10 Date Night Ideas to To Melt Away the Wedding Planning Stress
They say that every little girl grows up dreaming about her perfect wedding (we have mixed thoughts on this, but that’s another blog for another day), but no one has ever said, EVER, that every little girl grows up dreaming about the long hours, tight wallet, and late nights that go into planning that dream wedding. Trust me, I checked. It’s just a fact of the game that planning is stressful and will take a toll on everyone involved. While wedding planning is generally attributed to the bride, rather than the groom (again, another blog for another day) (I’m serious, it’s on the way), the stress can weigh heavily on both sets of shoulders. It sinks into the couch between you, nuzzling in, getting comfortable, taking up all the blankets, leg room, and popcorn during your movie. It makes itself at home, sometimes to the point that it becomes an unwelcome, even unnoticed, houseguest after a long enough stay. Stress is toxic. Nothing sucks the life out of a carefree, spontaneous romance quite like looking over budgets and solidifying a guest list. In fact, many couples will find that the actual logistics of planning a wedding tend to overcast the joy of being engaged. It’s definitely no fun to be newly engaged, excited for a life together, but caught in the web of stress that surrounds wedding planning.
If you’ve found yourself and your S/O in the pre “I do” doldrums, you’re not alone. It may seem overwhelming, and you may feel your feet growing chilly as the stress settles on your skin, but trust us when we say that every moment of planning your wedding is worth it for the right person. Because we believe so firmly in this, we have decided to make a short and sweet list of ten date night (or morning, or afternoon) ideas to melt away this wedding planning stress, even if only for a couple of hours. So sit up, shake it out, and share your favorite idea with your betrothed, because you’re definitely due a date!
1. Get Artsy
What gets your creative juices flowing more than a bite from the love bug? Grab your favorite person and head out in pursuit of something to create! Some of our favorite recommendations local to the Lakeland area are PicassoZ Art Cafe (located conveniently close to another one of our LKLD faves: Tea Largo. Acai anyone?) and Painting with a Twist. If a little buzz in your brush isn’t enough twist for you, think of turning your artist’s evening into a friendly competition, seeing who can make the most successful piece of art. If you’re more of a sweetheart than a competitor, though, worry not! Consider making your creations for each other as an early wedding gift. Use your works of art to commemorate your last months before married life.
If you and your boo are bargain hunters, this is so perfect for you. Explore a trusted establishment, or find a thrift that you haven’t been to before and find something new, unique, and delightfully cheap for your new home together! We love a good deal almost as much as we love a wedding registry. What’s even better about thrifting is that you can take it as seriously as you want, which means if you’re not on the hunt for any real finds, you could see who can pick out the most ridiculous outfit. If you’re really feeling out there, pick out an outfit for each other and wear it out for an ice cream cone or walk around the lake. The memory of so many laughs will probably last longer than anything you’ll find in the store.
3. Working out
The idea surrounding getting married that you have to have the best body of your life in order to feel confident on the big day is straight trash. That being said, it is so important to take care of yourselves, and one another, especially during such a stressful season. Keep your eye out for local couples fitness classes (we are partial to couple’s kickboxing at The Balance Culture, which pops up every now and then and is DEFINITELY what you need to kick the wedding stress). If group fitness isn’t your thing, opt for an age old Lakeland favorite: walk around the lake! While Lake Hollingsworth is an obvious option, we’d also like to put in a plug for some other fantastic LKLD walking spots: Lake Mirror, Circle B, Colt Creek State Park Trail, and Saddle Creek Park Trail.
4. Couples spa day
Listen up: it’s 2019 and spas aren’t just for women! With all the advances in technology and methodology surrounding proper skincare and nutrition, there’s really no reason not to visit a spa at least once in your life! Treat yourself to a facial, a massage, a body scrub, or even just a relaxing sit in the sauna. Couples spa days are a great way to relax with one another, remembering what it feels like to simply sit in each other’s company, rather than constantly ironing out details and working towards a goal.
5. Find Your Green Thumb
Perhaps the most symbolic thing you can do to commemorate this new season of life you’re entering with your fiance/fiancee: plant something. What a great metaphor for the journey you’re starting! Whether it’s grabbing a few cacti and succulents and creating a potted garden, planting a tree in the backyard, or even planting some herbs that you can use when you cook dinner for each other (for like… ever!!), putting something in the soil will definitely be a great way to begin your life together. (**important!!!! In no way should you panic if your plant pal isn’t long lived. This is not a bad sign, it probably just means you’re over or under watering!)
6. Wine tasting/brewery tour
Of all the things on this list, if you’re looking for something to really take the edge off, this is it! If you’re looking for a brewery, check out Swan Brewing here in Lakeland, Cigar City in Tampa, or Coppertail in Tampa. We would also recommend looking into taking a brewery tour! Generally speaking, they are inexpensive, informative, and full of yummy samples. Sometimes you even walk away with a free mug (and no one knows the joy of the word “free” like two people planning a wedding, can I get an amen?)
7. Game night
If you want to bring in some friends to help you ease the tension of wedding planning, go for game night! Some of our favorites lately are What Do You Meme, Quiplash, and Censored. Bonus points if anyone out there actually knows the rules to True American (where are my New Girl fans at?) because we’d love to hear all about how that goes IRL. If you want to opt for a more intimate game night, there are plenty of 1-1 games you can play. Card games like Gin Rummy, or a throwback to our youth with a good old Mario Kart tournament are our go-to’s.
8. Be dog walkers for a day
This one is pretty much self-selling, isn’t it? If you have a four legged best man or maid of honor, get them outside with you! If not, ask around for friends who have dogs and would be willing to let you borrow them for a walk or a trip to one of Lakeland’s pet friendly locations, such as The Poor Porker, Palace Pizza, Patio850, Reddoor, or Black and Brew! Another fun option is to join a dog walking app (I know, right?) such as Rover, or Wag!. Did we mention you can even make money doing this? You’re welcome.
9. Lazy day in
This is probably something you’ve done before, but it might not be something you’ve done in a long time. It’s okay, we get it! Wedding planning is a busy time, and you may have found yourself out and about more lately than you’re accustomed to. Use this as an excuse to grab some of your favorite takeout, turn your phone and laptop OFF, throw some movies on the que, and snuggle up. Building a pillow fort is an added bonus! Seriously, has anyone ever regretted building a fort? We don’t think so either.
10. Beach trip
Our last recommendation is a Florida classic! Nothing literally melts the stress away quite like a steaming beach day. Load up the cooler, grab your favorite shades, and sink your toes into the hot sand. Some of our favorite beaches are Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Reddington, Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna, Siesta Key… the list could go on. For a fun twist, go to a beach you’ve never been to before! You can’t go wrong with a beach day, truly.