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If you’re looking for weekend date night inspiration that is inexpensive, fun, and memorable, then you’re in luck, because today’s Southern Newlywed couple is dishing up just that! Brandee and Rhett’s favorite way to reconnect is to simply lug their handmade coffee table (don’t miss the story behind it below!) out to their backyard and set up a picnic with whatever was already on their dinner menu. It’s an idea that couldn’t be easier to do on short notice, and I know we’re all excited to recreate this sweet evening with our own beaus–extra points for eating off of wedding china or following dinner with a fancy dessert!

Thank you so much to Carolynn Seibert for these sweet images!

By day: Brandee is an artist and Rhett is a realtor.
Where they live: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

How they met: Rhett and I met when I was a senior in high school and he was a junior is college. I didn’t think much of it until a mutual friend of ours told us separately that we needed to get to know each other, because she thought we would be a great fit. She even said that she could see us getting married! I thought she was crazy at first, but Rhett and I started hanging out, became friends, started dating, and three years later, we became husband and wife!

Their wedding: We were married on Rhett’s parents’ property in Covington, Louisiana on March 23, 2013, and it was the most dreamy day. They have huge fields and a massive red wooden barn, so we had the ceremony in the front field and the reception in the barn and back fields. Most people say rain on your wedding day is awful, but I would have to disagree. It rained on our wedding day, and it was still the most beautiful outdoor wedding in history, or at least, that’s what Rhett and I think! We had all of our closest family and friends there, and the day was filled with love, laughter, dancing, and tons of good food. The menu included fried chicken, a mashed potato bar, biscuits and gravy, cornbread, pies, and cobblers. It was a big, Southern, vintage barn wedding, and it was the best day of our lives!

Brandee and Rhett’s top five favorite date ideas:

1. Picnic in our 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.
2. Coffee date: Magpie Café is a precious coffee shop in our town that serves handmade pastries and food. They use all local ingredients and they have the best coffee in town.
3. Barnes and Noble: Sometimes, Rhett and I like to grab Starbucks and go sit in a Barnes and Noble to read the iSpy and Where’s Waldo books. You can read the books in the store, and all you pay for is coffee!
4. Local cuisine. Bistro Byrons is a local restaurant that serves authentic Louisiana food. Rhett and I love to go there for a more fancy date night.
5. Takeout in the park: We love getting Cane’s and bringing it to the park to eat, and then getting snowballs for dessert!

A little reminder: 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
  1. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    That coffee table is beautiful and the outdoor picnic idea is charming. What a great way to slow down and enjoy!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    I love these ideas! My husband and I like to look at the I Spy books at Barnes and Noble too :)

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One of my favorite parts about sharing the behind the scenes details of our editorial shoots is remembering all the work that went into creating the “effortless” beauty that ends up in the pages of the magazine. For example, on this particular hot day in July, I served as a movie narrator, kid wrangler, dog walker, and blanket fluffer, among other things:

Of course, I was far from the only person working hard! Some folks were busy looking pretty, thanks to Opulent Couturier and Studio BBC:

There were shots to be puzzled over and details toted, things to hang and things to straighten.

If you’re wondering if it’s a coincidence that we all appear to have dressed to match the color scheme… it’s not :)

Of course, most importantly, things had to be photographed! Sometimes multiple times, for good measure (or instagram).

Speaking of photography, Nancy Ray knocked it out of the park with one of our longest shot lists of the year on one of our hottest shoot days of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone sweat so much in my life, but of course, she still managed to look perfectly chic! (How??)

Even Nancy’s composure, however, was tried once we started wrangling our six pint-size participants. Truthfully, they were all very well-behaved, even if one did run for the hills at one point (yes, literally – see below!)

At the end of a long, hot shoot day like this one, the only thing most of us want to do is jump in a cool body of water. This doesn’t usually happen, but in Nashville, it did! At least for our two brave groomsmen. Major kudos to them for braving the algae and snapping turtles to get this shot!

Between the lake jump, sprinklers, kids, ice cream cones, turtles, food trucks, and sparklers, we knew this was one shoot we had to be able to relive in moving picture. Big hugs to Nicholas & Keaton for producing our behind the scenes film!

Don’t miss the final images and all of the talented vendors from this shoot, which you can see right here! And a huge hug to Callie of Nancy Ray Photography for all of these lovely behind the scenes images!

P.S. Cover shoot behind the scenes!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The behind the scenes looks just as fun as the “wedding!” Love the video, too!

  2. avatar Ashlee Little reply

    This is my favorite editorial in V7!! The behind the scenes video was great. Well done, ladies!

  3. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    I love this post so much! Mostly because my wonderful wedding planners, Amber and Jessica are featured here and so is my fiance! Best post ever!

  4. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    I absolutely love getting to see and read about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a lovely editorial shoot such as this one! Thank you for sharing this and the video :)

  5. avatar Haley Faye Malone reply

    I could watch these behind the scenes videos all day! Absolutely loved this one! Y’all are precious and doing wonderful things!

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: