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‘I Want More of the Cherished Moments That We’ve Shared For The Rest of Our Lives’

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BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY | Special to the Birmingham Times

KENNETH AND JESSICA REMBERT

Live: Bessemer

Married: Dec. 18, 2017

Met: Kenneth remembered Jessica from their high school days at Ramsay High School [2006-2010, and 2009-2013, respectively], but Jessica said she did not remember him. Somehow, they’d ended up becoming friends on Facebook and enjoyed going back and forth about Alabama and Auburn football. However, in August 2016, Kenneth began playing the keyboard for Jessica’s home church, New Hope Baptist Church in West End.

“She was trolling my Facebook inbox, we had been talking to each other [because] I’m a strong Auburn fan and she’s a mid-Bama fan, and we would discuss college football … Then, she came to church one day, and she told me that if I ever saw her I better introduce myself… And since I’m not a punk I did,” Kenneth laughed. “I was a kind person, I used to walk her and her mom to their car and eventually I initiated a date and Jessica did not take me seriously,” he said.

“I was single, and maybe I was so broken at the time [from a previous relationship] that I did not know he was showing interest in me. My mom was the first one to tell me that he liked me, and I didn’t believe her either. But I said if he does like me [romantically], he’ll show me and I agreed to the date,” Jessica said.

First date: Oct. 1, 2016, at the Perfect Note in Hoover. “The vibe of the Perfect Note, and the live music, and being there with someone who is also musically inclined was just amazing. I felt like he could be a good partner to me creatively, and like he would show me and do things outside the box…,” Jessica said. “The highlight of the date was that Kenneth was such a gentleman. Opening car doors, pulling out my chair, and at one point he got his food first and he was like you can have some of mine and I was like he’s feeding me too? He has got to be the one,” she laughed. “I could really feel God on him, he’s a godly man I was thinking maybe this could really be something. I remember feeling so safe…”

“I had no idea how much she was enjoying herself because live music is what I do for a living. So maybe I didn’t appreciate how much she was enjoying it, but I was using what I know to woo my lady friend,” Kenneth said. “I appreciated how the date went and we got a chance to get to know each other, and we started liking each other really fast… it was all good vibes, she was understanding of me, and I was like this is gonna be a good night.”

The turn: November 2016. “After a couple of beautiful months of dating, we had no real problems or disagreements, [I knew] Jessica was a good fit for me. One night we were out and came across a relative on her father’s side, and she introduced me as her boyfriend but we had not discussed that so I said let me tackle this head-on, and when we got back in the car I said, ‘I didn’t know I was your boyfriend’, and she said ‘you’re not,’” Kenneth laughed. “But in December she posted a picture of me on Facebook, and our being together started to catch fire and I said this is [becoming official] and I asked her to be my girlfriend and she said ‘sure’,”

Admittedly, Jessica said she was “all over the place, I was happy but also kind of afraid at the same time simply because of the past relationships I had been through … I felt good that he asked me to be his girlfriend, but I would try to play hard. My actions were soft and vulnerable, but when it came to [verbalizing my feelings] I would try to protect myself by being nonchalant. I felt like he had come into my life to help me unlearn that stuff,” Jessica said.

The proposal: September 2017, at Jessica’s mother’s home in Crestwood, on the sofa in the living room.

“We did not have a traditional proposal, we had discussed marriage, and one Saturday we were out having lunch and stopped at a jewelry store, and I asked her what kind of ring she wanted. And I really knew she was the one because I gave her a $10k budget for the ring, and she picked a ring that cost $800. The ring came three weeks later and the same night I got the ring I went to her mom’s house to propose. I gave the speech, I said, ‘Jessica I’m so in love with you. You are the best thing to ever happen to me, and I want more of the cherished moments that we’ve shared for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?’ and she said ‘yes’. But we didn’t post the ring and [announce it on social media] until she got her nails done. Then we took the picture and let the whole world know,” Kenneth said.

“I cried and said ‘yes’. That was my first time being proposed to and I was like ‘wow.’ I felt loved, and like somebody in this world actually loved me for who I was and not for what I looked like, or what I got, but genuinely loved me,” Jessica said.

The wedding: New Hope Baptist Church inside the chapel, officiated by its pastor, Dr. Gregory L. Clarke. It was a small private ceremony with 10 of their closest family and friends. Their colors were blue and cream. Jessica wore a blue wedding dress and Kenneth a grey suit. Although the ceremony was intimate, they had a grand reception at The Perfect Note in Hoover. “It was lit,” Kenneth said.

Most memorable for the bride was “the kindness from everyone, it was very overwhelming for me. [Friends and family] were giving from the heart with no stipulations… I felt like a princess that day, I was in euphoria, I was on a cloud the whole day and I felt grand. I was like ‘Ok God, I see you’. Our marriage had only just begun, but God was giving me vision of the things Kenneth and I would do together and I knew God was involved…,” Jessica said.

Most memorable for the groom was also the generosity they were shown. “A lot of people did us a lot of favors. We weren’t the wealthiest couple at the time and a lot of people [contributed] and it looked great like we had paid for the best wedding planner. Even my band who played for us wouldn’t allow me to pay them… Jessica and I were on our own level of excitement from the day, receiving all the congratulatory gifts and kindness from the band to the person that made the cake,” Kenneth said. “My family stayed behind to clean up and they cleaned it like they were a professional cleaning service.”

They did not go on a honeymoon because they went right back to work the next day, Jessica said. “We’re still working on [going on a honeymoon], Kenneth is always traveling for work and we’ve done work-cations, but we need to plan our honeymoon.”

Words of wisdom: “Don’t go to bed angry. When I’ve done it in the past, I’m restless, I’m anxious, and that mess is still on my mind when I could’ve got it off my chest. So communicate your feelings and express yourself no matter how difficult you think it is,” Jessica said. “You need to do that [have tough conversations] because that’s how you’re going to build and grow your marriage. And keep God first over everything.”

“The best apology you can give somebody is to change the action, but one thing that I try to practice and encourage my wife with is that changed behavior comes at a human rate. You might not see the change immediately, but give your partner grace, and allow them to show you a track record of changing behavior. Allow them to grow and take joy in the evolution…,” Kenneth said.

Happily ever after: The Remberts have one daughter, Kennedy, 3.

Jessica, 32, is a Crestwood/Woodlawn native, and Ramsay High School grad. She attended Jefferson State Community College [Center Point campus], where she studied psychology. Jessica works at Urban Community Montessori in Birmingham where she serves as a lead Montessori guide, has a virtual assisting business where she also offers notary services, and works at St. Luke Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook where she is a lead nursery worker.  Jessica is also pursuing a career in modeling.

Kenneth, 29, is an Overton, Ala. native, and Ramsay High School grad. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB] where he studied IT management information systems, and works as a touring musician, music producer, and music director for Rebirth Christian Fellowship.

“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.

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