Married Mondays - Date Nights during Covid in the Lower Mainland

 Welcome back to another Married Monday! We're going 2 for 2 today - the 2nd Married Monday up on the blog. Like last week, talking about John Gottman's 8 Dates and date ideas for during Covid and lock down'ish times here in BC. 

So if you read last week's post you now know we've ventured onto Date #2 in the book - 8 Dates and let me be honest and say, I was a little nervous for this one as it was about conflict. DUN DUN DUN..... but because the book gives you the tools to handle these tough conversations, we left our date feeling more connected. It was my turn to plan our date day, and well, with Covid being a thing - it's definitely getting creative with what is available to do, or go. I opted for us to head up to Burnaby Mountain at night for the city view and I preloaded some of our favourite music onto my phone, made us both some yummy teas and blankets for the car since it's winter. 

I did get a chuckle out of how many cars with "N"'s were chilling up at the top of the mountain with steamy windows... but I digress... I kept jokingly talking to V and saying silly things like "You better not keep me out past my curfew" pretending we were teenagers sneaking out of the house.

Dating once a week sounds really daunting (at least it did to me), so today's post is about curating some date ideas for specifically during Covid. Having a date night activity is part of making it feel different than any other night, but one thing I've learned so far with the 8 Dates book is having open ended questions that can lead into deeper conversations (que the table topics cards). 

Date Ideas during Covid:

- walking one of the many trails at Goldenears Park

- Donuts in Deepcove

-Coffee from Republica in Fort Langley and a walk on the river

- Croissants from Blacksmith Bakery in Fort Langley

- Cypress Mountain Look out

- Burnaby Mountain Look out

- Campfires at closed Camp Rec Sites (Yes, you can use this for daily use)

- BBQ on the Beach (use the bbq's at the parks)

- Drive to Harrison Lake and back (Fraser Valley Residents)

- Sea to Sky Drive to View point (VCH)

- Order take out from Tacofino Vancouver and take it to Spanish Banks

- Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate and La Farge Lake

- Picnic in the park

- Picnic on the floor in the living room

- Sign up for

- Check out edX

- Duolingo Language learning together

-Paint Night- I've always wanted to do this one, we randomly were watching YouTube videos and I found Bob Ross instructionals .. my plan is to pick up a couple canvas' and paints from the dollar store and do this at home one night with Verlon while enjoying cocktails. 

- Star Gazing -

I suggest somewhere not near the City: Pitt Meadows is great, or Squamish - Ultimately Manning Park top of the mountain is where it's at. We did this in the summer and watched a comet go by. 

- Drive In Movie - Aldergrove

- Restorative Yoga (search on Youtube)

- Tubing on Cypress Mt.

- DrinkTV @TheStaceyRoy can teach you how to make cool cocktails

- V and I use to play this game where we flipped a quarter and it decided left or right on a drive and see where we end up. In 8 Dates there's a game to follow a random car and see where it ends up. I can't help but think how that might freak the person in the other car out, but heh what if you ended up somewhere unknown?!

Here's a few suggestions - Happy Dating!



Married Mondays - Personal and No B.S.

 Welcome to Married Mondays! I don't know if this is going to be a thing, but we shall see where it goes. Likely you're in a relationship if you're here and you'll have some of the same struggles we have had in our marriage. And if there is one thing I believe in whole heartedly is that we are worthy of love and belonging within our relationships. 

2020 was a hard season on us and we're all still grieving it and in it! Our brains are tired, we're emotionally tired. It's been a lot fam! Yes, I just said "fam" because you're here - in my private space of the world - you're fam. Welcome Cuz... anyway moving on...

V and I do not have the perfect marriage. What we do have is the most perfect imperfect marriage and it got here with work. Lots of it. Work doing all the things that take effort and empathy with lots of learning curves along the way. Now does that work just happen automatically? Heck no! Amazing things take time and energy! Amazing things need time and dedication. Most of all - great and amazing marriages need to be made a priority. 

Last week I was having a check in with a friend over the phone, because we're still in a no gathering state (sup, Covid in January 2021) and she mentioned that years ago I gave her some marriage advice that I had heard regarding seasons. Your marriage has seasons which indicate what times are best to work on it. If you're barely surviving and head above water - this isn't the time to dig deep and unearth every aspect of your life. You need to get to the dock or the shore if you feel like you're drowning and then once you're safe - start unpacking what you need to do. I had completely forgotten about marriage Seasons until she re-mentioned it.

It's January of 2021 and let's just say setting goals and dreams is weird, am I right? We have basically next to zero certainty of our world and we're constantly adjusting our expectations of what life is going to look like moving forward while at the same time trying to stay in the present moment. And if you're one of my couples from 2020 or 2021 - we're all in a anxious state of - is the dance floor coming back to BC this here or are we dancing in our zoom rooms? 

One of our January goals as a couple is to dig deep into connection with one another and I was thinking I'd share some things that seem to be working for us. If you're feeling disconnected from your partner, I'm not saying this will absolutely 100% work, but for us - it sure is! We've set a weekly goal of trying to do an activity together, so far it's been making a point of going on a walk together despite it being winter. It's something so easy to do that is quality time together, we're walking and valuing our health together and fun tid bit, we're walking in the same direction - together (totally robbed this gem from John Gottman). I love that idea. 

We've also set a goal of a date night a week. Data shows that happy couples make date nights a priority once a week. Now, I scoffed when I heard this - thinking... "I see V every night, we eat dinner together, we watch tv or movies together - we don't really need a date night or are we already having a date night? But why don't I feel super connected?" The 'A Ha' moment - que the lit up light blub! I didn't feel super connected because we were 'together' but doing something separately.... watching a movie or tv, eating dinner and quickly moving along to the next thing, on our phones.... so here we are, trying to do a weekly date night. 

What does that look like? Well, we're testing out John Gottman's - 8 Dates.  I don't know if this is going to be ideal for all couples. To be honest, if you're in a real shit storm - this isn't going to cut it for you - seek a therapist asap. BUT - if you're just feeling disconnected from your spouse, this might be a great first step and I'll tell you why...

So far we've done 1 date and what I can tell you after that first week is I feel more connected to V than I have been in a long time in a different way that I don't know if I can fully explain it. We sat together on the couch and read the intro + date 1 and then flipped a coin to decide who would be planning Date #1. We picked a day and put it on the calendar and all week - I was getting legitly so excited for it. All the anticipation I felt I had missed since we were newly together dating! Come Friday night, I'm already excited and we did one of our other goals of an activity together and went for a walk at La Farge Lake in Coquitlam. They have it lit up still from Christmas till the end of the month. We were starting to pave the way to connection.

So V got it in the coin toss - he had to plan our first date. V solidly dislikes planning aka they just don't often happen unless I plan them. But he's in this with me and took care of our date night and nailed it. We followed the instructions in the book and he planned where we would go, what we would do, ample time and we brought the book to go over specific questions it asks you to do on these dates. He planned a date afternoon in woods - we went out to Goldenears Park and he brought wood for a fire at the day camp use area. He packed camping chairs, a blanket for me (I'm permanently cold always), snacks and made hot chocolate in our thermos. When he got the fire going, we sat and we went through the questions in the book and by the end of the date we felt connected and just kept rolling with that feeling. The date didn't end at the park but continued onto at home where we sat around together talking and then in our super awesomely budgeto inflatable hot tub for hours (yes, it's pretty rad and inexpensive hot tub for a 2020 pandemic purchase). It was such an awesome night to reconnect together. 

Another fun thing I've always wanted to do but finally purchased was Table Topics. I got a set for my parents this Christmas called "road trips" and my mom was raving about them. She said her and my dad started having some really great conversations with them over the holidays. I always wanted to buy a set of cards but never did until this month. We've done 1 or 2 cards a day randomly, sometimes at dinner or I've taken couple up to bed and we usually answer them while cuddling before we fall asleep. Another awesome way to connect or a great gift idea. Link here. - Table Topic's Couples Edition There's a whole bunch of Table Topics including family friendly, girls nights etc. I know for sure I'll be picking more up in the future.

Anyway, I don't know if this book or cards set would have the same effect for you as a couple, but hey, you never know and if you were feeling like you need to reconnect. Give it a go! See what happens. Investing into your marriage is always worth a shot and in the grand scheme of things $30 - is nada.



Planning a wedding during Covid-19 Lockdowns and Elopements in Vancouver, BC - Canada Elopes

 Firstly, I'd like to say congratulations to the couples who are recently engaged! What an exciting moment in your life and I'm so happy for the two of you. Making the commitment to plan your life with your future spouse is an amazing and a crazy worthwhile journey. My hope is that you have a lovely wedding whatever that looks like, but more importantly an amazing marriage. Because after all the confetti falls, your marriage is what lasts along with the photographs of the day.

Okay, Let's talk weddings - these days they are looking a little bit different with Covid-19. We're nearly one year into this Pandemic and it has highly effected planning a wedding. We've had to help couples pivot with just weeks of time to change their plans. It's been a lot. It's been gutting in a lot of ways when our couples anticipated a wedding in the traditional ways we had known. But 2020 wasn't all bad - it's refocusing on what REALLY matters. Love for people we care about and strong marriages.  Things are different and that shouldn't effect your commitment to your best friend. Expectations of a wedding pre-Covid, sadly need to be altered. But that doesn't mean you will not get to do most of the classic wedding ideals you really want to do - they might just look different then they did previously. Ultimately keeping your loved ones safe should be a priority and so adhering to your Provincial Health Authority and guidelines is important. A celebration wouldn't be the same if people we loved about had their safety at risk. Moving right along, because I know if you're here and reading this - you are a caring, loving person and already know all of that. 

In 2020, I had some of the most incredible couples who had to pivot their wedding dreams and adapt to new ideas - it didn't stop their wedding ceremonies from happening and making their vows to each other - which at the end of the day is the point of a wedding. And although celebrating is looking different right now, it's not forever. That big celebration will look different or might need to happen safely later - which is OK. We're in a weird and strange year and it's key to remember - this isn't forever, just for now. Whether you postpone or pivot your wedding to adapt to guidelines, there is no right or wrong way to get married. Ultimately, do whatever honours you both as a couple. That is the most important piece of the puzzle. And we're here to help you in this uncertain time. We've got your back. 

We've been fortunate enough to have been apart of some amazing small elopements that were really magical and intimate. Dancing in an empty ballroom for two to their first dance song, vows on the rooftop of the Empress Hotel, ceremonies by the ocean at sunset and on the beach, and under umbrellas with parents beside them. The magic isn't in the big party - the magic is in your vows to each other. Remember that. The big celebration can happen later and just may have to look differently. The smaller the wedding, the more intimate and quality time you spend with those who are present. Honestly, you wouldn't necessarily be able to have that quality time with family during a big wedding - I know, I had one (2015). But yes, there is something special about having all your family and friends together in one room - there for you. And we are creatures of connection and some of those gathering moments are incredibly important but ultimately safety comes first - and when we can gather again - I promise you, those celebrations are going to be more amazing than ever before. We know we took gathering for granted, and that is now changing. Relationships and connection are more important than ever. So do not worry about having the celebration later - everyone will want to be there. Both ways of getting married are magical and different. It's important to weigh this out when deciding how to plan for 2021 and possibly 2022. Whether planning for 2021 or waiting - it's a personal decision. What I do know is I wouldn't wait to marry my best friend and hope to plan for a celebration when possible later (plus, that means I get to wear a fancy dress 2x... and I do love the idea of 2x the fun and more fancy dresses and shoes... what can I say... I like pretty things).

Helping you plan an intimate wedding ceremony for 2021 is something I'd be honoured to do. If you want to get married in the Mountains, on the ocean, or in a forest - we know lots of amazing local places that can make this happen with some amazing vendors. That amazing floral that was out of the budget before? Now, go all out - why not! Just because your wedding may need to be small to happen, this affords the luxury of going all out on some fun aesthetics if that is important to you. Want to be surrounded by candles? Do it. You don't need to play downsize everything if you don't want to for your ceremony. And when things resume, let's plan that amazing celebration that everyone will be so excited to be apart of later. Have fun with your elopement and do it any which way you want to! This is an opportunity for ideas and creativity. Want to have your feet in the ocean and then go to the top of a mountain at sunset? Always wanted to go sailing? Dreamed of Snowy Peaks? Elopement with a helicopter? A 5 Star Resort that wouldn't be possible for a big wedding? Waterfalls? I'm an idea girl, and I can help you elope in 2021. Let's chat about these amazing ways you can get married.


Golden Eagle Golf Course - Micro Weddings with Sky Helicopters Elopement

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Elopement
Parq Hotel Elopement - Planning by Filosophi Events
Victoria, BC Adventure Session
Snowy Kelowna Mountain Photos - October 2020

Sailboating Adventure Session

Fairmont Empress Hotel Elopement

Featured On: Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine - Golden Eagle Golf Course - Pitt Meadows, BC