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 :)

My Fairweather Baby | Nursery Inspiration Board

As SOON as we found we were having a little baby girl, my brain instantly went PINK! GOLD! SPARKLES! When it came time to pick out colors for her nursery, it's no surprise then that my initial thoughts of bright, sparkly girliness stuck. Dean & I decided to give the room a clean slate & paint the walls a bright white (they were deep blue when we moved in).

Nesting, as a mama-to-be, has been such a wonderful season & so much fun! Since we moved to South Carolina & have been getting settled into our new home, it has been full-on nesting time. There were nights we'd be getting ready for bed or waking up & Dean would say, "What are you thinking about?" And almost every time, my answer was, "Oh, I'm just thinking about the nursery." :)

{Crib} One of my biggest maternal concerns has been that our baby not fall through the crib. I know, it's a random, unnecessary concern but that ruled out us looking at used cribs. I wanted our baby to have a firm, new bed to sleep in. After a beautiful Saturday drive to IKEA, we settled on IKEA's Sundvik & Vyssa Vackert mattress won us over. We both tested out the railings & gave them a good shake - pretty firm. That baby isn't going anywhere from her crib :) Bonus - it converts to a toddler bed for down the road. Score!

{Crib sheets} I have to say one of the haaaaardest decisions was settling on crib sheets. I know, it sounds so simple - just pick a color/style of sheets to put on the crib already! But there were so many different options I liked, as in a whole Pinterest board of them :) After calling in reinforcements, namely Mom & Sister, we decided to go with this beautiful gray Emmy Grace Voile Budquette Nightfall fabric & have my mom, the amazing woman she is, sew 3 sheets for us after I had the fabric mailed to her. Thanks, Granmom!

{Rug} For a rug, I really wanted to bring in lots of color & fun. This round hand-tufted beauty from Target was just perfect! We went with the 4-foot round & it is a great size for the room. Also, it's 20% off right now through Saturday. Good deal!

{Changing table/dresser} After several weeks of searching on Craigslist, in thrift stores & all around town, Dean & I found a beautiful changing table-dresser-combo at Habitat ReStore. We liked the idea that we can take off the railing around the top & use it solely as a dresser, too, down the road. Plus, my handy hubby tightened all the drawers & knobs, reenforced the wood in the back & thoroughly wiped down the top & all the drawers. He is the best :) Another plus, it was marked down to $62. Yay for markdowns!

{Glider/rocker} Y'all, these are expeeeensive. If you're a mama or have looked at the price tag on a mama-to-be's registry, you get what I'm saying. I was determined not to spend more than $300 on one. Sure, the $800 options in Buy Buy Baby are reaaally comfortable to sit in & you feel like you're gliding away into a peaceful sunset but could we find a more affordable option? The Baby Relax Mackenzie Rocker from WalMart is just what we were looking for. It is under $300, has great reviews & I'm really liking the grey microfiber upholstery.

{Ottoman} Though there is a grey upholstered ottoman that goes with the Mackenzie Rocker, I had really been picturing something like a gold Moroccan pouf. But after contemplating the hours & hours of sewing it would take, I ultimately decided to nix the gold pouf & thanks to this tutorial, recover a small foot stool I picked up for $12. I'm going to top it with IKEA's Tejn faux sheepskin rug that we picked one up during our trip to buy the crib. It's the perfect softness & texture for the nursery.

{Curtains} We're not for sure what we'll hang over the 2 windows in the nursery but are leaning toward white lace curtains, similar to these from IKEA. Plus black-out curtains to go behind them so that Baby Girl can sleep without sunlight getting in her eyes :)

{Decorative accents} Have y'all been to Hobby Lobby? Until a couple weeks ago, I had never been in one of their stores. So. much. to. look. at! Be still my crafting heart :) I picked up a gold metal arrow (similar to this one), a precious heart-shaped dish & a bright fuchsia bench to hold blankets. My incredibly talented sis made wonderful paper tissue pom poms & a gorgeous pink-and-gold bunting for a surprise baby shower my family threw us. They're new home is in the nursery, along with a marquee initial light from Michael's, maternity photos, Baby Girl's sonogram image & glittery prints I plan to frame & hang throughout the room.

Let the nesting continue :) Where did you look for nursery inspiration? Any stores/sites you really liked using?

My Fairweather Baby Nursery Inspiration Board copy.jpg

All things

Winchester sunrise portrait session
Sunrise portraits in Winchester VA
Black and white sunrise portraits
Winchester portrait photographer

"Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart
prepared to wait trustfully & quietly on Him
who has all things safely in His hands."
{Elisabeth Elliot}