, “so we ended up getting up and leaving, and at the time I was working in property preservation and I had the keys to this one property that I really liked so I took her by there and the property was this mansion off Old Leeds Road, and I thought I would try and impress her by touring the home.”
It worked. “Walking through that house together gave me an opportunity to see what kind of guy he was and what his goals and aspirations were,” said Tiffony. “We talked about what we wanted and what kind of house we wanted for a home years down the road.”
The turn: For Tiffony, the turn was several months into their courtship. “… One particular night Bruce walked me to my car and we looked at each other and [began to say] ‘I love you’ at the same time, and it was the first time we said it,” said Tiffony.
Bruce said he knew he’d be serious about Tiffony if ever given the chance. “I knew she was pretty much the prototype for what I wanted in a woman and a wife, so when I ran back into her it was like a second chance. It was fate because I honestly didn’t think we’d ever cross paths again, but when I saw her in the mall I knew that was my opportunity.”
The proposal: February 7, 2014, at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida.
“I drove to Miami the night before and left Tiffony’s mom with a few Hallmark cards giving Tiffony directions on what to do, and the last one led to her flying out to Miami,” Bruce said. “Once [Tiffony] arrived, through text messages I led her to my location, and I waited for her at the bottom of a huge staircase, and when I saw her I got down on one knee with the ring in my hand and waited for her to get to me. I proposed, and she said ‘yes.’”
“That morning my mom woke me up and gave me the cards, and the last one I opened told me to get ready and pack for Miami,” Tiffony said. “Once I landed I texted him and he told me to take a taxi to the Vizcaya Museum, and when I got there the guy at the front desk asked me, ‘if I was Tiffony? and said here’s your ticket, you can go on in’…. when I saw [Bruce] at the bottom of the stairs I started crying. I was ecstatic, he went over and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”
The wedding: At the Birmingham Botanical Gardens officiated by Tiffony’s uncle, Reverend C.D. Peterson [where he serves as the Connection Pastor of Resurrection Baptist Church in Schertz, Texas]. Their colors were emerald green, mango tango, and champagne.
Most memorable for the bride was during the reception. “After our first dance, the groomsmen and my husband performed [a number of dances] they had choreographed to celebrate our special day. I was surprised that they had a special dance all for me, but the best part was when they brought my stepdaughter, Trinity, into the routine, and Trinity and my husband were dancing together,” Tiffony recalled.
Most memorable for the groom was also the dance. “We [me and the groomsmen] practiced up until the night before the wedding and pulled it off. The smile on her face was worth it. I just wanted to do something to put a little icing on the cake to make the day just a little more special.”
The couple honeymooned in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and enjoyed their time at an all-inclusive resort.
Words of wisdom: “You have to learn the other person’s communication style and communicate that way,” Tiffony said. “You cannot communicate with your spouse in the way that best fits you because it does not help the other person. Do what’s best for the other person.”
You also have to keep it fun, Tiffony added. “Every week we try to go to a different location/restaurant for happy hour. That helps us continue to date and keep it fun and exciting. Even if we’re not able to go out [because of COVID] Bruce is an amazing cook, better than some chefs out there, so we make it special.”
“With communicating, what’s helped me most is learning to step outside of my perspective and into hers,” Bruce said. “My explanation is important, but the resolution has to center around my wife . . .and speaking directly to guys, marriage counseling ain’t that bad. A lot of times in marriage if you are feeling like the relationship is getting shaky, it’s usually the woman recommending counseling and men tend to be hesitant. But I’d like to say that it’s really something that could help you grow and strengthen and make a healthier relationship.”
Happily ever after: The Edwards have one child, daughter Trinity, 11-years-old, from Bruce’s previous relationship.
Tiffony, 35, is a Forestdale native, and Parkway Christian Academy (Center Point) grad. She attended Auburn University before transferring to the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB] where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology. Tiffony also graduated from Jefferson State Community College (Valleydale campus) where she earned an ADN [advanced degree in nursing] and works as a registered nurse at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster.
Bruce, 36, is a Columbus Mississippi native, and Columbus High School [Columbus, Miss.] grad. He attended Auburn University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and works as the medical laboratory coordinator for the Jefferson County Department of Health.