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 email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
IRIS AND BYRON KYNARD
Married: Jan. 29, 2009
Met: August 2006, at Byron’s mom’s home in Pratt City. Iris, then 22, was attending the University of Alabama Huntsville [UAH] and was set up on a blind date with Byron, then 23, by a mutual friend.
The mutual friend “went to high school with Byron and thought [Byron] was a better match for me,” Iris said. “I had a boyfriend at the time who went to another college, and we were going through a rough time, and she told me that she knew the perfect person for me. [At the time, their mutual friend] was dating one of Byron’s friends, and we went over so we could all hang out,” Iris recalled.
“…I peeped through the peephole and I saw her, she was wearing a little green velour tracksuit and some heels, and I told my buddy ‘she looks good, you did a good job’. I was very excited that they came and I got to meet Iris,” Byron said.
Byron was excited about the match, but Iris, not so much.
“When I first saw him, I said he is not my type,” Iris said. “He is very quiet, and I couldn’t read him at first. We sat on the couch downstairs and I did all the talking…I did find out during that meeting was that he had a three-year-old son and a good job, and that interested me,” she laughed. “He asked me for my number, and that might have been all he asked me that night.”
First date: The following month at PF Chang’s at the Summit.
“We met again at his mom’s house and I left my car there and he drove us to PF Chang’s. He was still very quiet, he’s not a man of many words. I did get to know him a little bit more, and I found out on that date that he did not allow anybody to meet his son,” Iris said.
“It was a good date, we hung out that whole day. I thought she was very pretty, she was my type and I knew I wanted to get to know her more,” Byron said.
The turn: “We may have talked for three months, and then he broke up with me… At the time, he did not give me an explanation, but it was the worst feeling ever, I was devastated,” Iris remembered.
“I was young  and too far out there in the streets,” Byron recalled. “I had never met anybody like her, who was caring and open-hearted and wasn’t all about what I could do for her. I didn’t want to break her heart, but I knew I wasn’t ready for nothing serious, so I told her I thought it would be best if we were friends.”
Although Byron was the one who broke things off, he continued to call Iris, who was living in Huntsville. ”…and every single time he called me the conversation was three minutes. He’d ask me what I was doing and if would I come to see him in Birmingham, and when I would say ‘no,’ he’d get mad and hang up. That continued every month for about a year,” Iris said.
Towards the end of 2007, Iris was in Birmingham with her AKA line sisters when she let Byron know that she was in town and finally agreed to see him. The two made amends and realized they still wanted to be with each other, began dating again, and were exclusive by Christmas of that year.
The proposal: April 2008, at their shared home in Center Point. Iris had graduated from [UAH], moved to Birmingham, and was seven months pregnant with their first son.
[Byron’s son, Byron II, who was then 5 at the time] “was at the house, and I planned it out for him to take the ring in [the bedroom] to Iris, and ask her would she marry us. I came in right behind [my son] and got on one knee, and she said ‘yes,’ and I put the ring on her finger,” Byron said.
“I was working the night shift as a nurse and was asleep, I was getting ready to get up for work when Byron II came and woke me up and asked if I would I marry them. I was shocked and excited. I sat up in bed and immediately called my grandmother. He took me ring shopping prior to this and had me try on several and he got me the one that I actually wanted, I was so happy,” Iris said.
The wedding: The couple had planned and paid for a wedding to take place in October 2008, but Byron called the wedding off two months before the big day.
“I got cold feet,” Byron said. “I got nervous said, I wasn’t ready, and we called it off.”
“It was horrible, I was devastated. It had to be the worst day of my life,” Iris said. “We didn’t break up… but I was very pregnant and emotional, and I was a mess. I was confused, and I just didn’t understand.”
However, January 2009, after Iris’s two-week postpartum checkup, Byron took a detour on the way home, stopping by the Birmingham courthouse with their newborn in tow.
Iris said she “looked like a woman who was two weeks post-partum, I was leaking breastmilk through my shirt,” she said. “Byron just pulled up at the courthouse and said, ‘let’s get married.’”
Most memorable for the bride was realizing her fairytale was coming full circle– “We had just closed on our house that morning. We had just had our baby, and completed the day by getting married,” Iris said.
Most memorable for the groom was “being able to say ‘I Do’ to the woman of my dreams and making everything right in God’s eyes. I knew I made a mistake when I canceled the wedding, and I was happy to correct that mistake,” Byron said. “And I’ve been making up for that mistake for 14 years with new cars and rings,” he laughed.
Words of wisdom: “It doesn’t matter how a relationship starts, it’s about how God has planned for it to finish,” Iris said. “You gotta have faith, I am a firm believer that what God put together nobody can tear apart, and I really do believe that God put us together. You just gotta trust the process.”
“Everything doesn’t start off easy, you go through a lot of trials and tribulations learning each other and becoming stronger in your marriage. The best thing you can do is not give up and try to make each other as happy as can be. It’s not about the most extravagant wedding, it’s about the end process, here we are still together 14 years later,” Byron said.
Happily ever after: The Kynards attend Revelation Church Ministries in Irondale, and have three children: Byron II, 20, Kaleb, 14, and Braylen, 10.
Iris, 39, is a Selma native, and Selma High School grad. She attended The University of Alabama Huntsville [UAH], where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and is a registered nurse at Genesis Healthcare in Birmingham. Iris is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Byron, 40, is a Pratt City native, and Jackson Olin High School grad. He attended Jacksonville State University where he studied business administration and Lawson State Community college where he earned an HVAC certification and works as an electronics technician at US Steel. Byron is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.