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At Southern Weddings, we are big believers in date nights, but that doesn’t always have to mean indulgent restaurant meals or buttery movie theater popcorn. Here to show us just that are Sara and Aaron, who shared their five favorite date ideas with us, including their personal favorite–a CrossFit date! Working out together is such a great way to get in shape, spend quality time with your significant other, and stay motivated, so with New Year’s resolutions freshly written and spring and summer weddings just a few months away, we hope they inspire you as much as they have us!

Thanks so much to Katie Nesbitt for tagging along with Sara and Aaron to CrossFit Falls Church to capture this fun date!

By day: Sara and Aaron live in Arlington, Virginia, where Sara is a writer and blogger at Fit for a Bride, and Aaron is a Bone Marrow Coordinator.

How they met: I met Aaron through his sister in college, and our first date was to a campus bible study! I remember him picking a flower for me on the walk home–what a sweetie! In 2009, Aaron invited me to accompany him and his family to Jonesborough, Tennessee for the National Storytelling Festival, an event he had been attending with his family every year for two decades. He proposed at the breakfast table the first morning, and now, we go every October and relive the beginning of our love story!

Their wedding: We got married at Oxon Hill Manor in Maryland. It was a beautiful spring day and the focal point for our ceremony was a huge cross my dad made for our altar. Aaron’s dad (a minister) officiated, and right before we said “I do,” Aaron sang one of my favorite hymns to me. It was the most magical moment ever! For the reception, we went the DIY route and used restored picture frames as centerpieces and ribbon for an escort card display. My favorite detail was the chiavari chairs Aaron surprised me with the day-of. It’s a day we’ll never forget!

Sara and Aaron’s top five favorite date ideas:

1. CrossFit: We love going to CrossFit together because we really connect when we’re there. Whether it’s through a little friendly competition or by cheering each other on, we always encourage each other and have fun. We both feel great after working out, too! Sharing a love for being physically active and challenging ourselves is a wonderful thing!

2. Cook a healthy meal together: Aaron works near a Whole Foods, so he’ll often call me at lunch to share the deal of the day. He’ll scoop it up and we’ll make dinner together when we get home from work. On Valentine’s Day, he surprised me with heart-shaped ravioli–for this foodie, that definitely won him some brownie points!

3. Visit the National Harbor and ride the water taxi: While we love a night of CrossFit and healthy cooking, we enjoy a night out, too. One of our favorite places to go is the place where we had our rehearsal dinner: the National Harbor! The area is full of fun things to do, like riding the new Ferris Wheel or shopping the outlets, but our favorite is taking the water taxi to Old Town Alexandria for dinner at the Chart House.

4. Breakfast club We started a tradition with a few other couples of getting together every Saturday for breakfast. We love it because we switch off deciding where to go and get to try new restaurants all the time.

5. Go to the library: We love spending an afternoon at the Georgetown University library! Aaron is a student there and always has a lot of reading to do, and being a blogger, there’s always a lot I can get done in a quiet place, away from the distractions at home! He orders a regular Americano, I get an iced one, and we sit together in the quiet room, working away. Yes, sometimes date nights don’t involve talking!

Thanks so much for sharing, Sara! Be sure to follow along with her on her blog, Fit for a Bride, and Instagram.

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – 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!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
18 Comments
  1. avatar Jackie reply

    Love this! My husband and I always say, “A couple that CrossFits together stays together.”

  2. avatar Emily reply

    So fun, Sara! My husband and I also like to get out and be active on our dates, but we’re not usually quite as impressive as Cross Fit :)

    • avatar Sara reply

      Thanks Emily! Though, we hardly think of ourselves as impressive, haha! Just having fun. :) I love the feature, thank you so much again!

  3. avatar Stephanie reply

    Such a fun idea!! Active dates are the best (though I’m not quite at the Cross Fit level!).. And I especially love this because I live in Falls Church!

    • avatar Sara reply

      You have to check out CFFC since you’re in the area! There’s a free class at 11am every Saturday. I’d love to see you there!

  4. avatar Abigail reply

    Love seeing this, Sara! Just started going to the gym with my husband – at 6am we don’t look quite as put together as you two! XO

    • avatar Sara reply

      Aww, Abigail – you should see us some nights after CrossFit we’re looking pretty rough; I guess that’s true love, huh? (Admire you for those early morning workouts!)

  5. avatar Sara reply

    I’m so honored to be featured as a Southern Newlywed! Thank you for this awesome experience! <3

  6. avatar Jeannine | The Small and Chic Home reply

    I have to admit that I didn’t even know about Crossfit until I saw Sara write about it on her blog a while back. It’s amazing how many Crossfit couples there are!

  7. avatar JEANNE FORTE OKI reply

    Sara and Aaron are my niece and nephew through marriage. I was at their beautiful wedding ceremony and reception. They are two special and spiritual people. I am so proud of them and wish them both a happy and healthy future together.

  8. avatar Featured! Southern Weddings' Southern Newlywed – Fit for a Bride reply

    […] See the full feature! […]

  9. avatar elaine reply

    Wow! There is love in the air!!Amazing to see it grow for a strong loving couple.Really mean strong because of time spent doing things together and crossfit! :)

  10. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    What fantastic pictures! A great date idea and I love the picture of them both jumping.

  11. avatar Dana reply

    breakfast club sounds like such a fun idea!

  12. avatar CrossFit Date Night for Southern Weddings reply

    […] Seeing Aaron and me on the Southern Weddings’ blog was awesome! I gained a bunch of new followers on Instagram (hi guys!) and really feel like I started the new year off with a bang! […]

  13. avatar 4 Things You May Not Know About Us – Fit for a Bride reply

    […] Photo by Katie Nesbitt for Southern Weddings’ Blog […]

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Oh my word, today’s post is pulling at my heartstrings! Three things in particular always make me homesick for Texas: Friday Night Lights reruns, bright orange sunsets (Texans, y’all know the kind!), and the thought of really good tacos. When the adorable Rachel and James sent us their five favorite date ideas, we couldn’t resist sending them off on a taco tour date for Southern Newlywed. This low-key date idea looks like so much fun, and even if you don’t live in a place surrounded by mouth-watering Tex Mex, it’s easily adaptable to whatever delicacy your home is famous for. Might I suggest a barbecue tour for my fellow North Carolina residents?

Thank you so much to Rachel and James for sharing with us, and to the talented Heather Hawkins for capturing this fun date!

By day: James is a Clinical Specialist with an emphasis on pacemakers and defibrillators, and I am the Director of Project Development for the Touch a Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides long-term rehabilitative care for children rescued out of slavery in West Africa and Southeast Asia.

How they met: We met in 2011 through a mutual friend who introduced us while James was in Dallas (where I lived) for a conference. At the time, James lived in Tallahassee, but we clicked immediately–on that first day, someone actually asked us if we were engaged. As he headed home the evening after we met, he told his friend that he was going to marry me–and he was right! After a few months of exchanged phone calls and a couple more visits to Dallas, we made our relationship official on July 1, 2011. James moved to Dallas a few months later–as a native Texan, he couldn’t have been more thrilled about the move. We got engaged in May 2013, and married the following April.

Their wedding: We got married on April 13 at Le San Michele, a beautiful outdoor venue located just outside of Austin. After our sweet ceremony in the gardens, our guests mingled amongst the beautiful plants and drank margaritas during cocktail hour. The reception was filled with family-style dining, champagne toasts, a surprise musical performance by the groom and his groomsmen, tons of freshly baked pies (blueberry, peach, and Heath toffee pecan, oh my!), and the most memorable dance party ever. It was the perfect day, and I often find myself reliving every single moment of it!

Rachel and James’ top five favorite date ideas:

1. Taco tours: We love tacos–like, a whole lot. Luckily, there is no shortage of taco joints in Dallas, so we’ve made it a commitment to try out all of the note-worthy spots in the area (we even keep a record of notes because we love tacos a little too much). We especially enjoy dog-friendly spots so we can bring Callie along. Some of our favorite places are Good 2 Go Taco, Velvet Taco, Rusty Taco, Torchy’s Tacos, and Taco Joint.

2. Picnics at the park: This is, hands down, one of our favorite ways to spend an evening together. We’ve celebrated everything from anniversaries and Valentine’s Days to job promotions and random Tuesday nights with a delicious meal (sometimes home-cooked, sometimes from our favorite Mexican restaurant), good wine, a blanket, our puppy, and each other while overlooking the water at White Rock Lake Park. Since we love this tradition so much, James actually planned his proposal to me accordingly and set up a table for two, incredible food, and string lights on one of our favorite docks. It was perfect!

3. Attending concerts: My husband plays a variety of instruments (and shares a name with an iconic musician) so he loves going to concerts. We like all different kinds of music, and we’ve seen so many great shows in Dallas together. We also love checking out local shows in Deep Ellum.

4. Meeting for fancy cocktails: When we want to have a night out on the town without spending a fortune, we like to compromise and hit up our favorite spots for fancy cocktails and appetizers. We’ll get dressed up and pick a spot that’s typically a pinch out of our price range (but justifiable if we’re just going to grab some snacks and sips at the bar). We love the food, drinks, and bar vibes at places like Gemma, R+D Kitchen, Bolsa, Meddlesome Moth, Stampede 66, Victor Tangos, and True Food Kitchen. We always order stiff drinks (I like martinis and specialty cocktails while James typically chooses whiskey) and a variety of savory appetizers to share.

5. Going to baseball games: James is a huge baseball fan, and I am a huge ballpark food fan, so going to watch Rangers games is a fun date night for us. James actually prefers to root for the Astros when they’re in town (and I typically cheer for the Cubs), but regardless, it’s fun to spend an evening watching baseball under the stars (and, on Wednesdays, consuming a few too many $1 hot dogs).

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love these sweet ideas and sweet photos! Thanks for sharing, y’all!

  2. avatar Rachel Brown reply

    What an honor to have our favorite date night featured on this beautiful site! Heather is so incredibly talented and she captured our fun evening just perfectly. Thank you for this opportunity!

  3. avatar Erin reply

    Oh this makes me so homesick for Texas’ amazing tacos!!! Such great ideas!

  4. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    A date night with margaritas is always a great date night.

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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