We want to bring you stories of couples to encourage your love and marriage journey, whether you are married or aspiring to be married. Our prayer is to uplift what marriage is and what it could be, and to provide small nuggets to help along the way. Let’s be honest, Love & Marriage can be hard! But, the right foundation can make that journey a little less challenging. MB Mag caught up with a beautiful young couple, Adrian and Bria Williams of Durham, NC. We love their love story, and we know you will, too!
MB: How long have you been married?
Bria: We have been married for three-and-a-half years. We officially got married 13 days after Adrian proposed, on June 2, 2017. We had a private ceremony with just the photographer, our pastor, both sets of our parents, and Adrian’s grandmother. For nine months we shared our marriage with only those closest to us, and then we had a public ceremony on March 2, 2018, with our family and friends. Most of our family and friends were so confused about us already being married, but that time was so precious. We were able to navigate marriage without others in our ear and figure out our place in our new journey.
MB: Tell us how you two met.
Bria: We met at Elon University in Fall 2013. It was the first party of the year at Elon, and we danced the night away. After the party, Adrian put “heart eyes” under one of my pictures on Instagram, and we exchanged subtweets on Twitter. Then, I direct-messaged Adrian on Twitter, asking to exchange numbers, and the rest is pretty much history.
MB: Adrian, how did you know Bria was the one?
Adrian: I knew Bria was the one when she did not put up with any of my “crap,” for a lack of better words. She put me in my place when I needed it, and that is something I had not experienced in a relationship before. I was typically the “do what I want and hide my emotions” type of guy, but with Bria, that all changed. She forced me out of those old habits and let me know that if I could not get with the program, then I could get to stepping … LOL. I have always thought of being with someone who wanted me but did not need me. In other words, a woman who knows her worth, and that characteristic about Bria made me work even harder to make her mine.
MB: Bria, how did you know Adrian was the one?
Bria: My request of Adrian when we first met was that, no matter what, we were going to “wait” until marriage. Adrian respected my terms almost without hesitation, and that was the first sign that he was the one. I knew he was who I was going to marry when he took interest in my family and my dad welcomed him into his life. As a daddy’s girl, there’s nothing like having your dad take your boyfriend under his wing as his son. My dad is not a very sentimental man and has always given all my boyfriends prior a run for their money. His blessing was all I needed to confirm Adrian was the one.
MB: What do you think is the most important factor in having a successful marriage?
Adrian: The most important factor, besides putting God in the center of your marriage, is communication. We try to overly communicate our feelings, our needs, and our wants. If we do not communicate, we risk so much. It is important to remember that your significant other is not a mind reader.
MB: What is some advice on marriage you would offer to our readers?
Adrian & Bria:
- Never compare your marriage to others around you. Your story is not their story.
- Do not take marriage advice from people who are not married.
- Keep your family out of your business as much as possible. Your family cannot forgive your spouse like you can.
MB: Tell us about The Millennial Love Brunch and how it came about.
Bria: Millennial Love Brunch is a community of millennial couples who love brunch.
In February 2020, we went to brunch with three other couples. and over brunch, we realized that the camaraderie we were blessed to have with millennial couples was missing amongst other young couples. It was at that moment that the couples at the table decided we would start a business that would bring other couples together to not only make couple friends but also promote intentional conversations in relationships. Due to the Covid pandemic, we were only able to have two brunches. However, we look forward to continuing to build communities and intentional connections over brunch sometime soon!
MB: Can you tell our readers about a time or challenge you have faced during your marriage and how has God carried you through those difficult times?
Adrian: Early on in our marriage, Bria decided that she wanted to pursue graduate school in hopes of obtaining her MBA. At the time, I had been working for less than a year. We were just getting to the point where we were both working and able to contribute to household expenses. We knew this was going to make things much more difficult for us financially, especially with our goal of debt freedom, but we leaned on our faith that everything was going to work out just fine. Around that time, we also began tithing regularly. Tithing at financially challenging times can certainly be a difficult thing to do. But, God has not allowed us to lack or go without since we started our journey. We became debt-free in 18 months despite it all.
MB: How and what was the strategy you came up with for yourselves to be debt-free in 18 months?
Bria: From reading Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey to listening to The Dave Ramsey Show podcast and conversing with mentors, we came up with a strategy to pay off $96,065 of debt in 18 months. To sum up our strategy, we used the snowball and avalanche methods. The snowball method teaches you to pay off your debt from smallest to largest; that way there are small wins along the way. When it came to student loans, we used the avalanche method. The avalanche method is a strategy where you pay debt with the highest interest rate first to help minimize the amount of interest you pay while working on your debt-free goal. While using both strategies, you must continue to pay minimum monthly payments.
Some of our tips and tricks to help pay off debt faster are to review purchases and bills each month (budget), stop eating out, cancel unnecessary subscriptions, and eliminate daily purchases that may add up. like coffee (the latte factor). For more detailed information about our debt-free journey, follow us on YouTube — Williams Building Wealth.