BY SYM POSEY
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
DOUG AND SHAY TAYLOR
Married: May 6, 1996
Met: 1981. Doug was 9 years old, and Shay was 12.
“Her cousin was married to my cousin and we both were in the wedding together. Our families knew each other but we didn’t keep up with one another, so later when we stumbled upon each other [for the second time at a local bank], we realized our families knew each other” said Doug.
Doug remembered approaching Shay. “She was working in a department with a buddy of mine. I approached her on a dare because he told me that she wouldn’t give me her number.”
Doug recalled seeing Shay in the break room and detailed what he was wearing when we asked her for her number, “Blue Guess jeans, brand new white Tretorns, and look what happened. She couldn’t resist the game,” he laughed.
Shay said she “… had been seeing him walking past in and out of the breakroom all of the time. The first thing I noticed about him was that he dressed nice. “
Doug called Shay two days later. “I wasn’t going to call the first night, it looked desperate,” said Doug. Shay said from the moment of the call they talked all night and we’ve been together ever since. “
First date: January 1993, a short while after they exchanged phone numbers and talked on the phone, Doug and Shay had their first date at Chili’s. “I don’t remember what I wore, I just know I was dressed really cute, “ said Shay. “Yeah, she was dressed cute” agreed Doug.
Both Shay and Doug say they don’t recall much from the date, but they do remember it was a great day because they talked a lot and stayed out a long time.
The turn: While they were going through the early stages of getting to know each other, Shay felt that Doug was the one. “I kind of knew from early on that he was the one. It was just something about it… It was like one day we were [suddenly] married. It was like a movie. Probably like a month into us dating, I knew he was going to be my husband” Shay said.
When they first met, both Doug and Shay were in relationships. “She had a boyfriend, and I had a girlfriend. So, when I called her that first time, I wasn’t really trying to talk to her. I just had the number and I called to just have a conversation. We weren’t trying to be together and because we had nothing to hide, we were brutally honest [with each other].”
Doug said their honesty set a great foundation. They would eventually break up with their significant others at the time. “Neither one of us came out and said that we were broken up with our [ partners], we just continued to hangout,” said Shay.
“When we were together, we knew we were together. He didn’t have to come and say ‘you’re my girlfriend.’ It was just known” said Shay.
The proposal: At Communicare Pro Rehab, originally located on Highway 280, which has since closed and where Shay worked. Doug got down on one knee and proposed. The Taylors said they don’t recall when they got engaged but Doug says there are two different stories on how it unfolded.
“We used to go to the mall so one day we were in there and we went to the ring counter to just shop around. And she was trying on wedding rings. I didn’t think anything about it until after a little while. She says she likes shopping because she likes [wedding] rings. I think she was trying to put the seed in my head,” said Doug jokingly.
Shay said, “I’ve always been enamored by wedding rings because they are big, gauntly, and diamonds. Wedding sets are big. I have always looked at wedding ring whenever I go to the mall.”
Doug recalled going through a life transition when he met Shay. He was passionate about getting serious about his faith and his walk with God. He wanted to be settled and said, “Shay was everything that I needed at that time. When I met her, I wasn’t a nice guy. I was mean. I wasn’t a good boyfriend. I had a terrible attitude and a terrible temper. She’s the first girl I wanted to be nice to. She made me want to be a better man.”
Adding, “If the woman you are with doesn’t make you want to be a better man, she is not the woman for you. I wanted to be a great husband, a great boyfriend because I want her to be happy.
The wedding: First Baptist Woodlawn, there colors were hunter green and black. Doug and Shay say the wedding started as a complete disaster. It started almost two hours late.
“The lady who was doing my dresses, she waited to the last minute to do the dresses, and her machine broke. She was a talented seamstress who was just that good that she could wait until the last minute, but the dresses didn’t get done [in time]. She brought them to the wedding in pieces,” said Shay.
Despite the delays, the reception was fun, and everything ended up coming together at the end.
“it’s not [about] the wedding, it’s [about]the marriage. We ended up [still] getting married. We had a good time. It just started late, and my bridesmaids stood there in their piece together dresses with pins still in them,” said Shay, adding, “those are my friends, so we ended up having a good time. We still laugh about it. It’s a good story still today”.
Words of wisdom: “Find a person who shows how much they care for you by their actions, not just their words. He doesn’t ever have to say he loves me, even though he does. I can tell by what he does on a daily basis. I can tell by the way he takes care of us and the family, and to me that’s most important. You can tell me you love me all day, but if your actions say otherwise… Find somebody that treats you the way you want to be treated. You don’t have to accept being treated differently,” said Shay.
“As I said [before], find someone who makes you want to be a better person. I would also say, don’t rush. Know what you want, know who you are, and shop for what fulfills you. If you date somebody and you have to become something to get them, that’s not really who you are. It may work for a little while, but you may end of resenting them. What works for us is we are just honest… We are very similar in a lot of areas, but different in some. We appreciate the similarities and respect the differences,” said Doug.
Happily, ever after: The Taylors attend Rebirth Christian Fellowship in Center Point, Alabama where Doug serves as the pastor, and Shay, first lady and an administrative pastor. They have two children, Jailyn Darche,26, and Myles Alexander, 22.
Shay, 53, a native of Birmingham, graduated from Woodlawn High School and Jacksonville State University (JSU) and attended Tulane University for her graduate studies. She is currently the HR Director of Birmingham Promise, a non- profit that provides up to four years of tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools to attend any public two-year or four-year college or university in Alabama as well as offers an internship program. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Doug, 51, a native of Birmingham, is a graduate of Wenonah High School. He attended Tuskegee University and finished his B.S. at The University of Alabama – Birmingham (UAB). Today he is a part of a dual master’s program at Loyola University in Pastoral Studies. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.