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A few months ago, we shared our 2016 date night challenge: our company goal of going on a date night with our beaus at least once a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but when life gets busy, it sure is easier said than done. That said, we’re pretty proud of the dates we’ve checked off this summer, so we wanted to share a little update today! As a reminder, here’s our checklist (you can pin the image below, or download a copy here):

Now here are a few of our recent dates! Can you match the photos with the date ideas from the list?

Clockwise from top left: Emily, Nicole, Jess, Marissa, Lisa

Clockwise from top left: Kristin, Emily, Emily, Nicole, Lisa, Amber

What have your favorite dates been this summer? Have you checked any off of the list above? We’d love to hear your ideas and be inspired by you!

P.S. A word of encouragement to any single readers–you can join us too! We love the idea of using these ideas for friend dates, sister dates, mom dates, and more!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    Whether you’ve been reading Southern Weddings for years, or you’re new around these parts, one thing we hope you know is that we’re big believers in the importance of date nights. We could talk about how essential quality time with your beau is until the cows come home, but the truth is, it’s just as hard for us to put into practice as I know it is for many of you! That’s why last year, at our annual team Christmas dinner, Lara gave us a fun challenge: a list of 12 date ideas that we are each supposed to go on in 2016, one per month. Now that we’re coming up to the halfway point in the year (!!), we thought we’d share a little update and invite y’all to join us for the second half of the year!

    Clockwise from top left: Kristin, Kristin, Emily, Lisa

    So far, a unanimous favorite thing about the challenge is how much choosing an item off of the list makes a date seem so much more “official.” Even something as easy as grabbing a pizza from your favorite takeout place really feels like a date night, simple because you’re calling it a date–and that alone is motivation to turn the TV off or tuck your phones away and focus on each other!

    Clockwise from top: Jess, Emily, Emily, Lisa, Jess

    We’d love for you to download our Year of Date Nights list (the same one we’re all using!) and join us! Can you guess what some of the dates above are? Brunch, dessert, a double date for barbecue, a fancy date (bow tie encouraged!), a picnic, and an al fresco dining date are a few we’ve checked off so far, but there are still lots more to go!

    P.S. A word of encouragement to any single readers–you can join us too! We love the idea of using these ideas for friend dates, sister dates, mom dates, and more!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    2 Comments
    1. avatar Southern Newlywed: Our Date Night Challenge | Wedding Trends By Drawde reply

      […] post Southern Newlywed: Our Date Night Challenge appeared first on Southern […]

    2. avatar Marilisa Schachinger reply

      I love this! My husband and I are about to move from Athens (we’ve been here since undergrad for almost 9 years!) and are trying to be sure to visit each of our favorite date spots before moving :)

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    Though there’s something undeniably romantic about summer in the South (just watch any Nicholas Sparks movie for proof!), fall, when the sticky weather is past, is a much more natural fit for a cozy date. We’ve rounded up several favorite ideas from the Southern Weddings team and our past Southern Newlywed couples to inspire you, starting with one of my favorites: choosing pumpkins at a pick-your-own patch and strolling through a corn maze!

    Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for these fun photos of me and my husband!

    1. Head to the driving range. Cooler weather makes anything athletic more palatable, in my opinion, and even if you’ve never picked up a club, hitting a few balls is decidely low-pressure, and can be downright hilarious. Plus, you get to stand next to each other, mostly in one place, so there’s more chance for conversation than with most physical activities!
    2. Treat the Fair like a tapas restaurant and share small bites of the… interesting options available. Bonus: compete to fill out our BINGO card!

    3. Recreate travel. One of our favorite things to do is travel, and since leaving the country isn’t always an option, Curtis and I have been known to create our own Italian dates! We go to an Italian restaurant for dinner, and follow it with gelato and then dancing in a piazza. It’s always fun to pick some of our favorite places we’ve traveled to and try to recreate our favorite evenings there–you really have to get creative! – Blakely
    4. Race each other. Poor Eric did not marry an outdoors-y girl, but luckily, I do love a thrill ride. And what better way to get your heart racing than with a little thrill and competition! Our ideal Friday date night would be a trip to the indoor (!) high-speed go-cart track, followed by our all-time favorite: Mexican food! – Molly

    5. Picnic in your backyard. Rhett and I love to set up a picnic area in our backyard and have dinner and dessert. His dad made us a beautiful coffee table out of the wood from our wedding backdrop, so I bring that table out to the backyard and fill it with food and flowers. We sometimes even do this for breakfast! It’s the perfect date, and we love that we can just step outside our house for it. On a newlywed budget, it’s nice to not have to drive somewhere and pay a lot of money at a restaurant. – Brandee
    6. Work your kitchen chops. While I love cooking and we eat at home most nights, we tend to go with standard, tried-and-true recipes that keep us from spending all evening in the kitchen. However, it can be extra fun to plan to stay in and make an ordinary evening not-so-ordinary (all while wearing pajamas and no makeup). We love to open a bottle of wine, find a “fancier” (see: more time-consuming) recipe, and maybe even pull out the nice napkins. While prepping the meal together, we are known to be pretty silly–singing (me), rapping (KPW) and dancing (both) while chopping vegetables and making marinades. – Kristin

    7. Head into the city. This is when we unplug the most. We intentionally take a night (usually for a special occasion) and head into Atlanta, cell phone-free. We pick a new restaurant that has rave reviews and eat a new-to-us meal. We’ve even been known to stay the night on the 62nd floor of the Westin! – Hannah
    8. Take a drive. This is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. During the afternoon, often on Sundays after church, we pick up lattes from our favorite coffee shop and just drive around together. We let ourselves get lost in the country and in conversation. We listen to music, roll the windows down, and explore our city. – Olivia

    9. Have a “man night.” Carl is a big football fan, as am I, and something we’ve started doing together is what I affectionately call “man nights.” We go to a sports bar, drink beer together, and eat bar food while watching a game. It’s one of my favorite things to do together, because not only does Carl enjoy it, I do too. It’s such a fun, casual way to play and unwind together, and it’s a great excuse to eat really fantastic, greasy food. – Stephanie
    10. Meet 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. – Rachel

    Drop your favorite fall date night idea in the comments, if you have one! We’d love to hear!

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

      I cannot even handle how beautiful and sweet these photos are!!

    2. avatar Erin Phillips reply

      These photos are gorgeous! How fun to have some sweet images captured while you’re still “just the two of us” :).

    3. avatar Maureen reply

      Love this and Em you look gorgeous!

    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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