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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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I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt this way, but after reading Molly and Eric’s real wedding interview for their feature in V7, I kind of wanted them to be my best friends! The couple behind Maggie Louise Bridal is sweet, hilarious, thoughtful, and totally smitten with each other, and especially knowing how hard they work together to serve darling Memphis brides, I was excited to find out how they relaxed and reconnected. I hope y’all enjoy reading about their favorite dates as much as I did!

Thanks so much to Jon Sharman Photography for these fabulous photos!

By day: Soon after celebrating our first anniversary in April, we had a lot of big life changes in the career category! Eric finished his Master’s degree in May, and shortly after, he joined me full-time at our bridal boutique, Maggie Louise!! Since opening the boutique back in 2012, Eric has been behind the scenes, helping me grow this sweet blessing into what it is today. After lots of prayer and consideration, he decided to join me in this crazy adventure, and life hasn’t been the same since. As a couple who now lives, commutes, and works together, we’ve experienced a lot of changes over the last year and a tremendous amount of growth as a husband and wife team. It has been so rewarding to watch God’s plan for our lives unfold and to do what we love together. But, we’ve also realized just how important it is to unwind and escape together for a date night!!!
Where they live: We live in Memphis, Tennessee in a downtown loft that has a rooftop overlooking our wonderful city. Memphis is full of live music, grounded with tons of history, and growing rapidly before our eyes. We love living downtown during this season of life and being able to walk to some of our most favorite places.

Their love story: Eric and I were introduced in college back in 2007 and I fell for him at first sight. We remained friends for several years, and in 2010, we had our “first date.” I was doing a pretty good job of playing hard to get, so he asked if he could simply pick me up for Sonic. I have never gotten so dressed up to go to America’s Drive-In, but I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing him pull into my driveway. To this day, it is still one of my favorite dates because it is so us–we like to keep things simple, and it reminds me to enjoy the little moments together that make life so much fun. We were engaged in September 2013 and married the following April. Eric even earned some extra brownie points when he showed up at Maggie Louise in May with a Route 44 PowerAde Slush in hand to celebrate our five years together.
Their wedding: We got married on April 4, 2014 at ACRE, a cozy Southern home that was turned into a modern fine dining restaurant in East Memphis. Our goal for our wedding (and every day in marriage!) was to keep it simple, have a good time, and honor the Lord. We are still so very honored to have our special day featured in Southern Weddings V7–click over to read all about it here.

Molly and Eric’s five favorite date nights:

1. Home sweet home: Sometimes, our days quickly turn into nights, so being home can be good for the soul. Since dinner plans are occasionally on a whim, we are thankful to have some of the best restaurants right in our backyard. Our ideal date night at home would be to bring home a lobster pizza from Spindini and eat it on our rooftop, overlooking the Mississippi River. We choose to end the night with dessert from our favorite bakery, Muddy’s, and, more than likely, a Netflix movie!

2. Summer concert and subs to go: One of the best summer date nights in Memphis takes place at the Levitt Shell–an outdoor venue that hosts free concerts with up-and-coming local artists. We love to grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and a sub from Fino’s (our all-time favorite Italian deli in Midtown). I couldn’t ask for more than live music with the one I love as the sun sets over the city.

3. Celebration/splurge date night: The best date night memory I have was a last-minute surprise from Eric to celebrate some exciting things going on in our lives. We walked to a fancy restaurant downtown that both of us had always wanted to try and enjoyed dinner on the outdoor patio, complete with café lights and a bottle of rosé. That night in particular reminded me of how lucky I am to do life with my best friend, and that is worth every penny!

4. High-speed date night: 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!

5. Sunday funday: Sundays end up being the sweetest days for us together. We love starting the morning at our church home, beating the crowd to our favorite brunch spot, and spending the afternoon at our home, whether that means taking naps or just taking the entire day slow. Since we work at the boutique on Saturdays, Sundays are sacred–they are our day to unwind and refresh for the week ahead.

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!

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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 :)

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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