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With the hundreds of weddings we’ve featured online and in print over the years, one might think that we’d eventually forget about most of them. Well friends, I’d like to reassure you, that is definitely not the case! Even if the couple’s names escape us at first, I can’t tell you how many times the SW gals and I will say things like “the Texas wedding with the precious golden hour portraits” (this wedding) or “that really classic wedding Virgil shot with the striped Lilly bridesmaid dresses” (this one). One wedding that we can always quickly recall though? The colorful, coastal celebration that Blakely and Curtis threw in Blakely’s parents’ backyard. We remember their sweet love story just as well as we remember all of the fun details of their big day, and were so delighted to catch up with them for Southern Newlywed!

Thank you so much to Jeff Crain for these fun photos of one of Blakely and Curtis’ favorite dates!

The couple: Curtis and Blakely Little
By day: Curtis is a commercial real estate broker, and I am an artist.
Where they live: Charleston, South Carolina

Their love story: We both grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, but never met until we were in college in Charleston. We met through mutual friends, and while helping me unpack my car one day, Curtis caught a glimpse of one of my paintings. He held it up and exclaimed how much he liked it. I thanked him, but had to admit that he was holding it upside down. I found the encounter embarrassing and avoided him for months, while he found the encounter intriguing and decided to ask me on a date the next time he had the chance. Well, after three months of praying for the chance, Curtis and I finally ran into one another and we went on our first date. We fell in love in our little seaside town of Charleston, and made things official on June 7, 2014 back in Annapolis.

Their wedding: I wanted our wedding to encompass a few important things; the coast, the South, and the Lord. We had our wedding in the backyard of my childhood home. It sits up above the Severn River, which was an amazing backdrop for the beginning of our marriage. The evening was filled with turquoise details, a brass band parade, breathtaking florals, and all our favorite people. We hoped our guests would catch a glimpse of our joy in the Lord first, and our joy in one another second.

Blakely and Curtis’ five favorite date ideas:

1. Fishing trip: Living near the coast opens us up to many date night options, and one of our favorites is fishing. We have a tiny Boston Whaler that we cruise down the river in, and when the tides are right, we can catch some delicious fish! We usually bring some wine and takeout dinner to entertain us if the fish aren’t biting. I love it because we get to watch the sunset, and it feels like we are the only two people in the world. It can be either so romantic and quiet, or hilarious with fish flopping everywhere. Both are my favorite.

2. Biking to dinner: Curtis and I try to switch up our modes of transportation on date nights. Whether we are walking, biking, boating, or just riding with the windows down, it starts date night out in a fun way. We love that we can ride our bikes all around Charleston! We usually try new restaurants and order one appetizer and two entrees that we can split. This way, we get to try more of the menu! It’s hard not to become a “foodie” living in such a delicious city.

3. Activity swap: Sometimes, we swap activities. I’m an artist, and recently, Curtis and I did a painting night. We used all my materials and set up our own little painting areas. We drank wine and hid our paintings from one another until the big reveal. Curtis isn’t an artist, but the thought behind his painting for me was adorable–it might be my favorite painting ever! On the flip side, Curtis loves all sports. I have lots of fun tennis gear, but am still terrible at the game. We have a blast out there trying, and Curtis appreciates that I get out of my comfort zone to do something he really enjoys.

4. Recreating travels: 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!

5. Friend date: Last but not least, Curtis and I sometimes take out one of our favorite “third wheels.” Because we got married young, we still have mostly single friends. On some evenings, we recognize that one of our favorite people needs some loving, so we try to make the “date” about them! We love to take them to dinner at their favorite place, ask them intentional questions, and make sure they know how loved they are. It’s a fun way to bring our friends into our relationship, and it reminds Curtis and I that our relationship isn’t just about the two of us.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply! Idea #5 is so sweet and thoughtful and so pertinent to mine and my husbands life right now, as we have a few single friends.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I also LOVE number five! Especially in high school and college, including my younger sister or one of our friends in our date night was so much fun, and made some amazing memories! Y’all have inspired me to do this more!

  3. avatar Megan Costanzo reply

    I love these ideas! Last month, I surprised my husband by recreating our honeymoon in Thailand as a date – I made one of our favorite Thai dishes, picked up our favorite Thai beer from a local shop, and put our honeymoon photos on a slideshow while we ate. To top it off, I grabbed some of my husband’s honeymoon attire (he wore linen the. whole. time.) and hung it in the garage and told him he couldn’t come in until he had changed into the linen. I myself changed into a Thai-print jumpsuit and greeted him when he walked through the door with a wai (traditional Thai greeting) and a cold Thai beer! One of my favorite newlywed dates, to date!

  4. avatar Christine reply

    I really love all of these ideas! The common thread through them all is one of service and loving on others, which is exactly the core of what meaningful date nights should be. Thank you for sharing your inspiring and refreshing perspective! Emailing this list to my hubs now!

  5. avatar Emily reply

    As a single girl with mostly married friends, #5 put a HUGE smile on my face! And also, Blakely and Curtis’ wedding is my all time favorite from the blog and when I saw their names at the top of this post I immediately got excited. So good to hear from them agian.

  6. avatar Daniel Young reply

    Curtis and Blakely are HEROS.

    Jeff is good at pictures.

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