Google+ date nights Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: date nights

Today’s couple has been on our radar for awhile–Mandy is a longtime Southern Weddings reader and a Making Things Happen alum, so she’s an old friend to us! We were delighted when she offered to share her and her husband Conner’s favorite date night ideas with us–especially considering that they’ve recently made a truly inspiring lifestyle change, leading to their collective loss of 177 pounds in the past year! From living a healthy lifestyle to cultivating their marriage, Mandy and Conner are so committed in every aspect of their lives, and we love their creative ideas for spending quality time together. Our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Gracie Blue, caught up with this cute couple at the Blue Rooster Cafe in Lawrenceville, Georgia to capture one of their favorite breakfast dates!

Names: Mandy and Conner Volpe
Years married: We will celebrate three years on August 13!
By day: Conner is a Client Technical Specialist (he is the brains of the family). I am the Marketing Manager for Unique Venues, which helps planners and brides find non-traditional venues for their events or weddings.

How they met: Conner and I met one summer when I was an intern at Georgia Tech, where Conner went to school. He pursued me all summer before I realized (with some nudging from friends and family) that this boy was crazy about me and I would be a fool not to give it a shot.

Their wedding: Since we met at Georgia Tech, we wanted to have our wedding in the city. The whole wedding was blue and yellow (a nod to GT, as well as our favorite colors) and it was steeped in tradition. As my something old, I carried a handkerchief from my parents’ wedding, which was embroidered with the married monograms of both my parents, plus our new married monogram, to signify the joining of families. It will continue to be passed on to my brother and sisters, as well as the grandchildren someday. Conner carried a handkerchief and photo from his grandfather, who had passed away when he was little. My mom made our AMAZING seven-tier wedding cake, and Conner’s mom and grandmother did a beautiful job making all of the floral arrangements.

Mandy and Conner’s top five favorite date ideas:

1. Post-travel breakfast: Conner travels a lot, so we made it a priority to set aside “post-travel breakfast dates.” Sometimes this falls early on a Friday morning before the work day starts, and sometimes it’s even a Wednesday night breakfast supper if Conner is between two flights. We find it important to start new-to-us family traditions that focus on our marriage and quality time.
2. Active dates: A year ago, we set out to have a healthier lifestyle. Newlywed life had brought about expanding waistlines as I attempted to develop my non-existent skills in the kitchen. An active date for us is heading over to the local pool to swim some laps, and then capping off the night with a trip to the frozen yogurt shop!
3. “Best of the Best”: As part of our healthy lifestyle, we try to only eat sweets on special occasions. We seek out the best sweets we can find, rather than having a nightly cookie before bed. For our anniversary, we both went into the bakery separately and picked out desserts for one another. We didn’t open the surprise desserts until we had reached the local park, where we ate and watched the sunset. We’re excited to try a local Southern cafe that has the most sinful-looking desserts. Conner has already reached his goal weight and I am seven pounds away from mine. As soon as I reach my goal, we plan to splurge on a dessert date there!
4. Themed envelope date: This one was a huge surprise for Conner. I gave him two envelopes, and he was only allowed to open one in the morning. Inside was a date card that gave him vague details about what to wear, what time to be ready for dinner, and anything special he needed to know. It kept him in suspense all day and made a movie and dinner date a little more fun!
5. DIY date: We just purchased our home a year ago, so there are a lot of projects to do around the house. We enjoy planning the projects, sourcing the materials, and then completing them together. Conner is very handy, so this is also a great way for him to teach me his hammer and power tool skills!

Gracie Blue is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar SIMPLICITY: Mandy Volpe | Emily Ley reply

    […] we have is what we call our “Post travel breakfasts”. (Southern Weddings actually featured a photo shoot from one of our breakfasts a few months ago). My husband travels alot so it gives us time to go get […]

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!

Reply to:

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

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!

Reply to: