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‘They Put ‘Will You Marry Me’ On The Plate … I Was On One Knee’

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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.

TRINITY HARE-LANG AND TERRESS LANG

Live: Roebuck

Married: May 28, 2022

Met: They met in October 2015, at the Magic City Classic while tailgating with mutual friends. However, they did not make a connection that day but their mutual friend who knew they were both single urged them to connect.

“One of my friends said I know somebody that you need to meet, so I went on her [Facebook] page and sent her a message and hoped that she responded and she did,” Terress recalled. “That following week we kept communicating and once she got comfortable with wanting to get to know me more I asked for her phone number and the conversations started getting longer over the phone.”

The two broke the ice over a discussion about the best wings in Birmingham.

“She lived in Hoover and didn’t know about any of the real wing spots like we have over here on the East Side, so that was supposed to be what we did for our first date but ended up at Chilis.

Her recollections on how they met were simple: “He messaged me, we started talking in messenger and then he asked me for my number.”

First date:  Mid-November 2015, at Chili’s on Lakeshore Dr.

“I was teaching at ITT Tech (in Bessemer), and I was late to the date because my class ran late and he was sitting there looking unbothered, but he really was [bothered] because he asked me if I got lost,” Trinity laughed. “He was nervous, he had a margarita and he shook all the salt off the rim” she said. “I enjoyed [the date], he likes to talk like I do and that’s how we shut the restaurant down.

“ … we didn’t even notice they had closed, someone had to come over and [tell us]. She was beautiful and very attractive, and I wanted to get to know her better,” Terress said.

The turn: January 2016, when Terress took Trinity on a birthday cruise to Freeport, Bahamas.

“That was a major turning point for us, we had the time of our life. We had a chance to really connect because we disconnected [from the world] and we decided that Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (NKJV)” was going to be our focus verse for our relationship,” Trinity said. “And right after [the cruise] my mom battled cancer and I lost her [October 2016], and he would sleep in the hospital with me and go to work and come back, every day for 21 days… I couldn’t bare to look at my mom to see if she needed to have an open or closed casket and Terress did it [viewed the body and made the decision] for me so that I didn’t have to have that memory and after that, I knew he was the one.”

“Me and her mom became best friends during that time, we talked every day,“ Terress added.

The proposal: Oct. 5, 2019, at the Cheesecake Factory at the Summit.

“I contacted the restaurant earlier that day and told them I was doing a proposal and asked them how I could do it, and they said to pick out the cheesecake of her choice and they could put ‘Will You Marry Me’ on the plate. And when dessert came, a group of servers brought the plate and sat it down, and by the time she looked down and read the plate I was on one knee and asked her if she would marry me and everybody at the restaurant clapped and cheered us on,” Terress said.

“My first reaction was to the cheesecake because I didn’t order it and I wondered how he knew to order me an Oreo cheesecake and he said ‘because my wife is all things Oreos’, and I thought that was so cute, I squealed a little bit about the cheesecake, and then read it and I just stared at the plate for a minute and he said, ‘are you going to answer me? and I said, ‘Of course, I will’ and squealed some more,” Trinity said.

“After she finally gave me an answer I got up off the floor and put the ring on her finger. She was just in shock, she had to look at the plate twice to see the words,” Terress laughed.

The wedding: On a yacht in Destin, Florida, officiated by Trinity’s godmother, Minister Ruby Felton. Their colors were yellow and teal. Terress experienced severe complications following his bout with COVID-19 in July 2021. He had spent 34 days on a ventilator, and 107 days in total in the hospital. Their wedding day was a mile marker in his recovery and a testament to all they’d overcome.

Most memorable for the bride and groom was Terress’s strength at the altar. “He had to relearn how to walk, and I was surprised to see him standing when I came down the aisle,” Trinity said.

“I had to do PT [physical therapy] and learn to walk in braces so that I could stand at the altar and I surprised her because I wasn’t supposed to stand up for the whole ceremony, but I did,” Terress said. “I stood up with my walker for over 30 minutes and that was the longest I had stood. I wanted to do that for her. She had a chair up there so that I could sit down but I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to stand beside her.”

“And for our first dance, I got inside the walker with him, it was so fun,” Trinity added.

They honeymooned in Curacao, a southern Caribbean Island near Aruba.

“We wanted to experience a small remote island that still maintained the standard of beauty of the Caribbean,” Trinity said, “they were so welcoming. Terress was on a scooter and they were really accommodating, it was beautiful.”

Words of wisdom: “Pray over the unexpected because you never know when and what life is going to throw you so you have to pray for covering through the unexpected. We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary [May 28] but we’ve experienced things that couples who have been married for years haven’t experienced,” Trinity said. “I had to fight tooth and nail with the paramedics to take my husband to the hospital [in July 2021, during his COVID battle] and six hours later Terress called me and told me they were putting him on the ventilator, and this was scary because we had just lost his mom to COVID in February 2020. So it’s not about the number of years, it’s about the quality of your faith and friendship that brings you through. You can still be a wife through the wounds… I have always been his only caregiver, but I still had to be his wife through [the healing].”

“I agree with everything she said, with everything that we’ve been through that pretty much sums it up. You just gotta stay prayed up, put God first, believe in God, and keep the faith. God is so good and I’m very thankful,” Terress said.

[Trinity also caught COVID, she and Terress were admitted two days apart, but she was released after four days. “I honestly feel like God sent me to the emergency room (ER) and intensive care unit (ICU) so I could be close enough to pray and lay hands on my husband. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to see him. That gave me a chance to write and place scripture and prayers all around his room,” she said.)

Happily ever after: The Langs attend Rock City Church, and The Worship Center Christian Church where Trinity serves as team lead on the Welcome team, and Terress serves on the Communion and Collections team (respectively).

Trinity, 42, is a York, Ala. native and Sumter County High School grad. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology and microbiology at Alabama A&M University and obtained a doctorate degree in chiropractic medicine at Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Trinity teaches 8th-grade science at Hueytown Middle School, and lectures in the Natural Science Department at Lawson State Community College.

Terress, 43, is a West End native, and Holy Family High School grad. He attended the University of West Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, a master’s degree in education, and Grand Canyon University [online], where he obtained a master’s degree in education administration. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and a 20-year educator in the Jefferson County School System where he taught P.E. at Erwin Intermediate School in Center Point for 19 years, and coached track and football at Center Point High School.

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