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When Landon and Jordan sent over the photos for today’s tour, the first thing I said to Lisa was, “I want to move in!!” When I said the same thing to Jordan in an email, she kindly responded that I was welcome to, but that their house was a bit small. I haven’t packed my bags yet; instead, I’ve been inspired to make a few changes in my own home. Because the thing I love most about the space these two share isn’t their beautiful paint choices or white kitchen cabinets (though I do love those things), it’s that it clearly shows who they are, how they live, and what they love.

And, they have chickens!! So obviously they were a natural candidate for our Southern Newlywed At Home series :)

Years married: 7
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Hometown and college sweethearts fall madly in love and save the world.
Do you rent or own? We own a cute bungalow in a historic neighborhood in downtown Columbia, SC.

What is your favorite part of being married? Definitely our friendship! Don’t get me wrong, we are deeply in love with each other, but when life goes to the pits (and it does for everyone at some point), there’s nothing better than coming home to your best friend who loves you unconditionally. We are with each other a lot. I mean… A LOT. Not only do we live together (obviously), but we also work together full-time with our photography business. Thankfully, we really enjoy each other’s company. We make each other laugh almost constantly, which is another favorite part of our marriage.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. If two creative people move in together, there might be some disagreements on decor. Both of us enjoy the art of creating spaces, and we can both be pretty stubborn about it. It didn’t take us long to realize that one person needed to have the final say. So, after about a year of intense decorating battles, I, Landon, relinquished the veto power to Jordan (my wife). This doesn’t mean Jordan won’t ask for my opinion, or that I don’t often give it. It just means I’m okay with her final decision either way. After all, she is incredibly talented. We no longer argue about it, and I love the way our house looks and feels. Guys, if decorating is super important to your wife, there’s nothing wrong with giving in or learning to love and appreciate her taste.

What most makes your house feel like home? I would say the thought and time we’ve put into designing every space in our house. Everything is there for a reason, and was probably given much consideration. This has turned our house into a unique and personal home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? It’s a little ironic given how much we love decorating, but we really don’t splurge on much. We’ve always wanted our house to look a certain way, even early on in our marriage, and of course, most newlyweds don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on decor. For our first several years together, almost everything we owned was either bought on clearance, at yard sales, Ikea, thrift stores, traded for, given to us, or built from scratch. It took a lot more time than simply picking out our favorite pieces from a boutique, but in the end, it enabled us to decorate every part of our house the way we wanted. Most inexpensive things don’t last forever (surprise!), so we’ve been in the process of replacing the pieces we use the most with items that will.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our favorite room would have be our dinning room–it’s where we gather and enjoy delicious meals with all our wonderful friends.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? None of it :( We were young and had no idea what to register for, so we didn’t register for much. A couple of years ago, I was super sad to see our salt shaker break, because it was one of the few gifts we had from our wedding. I wish we would have registered for heavy duty china and flatware. It’s fun setting up a fancy dinner for guests, so we’ve had to buy a good bit on our own.

Who cooks dinner? I’d say it’s about 50-50. We both love to cook, but also love when the other does as well :)
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We are both pescetarian (vegetarians who eat fish). During the week, you’ll probably find us eating salmon with corn risotto or rice and beans with homemade tortillas. We travel a lot on the weekends, so Chipotle is our go-to.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? A cookbook called Happy Herbivore has been super handy. We have a couple great recipes from Kinfolk as well.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Probably that doing something as simple as communicating can be difficult at times. We were probably three years into marriage before we realized that a lot of our arguments only began because we didn’t understand what the other was trying to communicate. Thankfully, as noted above, spending lots of time together has made us much better at understanding each other, as well as (even more importantly) listening.
How does your family handle finances? We set a budget and use the cash system. It helps keep two very non-type-A people in check.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This can definitely be a tough area. There are lots of things you have to do and lots of things you want to do, and most of the time, they conflict with each other. Our tip is to bounce things off your spouse. They should know you pretty well and can help you balance the have-to’s with the want-to’s.

Do you have children? Does a dog and chickens count? Nope? That’s okay. We love kids and would love to have our own one day!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Typically, we go out to our favorite restaurant, and then skip on over to a local coffee shop to play chess. Landon almost always wins.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? From Landon: It’s simple, but whenever Jordan makes a run to the grocery store or goes out to eat with a friend, she’ll often bring me back a little treat. It always makes me feel special. From Jordan: Anytime we are curled up on the sofa watching our favorite TV show, Landon scratches my back. I always think he’s the sweetest!

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that marriage is incredible, but it will expose almost all the areas in your life where you need to grow. And that’s ok, because you’re not a perfect person. Your spouse will know you more intimately than anyone else, and therefore, will notice your weaknesses more than anyone else, and visa versa. Two important things to remember: 1. Let’s just go ahead and assume that your imperfections are abundant, so give your spouse tons and tons of grace when their flaws pop up. 2. Don’t get upset when your spouse exposes a shortcoming of yours. Instead, be thankful. The alternative would be having tons of weaknesses you don’t know about.

Landon and Jordan (otherwise known as Landon Jacob) are great friends of the Southern Weddings family, and we’re so thankful they shared their thoughts and home with us! You can see more of their work on their site here and follow along with their married life on instagram. Until next week!

P.S. As if you needed any more reason to think these two are amazing, they’re traveling to Africa in July to volunteer with an organization called Clothed in Hope. To help fund their trip, they’re currently offering an insane deal ($130) on mini portrait sessions in Columbia, SC on May 18th, June 1st, and June 8th. If you’re interested, email them at hello at landonjacob.com to reserve a spot! Great opportunity for engagement photos, anniversary photos, or Christmas card photos :)

emily Written with love by Emily
21 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Yup, I am ready to move in, too! Love L&J, their beautiful and purposeful home, and their insightful marriage advice.

  2. avatar Lara reply

    AH!!!! I love every single thing about this — especially the fine feathered friends! L + J, can you please clone your home (including chickens) and bring it to me? I love y’all and your amazing hearts!

  3. avatar Emily Alice reply

    This home is beautiful! My Columbia pride is bursting! :)

  4. avatar L + J reply

    Thanks so much Lara! We’ll definitely get on that. Haha! Love y’all as well!

  5. avatar Kaitlin Holland reply

    Landon & Jordan, this is beautiful!!! I love your hearts for each other and your stunning home.

  6. avatar Nicole reply

    Cutest chicken coop ever? I love every detail of your home, L + J, and reading about how you make it the perfect fit for yourselves!

  7. avatar Abi Losli reply

    Yep, everything about this is adorable! And oh my heart, those chickens! Seeing homes with meaningful, purposeful details gets me all fired up to make our home that way. Thank you for living a great (and inspiring!) story Landon & Jordan! I so appreciate your hearts for each other and the wisdom in your advice.

  8. avatar Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride reply

    It is so stunning and so comfortable. I love the balance of beauty and comfort!

  9. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    When my kids grow up, this is what I want my house to look like! LOL! Not a toy in sight!

  10. avatar Leanne Caroline reply

    Beautiful home. Beautiful words and wisdom. Thank you for sharing, and thank you Southern Weddings for this new post marriage series. I’m not married yet but do so like the “rest of your life” thoughts, aspirations and goals more than the wedding day ideals already. Love the big picture stuff, can’t wait to read more.

  11. avatar celine reply

    I would love to know the color paint you used for the living room (& the guest room if it is a different color). I’m on the search for the perfect gray….

  12. avatar Sarah reply

    Two of the most beautiful people I have ever known. Love this pair to pieces.

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  15. avatar Andrea Rodriguez reply

    Just curious about the mirror in your living room I believe. Did you make that? Can you tell me the dimensions?
    Thank you

  16. avatar Angela C. reply

    Hello.
    Can you tell me where you found the hanging wall baskets in your entryway?
    Thank you!

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  18. avatar Jennifer Ferry reply

    do you share paint colors?

  19. avatar Living Room Inspiration – Louella Reese reply

    […] {photo source} […]

  20. avatar Lyndsey reply

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your larger wooden mirror in your dining room?

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If you’ve been reading Southern Weddings for awhile, chances are, you’ve fallen in love with a Katelyn James Photography wedding or two! Katelyn and Michael are a husband and wife photography team, and as well as shooting pretty weddings (see a few of our favorites here, here, and here!), they also love decorating their home in Richmond, Virginia, where they live with their ridiculously adorable bichpoo, Bokeh. Their passion for opening up their home and gathering family and friends together is the driving force behind the design and decor in their house, and we have a feeling y’all are going to love this peek inside as much as we do!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. After dating for eight years, I married my high school sweetheart, best friend, and greatest gift from God… life couldn’t be any sweeter!
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I think we’re constantly going through different changes in our marriage. The most recent change in our life is that we are now a full-time husband and wife photography team! I’ve been so surprised with what we are capable of accomplishing as a team. We’re so much better together than we are apart!

Do you rent or own? We actually do both. We bought a very small Cape Cod when we first got married in 2010, and we recently built more of a family-sized home in our area! We currently rent our first home out to friends from church.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Michael and I grew up together, went on family vacations together, and have known each other since we were toddlers, so there were very few things that shocked us after moving in together. I am learning not to have unrealistic expectations about how tidy our house should be. Messes stress me out… Michael doesn’t seem to mind them :) However, over the last three years, Michael has learned that I’m in a much better mood when the house is somewhat put together, so he makes that a priority, and I love him for it!

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We splurge on big ticket items that need to last forever. For example, when we moved into the new house, we knew that we wanted to invest in a couch that we could use for 10+ years. However, we bought more affordable end tables and a coffee table, because those can easily be replaced. Our accent pieces and guest bedroom sets are mostly from IKEA–we love the Liatorp Collection! We don’t splurge on lamps or small decor pieces, simply because there are awesome options at HomeGoods and Target. Why spend $250 on one lamp when you can decorate a whole room with that money?
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We love our vacuum and our luggage! Those were two big items on our registry that we’re SO thankful for.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? Why did I get fine china?! Our everyday dishes are white ceramic sets from Crate and Barrel and they are beautiful. We registered for a full set of fine china and only received about 1/3 of what we registered for. The sad part is that Crate and Barrel discontinued that pattern before we saved up to complete the collection, so now we’re stuck with a few pieces of fine china that we never use! I wish we had saved that money and invested in some more awesome serving dishes instead, since we like to entertain.

Who cooks dinner? Michael cooks, thank goodness! I’m a horrible chef.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? When we don’t know what to make, we have pasta! It’s easy and always readily available. We also grill chicken quite often and save the leftovers for my salads during the week. Our weekends are normally our “date nights,” so we usually eat out.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Our moms! Michael is constantly getting recipes from our moms. Whether we’re having a Southwest stew or some type of casserole, chances are, the recipe probably came from home.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I would that say that we both love our living room the most! It’s where we spend most of our time relaxing at home. When we have friends over or events at the house, everyone gathers in that space. Great memories are made in that room!
What most makes your house feel like home? People. I love to decorate, but even the prettiest decor can’t make a house feel like a home. Our house feels most like a home when both of our families are here visiting with us!

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? This is going to sound like such a small thing, but Michael and I serve each other by taking the dog out to use the bathroom. He takes Bokeh out when I’m entrenched in emails, and I take him out it in the middle of the night when Michael is asleep.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? We have learned that we’ll never have time off if we don’t schedule it. I try to mark off at least 2-3 “stay at home” days per week, two to three months in advance.
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to not have expectations for my own marriage based on other people’s marriages.

How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? Our financial life has changed quite a bit in the last three years since we got married. Now that we’re self-employed and are running a photography business, we have sporadic annual income–no month is the same. We have found that designating 1/4 for business savings, 1/4 for business checking, 1/4 for personal savings and 1/4 to live on works well for us. However, we have just changed the business to an “S-Corp,” so we’ll be receiving payroll for the first time, and we plan on starting a budget based off of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace curriculum!
Do you have children? No children quite yet, but we hope to have several in the future! Michael loves kids and I’m so excited to see him as a dad one day! We are really enjoying life as a married couple without kids right now, but we’re excited for that season whenever it comes.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Michael and I love going on car rides in the evenings and looking at large, historic Richmond homes. It’s cheap and it never gets old! We recently bought an old convertible that we have coined our “fun car.” It’s the perfect ride for these outings downtown!

What is your favorite part of being married? Never having to say good night and then part ways at the end of the day, and having a permanent companion by my side!
In 2014, our family is most excited about… traveling, crossing off some big bucket list items, and establishing even more of a work/life balance.
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Michael and I have found that we are the best versions of ourselves when we’re making time for God in our day-to-day life and in our marriage. There is nothing more powerful than a couple that can pray together and allow God to lead their marriage. So often, we forget this and try to do life on our own and by our own strength. We truly believe that God has a very specific purpose for everyone and every marriage!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
16 Comments
  1. avatar Lindy reply

    LOVE this house!! And LOVE this new series… especially today’s! It’s so fun seeing newlyweds’ homes, and the interview questions are very interesting and really hit a lot of great topics- finances, cooking, love story, etc. Two thumbs up!

  2. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    LOVE this home tour! The colors in each room are amazing and although the house is spotless, it still resignates with me that it’s “lived in” and I love that. So beautiful!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I love how y’all have two twin beds in the guest room – so cute! :)

  4. avatar Hannah reply

    Oh my goodness! It looks like a house from Pinterest! :) My favorite touch is the photography in the living room. Love, love, love.

  5. avatar Lisa reply

    I absolutely LOVE this post! What a beautiful, beautiful house! Fingers crossed our first home looks this amazing when the time comes! :)

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  7. avatar Laura Radniecki reply

    Such a fun, faith-filled couple! Their Bokeh boy was the inspiration for my husband and I adding our little Remy girl to our family! :)

  8. avatar Cynthia Price reply

    Please advise where to purchase the artwork above the sofa in the living room photo of the blue door and green windows. Thank you.

    • avatar Debbie Matthews reply

      Hi Cynthia,
      I would love to know where to buy the two large pieces of art work in the living room photo.
      Looks like someone ask the question previously but I am not seeing the reply????
      Thank You
      Debbie

  9. avatar Kristen D reply

    Looks like your beautiful living room furniture is from Bassett! Love their stuff! God Bless!

  10. avatar Mandi Mouw reply

    So beautiful! I would love to know where your large canvas pictures are from!

  11. avatar Debbie Matthews reply

    Could we have the names of your paint colors please??

  12. avatar Jessica reply

    Gorgeous colors! Please tell me what the name of the paint colors used in the living room, kitchen, & the room with the touch of orange?
    Thank You

  13. avatar Leslie Mc reply

    Can you tell us where you got your living room furniture? Esp the couch and chairs!

  14. avatar menajda mezini reply

    I would love to know where you purchased your living room couch and chairs! Stunning and exactly something I’m looking for! Thanks- Menajda

  15. avatar 20 Great Ways to Make Use Of The Space Behind Couch For Extra Storage And Visual Depth – Hative reply

    […] The space behind the sofa was used for decoration in this room, as a mix of cream colored floating shelves, canvases and other decorative elements bring the neutral wall to life. via southernweddings. […]

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We’ve gotten into the kitchen with Kristin and taken a tour of Emily Ley’s home, and now, we’re tickled pink to introduce y’all to another Southern Newlywed topic: date nights! Making time for each other and continuing to “date” your spouse is something we believe in fiercely, but we know it’s often easier said than done. Enter our own lovely Marissa and her baseball-playing beau, Brandon. Due to BDK’s profession, these two are on the road constantly, and especially now that they’ve welcomed their first little belle to the family, we’re so inspired by the way they cherish their time together and make dating each other a priority!

Jennifer Pharr

Names: Branch (Brandon) and Marissa Kloess
Years married: 5.6 years!
Children’s names and ages: Emerson Katherine, almost four months old
By day: Brandon is a semipro golfer, facial hair aficionado, Alabama born and raised professional baseball player for the San Diego Padres and Marissa is a professional car packer, monogramaholic, Florabama-raised Director of Advertising for Southern Weddings.
How they met: We met in our Multimedia Practicum class in college. Our desks faced each other, and it was love at first sight (especially when BDK brought the baby squirrel he rescued to class!).

A throwback to the class where M + B met! Awww!

Their wedding: We were married in the sweet little town of Mount Dora, Florida. Our incredible day started at a beautiful church downtown with stained glass windows, and continued with a horse-drawn carriage ride down the cobblestone streets past the park (decked out in Christmas lights!) to the historic Lakeside Inn for our reception. We ended the day dancing and celebrating with our family and closest friends. P.S. The Lakeside Inn even has lemonade and rocking chairs on their adorable wraparound porch!

Michelle March

Marissa and Brandon’s top five favorite date night ideas:

1. Movies in the park: One of my very favorite dates BDK and I have ever had (and his personal favorite) was when he surprised me and we drove three hours to watch the classic Marilyn Monroe movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (one of my all-time favorites!) on a big projector screen in the park. He even packed us a fried chicken picnic for dinner!
2. Be a kid again: While in college, BDK and I were lucky enough to live pretty close to Orlando, Florida. One of our most fun dates (and my personal favorite) was when we went to Universal Studios for the day. No adult roller coasters (we’re both scaredy cats!)–just plain ol’ kid fun. We ditched our cell phones and laughed until our bellies ached, all while surrounded by characters from our childhoods.
3. Singalong: BDK should really be in the music business–he knows all the best bands before they hit iTunes. We love going to small concert venues and seeing bands no one has ever heard of, all while singing our hearts out to songs barely anyone knows! Most small shows are inexpensive (except for the time our car got towed!), and you never know who the opening act will be–we’ve seen now-big-name bands back when they were selling their own t-shirts!
4. Explore the outdoors: While we all know I’m way more of an indoor kind of gal (no tents, and please pass the blowdryer!), one of the last dates we had before our baby girl arrived was a pitstop we made at the Grand Canyon while on the way back from a baseball road trip. It was so much fun to explore the sites and see such an iconic part of our great country.
5. Stay inside: One of our very favorite dates is more of an un-date! Budget-conscious, pajama-friendly, and makeup-free, we LOVE a complete day at home ordering takeout and watching movies. We’ve been known to binge-watch Netflix (House of Cards, anyone?) for hours. Since we travel so much, BDK and I are homebodies, and really enjoy spending time just relaxing and hanging out. These nights (or days) in are sometimes the best way to recharge our batteries and reconnect when everything is a bit hectic.

A little reminder We have great things in the works for this column, but we’d love your help! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also, your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

Jennifer Pharr and Michelle March are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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