Happy Valentine's Day

Advice for Brides: 8 Fabulous Date Night Ideas

Advice for Brides

Since wedding planning while you eat does *not* count as a romantic way to spend time together, I asked a few of our past LMP brides & grooms to share their favorite, go-to date nights. If you're looking for some Valentine's Day inspiration for you & your boo, here are 8 fantastic, tried-&-true ideas:

Steve + Bekah {See their engagement session + wedding day}
Married for 16 months

Luray barn wedding

Date Night Idea #1: Pack a picnic

"Our budget-friendly date night is in the spring & fall, we like to go on long walks & share a mini-picnic in one of our favorite downtown Leesburg spots, like the garden where Steve proposed to me. We enjoy the flowers & trees surrounding us & munch on some cheese & crackers & other goodies."

Date Night #2: Enjoy a movie night in

"When the weather isn't cooperating, we like to have Mexican night followed by a Redbox or Netflix comedy. We make sure not to talk about anything too serious & just enjoy cooking together and laughing at a good movie."

Dan + Lara {See their engagement session + wedding day}
Married for 15 months

Virginia Theological Seminary wedding

Date Night Idea #3: Snuggle together at home

"One of our favorite things to do is to come home from work, change in to PJs, cook dinner, & then snuggle on the couch while watching TV or a movie."

Date Night Idea #4: Cheer on your fave sports team or head to the theater

"This year instead of getting each other anniversary gifts, we bought season tickets to Philly's Major League Soccer (MLS) team & for Christmas, we bought each other tickets to the Nutcracker (including dinner before & drinks at a jazz club after)."

David + Jesica {See their engagement session + wedding day}
Married for 6 months

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens wedding

Date Night Idea #5: Go for fondue

"David & I spent our most recent splurge date night at the Melting Pot. We had a glass of wine & ordered the three-course special. It was delicious & so much fun to cook fondue together. Our absolute favorite was the dessert. It felt like we were spoiling each other & it felt really romantic and fun!"

Date Night Idea #6: Explore the city on foot

"The weather was beautiful last weekend, so David & I got outdoors and took a nice long walk from our apartment to downtown Bethesda. We walked for about an hour, did some window shopping, talked about our future plans & even got to enjoy some music from an electric street cellist."

Charlie + Laura {See their engagement session + wedding day}
Married for 6 months

Bull Run Golf Club wedding

Date Night Idea #7: Go for a romantic stroll

"One of our favorite dates is a simple, peaceful walk around Roosevelt Island, which always generates fun & important conversations between Laura & I."

Date Night Idea #8: Sit back & enjoy the view

"If we're feeling adventurous, we'll bring picnic foods & climb out onto the rocks in the Potomac River to enjoy the contrast between the busy Georgetown Waterfront across the river & the wooded island behind us."

Thanks to all our amazing couples who shared some of their favorite date night spots & activities with us! Here's to a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend with your love :)

Love and grace


Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Over the past few days (maybe even weeks!), I've been wrestling with negative, ugly thoughts. Specifically not being _______ enough. On & on in my head the lies spin, leading me to believe that's right, I'll never be _______ or _______ so I'm done trying, Lord. Instead of running the race Christ had put before me with perseverance, I was more like, "Yeah, how about I just sit for awhile, maybe crawl a few steps?"

At church on Monday night (yes, we meet on Monday nights. Come check it out!) right before we took communion, I had bowed my head & was confessing my heart before the Lord. As I was really pouring it all out - my doubts, frustrations, sin - the Holy Spirit recalled this verse to my mind:

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Bam! Just like that & I was filled with the overwhelming sense of God's grace. He doesn't love me because I'm the best friend, wife, photographer, neighbor or daughter. Friend, the same is true for you! His love isn't dependent upon what we do or don't do. God is love (1 John 4:8) & He loves us because that's His nature. It's who He is. Yes, we should strive to do & live everything - our work, our resources, our time, our relationships - for His glory, like it says in 1 Corinthian 10:31. But that doesn't mean we just call quits when the journey we're is difficult or we don't think we're enough.

As followers of Jesus Christ, He made us His workmanship & created us for many good works that He prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10)! As Ruth Bell Graham so eloquently put it, "We are to take care of the possible & let God take care of the impossible." I love that! There's so much freedom when we live our lives the way the Lord intended them to be lived. We're to do our best, for His glory & honor, & leave the rest up to Him.

"You're love more than you'll ever know by someone who died to know you."
Based off of Romans 5:8