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!
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!
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!