Weddings & Life with Taylor Nicole, a podcast by Denver Wedding Photographer,
Taylor Nicole Photography
Intro: Wedding planning is stressful, or so at least we’ve all been told right? But then again isn’t planning your wedding supposed to be about joining your lives together and the start of a new season? So then we don’t want to let the stress of wedding planning take away from quality time and communication as a couple preparing for marriage. I am passionate about intentionally dating your spouse and I think wedding planning itself creates many unique opportunities for date nights and intentional conversations together. And on the other side, planning intentional date nights while you’re wedding planning can hopefully ease some of the stress too! So if you’re ready for my list of date night ideas while wedding planning, cheesy or not then keep listening!
So quickly before I dive into the episode I thought I’d share that we completed our first weekend of busy season this year. My associate team and I served five couples over the last weekend, so as you’re listening to this when it comes out just know that I am actually behind my computer screens (yes I use both my laptop and desktop in busy season) working the days away before our next wedding. In fact in just a couple days Austin and I are heading out to North Carolina (where we used to live) to photograph Luke and Sarah’s wedding. Now something I have not shared anywhere just yet- this Saturday will be my 200th wedding I have photographed. If you’re a stickler for details know that this marks 200 weddings that I have been the lead photographer of myself. So this is not counting weddings I assisted as I was learning or any of my associate photographer’s weddings. Whew it’s a big deal and I am so excited. In fact I am planning next week’s episode to be a sort of recap covering the stories I’ve seen and things I’ve learned over the last 200 weddings. Very excited to see how that turns out and for you all to get to listen! I truly have the best job in the world and it will be fun to brag on all of my awesome clients and ways I’ve grown through the last 9 years.
Okay so this is a fun episode that I’ve been a little nervous to write only because I am not a dating expert. My husband and I don’t have children and our schedules, while they are difficult we do get a lot of uninterrupted time together. When we are in the same state anyways, for anyone who doesn’t know my husband works in NE Arizona about 14-16 days per month so we do a heck of a lot of traveling to see each other especially this time of year when I am working consistently out of the house. Aka not behind my computer like I am all Winter. We have experienced a lot of long distance after marriage, which is not something we expected or wanted at all, but here we are and we have figured out how to prioritize each other through intentional date times to really make the most of the time we actually have together. Well, mostly anyways, it’s a continual work in progress. One day I will write an episode about just normal date night ideas, but for now in an effort to really fill this podcast with helpful wedding related goodness I will focus this on date nights to plan while you are wedding planning.
I have no idea how many I will come up with here so this will be fun to start listing out!
- Engagement session date night!
- So obviously as a photographer I think your engagement session is the perfect excuse for a date night. You’re all dressed up and you feel great why not go out for a fun meal or dancing after. (I am 1000% out of my wheelhouse when I say dancing because I don’t and can’t even when it comes to dancing)
- Date day shopping for attire (session or wedding)
- So maybe you need to go out and shop for your engagement outfits or select menswear. Make a fun mall day together and support each other in the process. Or if you already know you hate shopping together then take a friend instead and save your future spouse the misery. It’s all about knowing each other friends!
- Visiting your wedding venue date day, go find local fun places near your venue to enjoy, and you can add these to your wedding website or details for your guests to know too. Maybe local coffee shops, hikes, restaurants, book stores ect.
- Registry shopping date day
- You have to make a registry somehow, so make the most of it. Go get your favorite drinks, run through your stores dreaming of what your home will look like when it is redecorated to some extent, then when you’re finished go out for lunch or dinner and chat about what life will look like together after the wedding. If you’re moving in together there are lots of changes ahead and if not talk about your goals for the next season after wedding planning.
- Working out together
- Okay so I mention this truly because I learned to love working out and being active with my husband while we were dating and engaged. I had a hit or miss record with working out and body image before we met and Austin grew up going to the gym and being active. I want to say that by no means does anyone need to lose weight or change their appearance before their wedding days. I never ever want to imply that! But if you or one of you enjoys working out this could be the gym, biking/cycling, running or taking classes then this could be a fun way to join in their hobbies or do your hobby together. And if both of you are new to being more active you could sign up to take the same classes together at a gym or something like orange theory (I really want to try orange theory one day. I will say that for myself when I am consistently active I end up sleeping better and I think that helped me with wedding planning stresses too. But seriously to reiterate again no one needs to lose weight or change themselves before their wedding days, I would like to end that narrative for good if possible.
- Cake tasting, catering tastings and wine tastings
- I asked around on instagram about wedding related date nights and this was one of the most popular ideas or what others have done. So if you have to go out and taste the cake or catering menu make the most out of it! Dress up, take time to laugh together and enjoy the parts of wedding planning that really spoil you like having great food together! I also saw wine tastings on a list online and thought that could be a fun way to discover what you like or wine you would like to serve. Not going to lie this is a bit of a shot in the dark for myself as we didn’t have any tastings and wine puts me immediately into a coma so a wine tasting would result in Austin driving me home as I snore! But it is a nice fancy and fun thought / something to try!
- Apartment shopping (if you’re moving post wedding)
- Whether you’re moving in together after the wedding or just planning to move in general after the wedding you will need to arrange to go look at apartments or houses. It’s not the most glamorous day of setting up tours or walk throughs but it can be a fun day to dream together about what your future holds! Personally I try to turn anything into a date night when I dress up a bit myself, and I remember we were apartment shopping after our wedding and we tried to make it a fun day of exploring our new city with fun drinks and wide eyes as we realized how much rent was going to be honestly haha! Talk about a together experience though, and you have to have fairly intentional conversation because it’s a big decision you have to make together!
- Dance lessons
- If you are having dance lessons to learn a special first dance together or just to brush up before your wedding day this can be a great date night! Dress up and then go out to your favorite restaurant after or at least for ice cream or something!
- Choosing your wedding songs music night
- If you need to make a song list for your DJ or live band try making a romantic fancy dinner at home together and listen to pandora stations or YouTube videos. Look up wedding song lists online and play through some to try to decide if the style suits you as a couple and your wedding day vision. It’s also a great excuse to dance together which is always romantic!
- DIY cocktails to create signature drinks for your reception
- I am out of my wheelhouse on this idea again as a few different flavored margaritas are about as into cocktails as I’ve gotten, BUT I did come up with this idea on my own I have to say. I see super cute signature or custom drinks at wedding receptions and I think learning to mix and trying some new combinations could be so fun especially if that related to your wedding drinks. And maybe your drink service has a list of cocktails they offer you could also go out and try some on the list to see which ones you’d like to serve your guests.
- Honeymoon planning
- This is a fun wedding yet non wedding item to tackle together. If you’re a trip planning type! Doing online research and dreaming could be so fun. Or you could research which travel agent to ask to book it for you and celebrate over dinner looking at the resort/location’s website!
- A staycation
- plan a day completely in your own home/town. If everything feels too busy to take days off then try to plan a fun fancy breakfast together so you get to enjoy time together set apart in the mornings.
- By the time Austin and I were engaged I was already stealing every chance I had to get time with him. I remember mornings where I would wake up ridiculously early, get ready and go over to his apartment to have coffee together before he had to go to the university for work.
- Rehearsal dinner scouting (aka eating out!)
- If you are looking for a rehearsal dinner location you might as well try out a few of the restaurant options for yourself too! I think a lot of wedding planning date nights are actually just wedding excuses to prioritize and treat each other
- Pre-marital counseling talks-
- Okay so I am not sure how many people actually do this anymore. I did with Austin and we loved how it got us on the same page about so many of our goals and expectations moving forward from our wedding. So if you are doing premarital counseling make the homework side of things intentional and doing that together, and then if you are not doing the counseling try dinner together one evening and making it an intentional conversation night about goal night getting on the same page about life goals big and small. I will say getting on the same for now, because life can throw curveballs and plans need to change sometimes.
- No wedding talk date days
- challenge yourselves to go do something outrageously fun- canoeing, mini golf, living room dancing, board game nights, a picnic and not speak about the wedding once while you’re out
- The reverse of the last
- plan a picnic or learn to cook your favorite meals together and set a timer with a wedding task list- maybe you need to revise your guest list, choose your colors and reach out to 3 potential florists and caterers. Can you do that in 2 hours while you enjoy dinner and dessert? After the two hours put it away and know you got done what you needed to!
Now I just realized that the last episode was about send off ideas and I came up with 16 ideas, and this week I came up with 16 date nights… Apparently 16 is a theme lately! Anyways, I hope that was a fun list to listen too. I am leaving the date night ideas in the show notes and the whole episode is typed out on the blog post too. I want to challenge you to date your fiancé, I think that’s a great way to set yourself up in a pattern to continue dating for the rest of your lives. It’s cheesy but necessary! Thanks for listening to another episode I’m excited to share with you again next week!