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‘I Pulled the Ring Out and Said…’Let Me Put This on Your Finger’. I Didn’t Do it the Traditional Way’

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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 bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

TYRAN TOYER JR. AND ANDREA HALL TOYER

Live: Hoover

Married: June 17, 2022

Met: January 2019, at a gas station on Finley Blvd, in North Birmingham. “I spotted her and my thing was to try and get to her first,” Tyran laughed. “So I approached her and told her my name was T.Y. and I’m a [recording] artist, that was my presentation and introduction… we exchanged numbers. And it was a couple of days before we actually talked on the phone, and I asked her had she had a chance to listen to my music and she hadn’t even done it yet.”

“I was actually on the phone with this other guy I was talking to but we weren’t serious, and so when Tyran walked up to me, his smile got my attention. When he started smiling and telling me about his CD, he caught my eye, I was like, ‘ok, he’s got a beautiful smile, he’s presenting himself well, he does music, and he was considerate. There was something about his approach that got me…And he was like let me give you my number…  and I said I’ll go ahead and text you now so you can know who it is… that was on a Friday. By Sunday, I got this long text message from him [introducing and telling me about himself]…, and the end of the message said ‘Now it’s your turn’, and that got my attention,” Andrea said.

Tyran and Andrea also found they had something in common: Andrea did ride-sharing and Tyran was a Door Dasher.

First date: Two weeks later, at Taco Mama near UAB Campus.  Andrea and Tyran took a break from Ubering and Door Dashing and met up for a bite to eat.

“We sat there and talked, and laughed, and cut up for about two hours, and [neither one of us usually took long breaks] that was not typical of me at all, but I remember we were back on the phone before we could even pull off, and talked on the phone until we got home,” Andrea said.

“I caught butterflies, she had a great personality, and she was different than other people I had encountered, it was a totally different vibe. She was a God-fearing woman with a good head on her shoulders and was a very independent person,” Tyran recalled.

Every day following their first date “We would meet in the McDonald’s parking lot [by Children’s Hospital] and just talk,” Andrea said.

“It was a neutral location because she would be downtown Ubering and Lyfting, and I would Door Dash down there, so we always seemed to be in that area,” Tyran said.

The turn: March 2019, when Tyran met Andrea in Tampa/St.Petersburg, Florida during her spring break trip.

“I’m a teacher [A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham], so I get spring break every March, and I go to Florida every year, so I decided to invite Tyran,” Andrea said. “My daughter was born in Florida so I would always drive her down there so that she could spend time with her dad and that side of the family, and Tyran flew in the next day. I picked him up from the airport and [did various activities] and we passed a cigar bar where they were doing live music and performances and Tyran joined the lead vocalist on stage and sang ‘Boo’d Up’ [by Ella Mai], and that was the first time I saw him perform, and I was [impressed]… I kinda felt like he was singing to me,” Andrea laughed.

“… We went on vacation and I never left, and I’m still here today.  The vacation ended up a staycation,” Tyran said.

“We got back and that suitcase [he took on the trip] with a week’s worth of clothes just stayed on recycle every week [until he went and got the rest of his stuff],” Andrea laughed.

The proposal: Aug. 29, 2021, on Andrea’s birthday, underneath an awning on the water at Stillwater Tavern, in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We were sitting down at the restaurant and I pulled the ring out and I said ‘Look, you already know what this is, let me go on and put this on your finger.’ I didn’t get down on one knee, I didn’t do it the traditional way like everybody looks for. We were sitting at the table and I just surprised her…,” Tyran said.

“What he just described is exactly what happened; the waitress was like, ‘are you going to ask her to marry you?’ And he said, ‘I basically did’, and she was like, ‘no, you gotta ask the question’, and then he said ‘ok, well, will you marry me?’ and that’s when I got a chance to answer,” Andrea laughed. “I did expect him to be a little more romantic, so I was hesitant [to answer] at first because as the waitress said, I was waiting on him to ask me… I was blushing, I was smiling, I thought it was so sweet of him, and I was very impressed by the fact that he was able to surprise me because typically, I notice everything and I did not see it coming.”

The wedding: In Tampa Bay, Florida at the Double Tree West Shore Hotel overlooking the bay, officiated by Tyran’s father, Pastor Willie Frazier, of Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Leeds. Their colors were turquoise, royal blue, gold, and cream, and Tyran’s mother, Deborah Frazier, sang during the candle lighting ceremony.

Most memorable for the groom was being nervous about the couple’s first dance. “…the couple’s first dance is a slow dance, and I didn’t know what to do and I was nervous and scared at the same time,” Tryan laughed. “I was off beat, and I didn’t know how to do the little two-step and when my stepdaughter got up and spoke highly of me as a stepfather and individual, that meant a lot to me.”

Most memorable for the bride were also dancing jitters. “…and what was so funny was when it came time for the groom and mother to dance, his mom was out there going ‘left, right, left, right’ trying to guide him and it was hilarious and ironic because he had told me I dance like a white girl and not to dance at all, and his mom was having to count him through the dance,” Andrea said.

They honeymooned in Key West, Florida. “I almost killed myself riding mopeds around the city and had two accidents…,” Andrea said. “And then we had an accident on the water and I flipped the jet ski,” Tyran said. “…and he was the driver on the jet ski, so now who can’t drive?” Andrea laughed.

Words of wisdom: “Communication is a must, and learning how to come up with an agreement and solutions for different situations,” Tyran said.

“Someone has to be committed to stay,” Andrea said. “They call that staying power, and someone has to have that because, at one point or another, someone is going to say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ And I feel like that happened during our first year but because Tyran had a commitment to staying and doing whatever he needed to do, that pushed me to look at myself and see what I needed to do, and that would always be the glue that kept us together.

Happily ever after: The Toyers attend The Gospel Warehouse in Ensley, where Andrea serves as a minister and praise and worship leader. They are a blended family with four children: daughter Mariah, 16, and sons, Tyran III, 15, Tyson Jr. ‘TJ’, 10, and Ashton, 9.

Andrea, 40, is a North Pratt native, and A. H. Parker High School grad. She attended Alabama A&M University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in English Language Arts, National Louis University, Tampa, Florida Campus where she earned a master’s degree in Education Leadership Administration and Supervision, and Lamar University [Beaumont, TX], where she obtained a principal certification. Andrea is a teacher at A.H. Parker High School where she teaches 9th-grade English and 9th and 10th-grade Pre-AP English. She is also A.H. Parker High School’s 2023 Teacher of the Year and a semi-finalist for Birmingham City Schools Teacher of the Year.

Tyran, 36, is a Fairfield native and attended Fairfield High School. He’s an entrepreneur, and music artist known as T.Y., and owns Hot Doggity Dog Mobile Hot Dog Cart, seen at Railroad Park and the 280 /Cahaba River area.

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