On the day of your wedding you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief as all your dreams and plans come all fall together. With your stomach full of butterflies of anticipation, chances are you’re finally feeling all those big emotions of what this day means. And the one person you want to share all those emotions with, won’t be seeing you till the fun begins.
One of our favorite wedding day traditions is exchanging a handwritten letter with your partner before seeing each other for the first look or taking your walk down the aisle. It’s an amazing way to kick off the most memorable day of your life. And while it should be sweet and from the heart, it doesn’t always have to be soppy if that’s not you.
“It’s important to write out our feelings because very often we take it for granted that our partners know how we feel, when they may not,” explains marriage therapist Dr. Jane Greer. “It’s heartening to receive words of love in print because then you have the opportunity to read it over and over again. It’s a way to constantly feel the love whenever you need it. This is particularly important on your wedding day because it’s the day where you declare your love, and part of that is putting your love in writing as a way to have it endure for all time.”
So, what do I even say in the letter? How long should it be?
Guess what? There’s no secret sauce or perfect way to write your letter. There’s only the words, the stories, the promises, and the memories that you personalize and tell from your hearts. Not only is it an amazing keepsake once the big day is over, but it’s also something that reminds them of you and what this journey is all about. We tell our couples all the time to keep the main thing the main thing. And exchanging letters is a beautiful way to get your hearts and minds focused on what this day is really about.
WRITERS BLOCK PREVENTION
Chances are you’ll be stumped when it comes time to sit down and start writing these special letters to one another. How could you possibly write down everything that this person means to you? What if I sound like a jumbled mess? I’ve never actually put these emotions into words and it’s kind of overwhelming. Don’t worry. We’ve got some simple prompts and thoughts to help you stay the course.
- Share Why You Love Them
Probably one of the most important things to share with your partner, but also a great starting point to get the words flowing. Why do you unconditionally love this person and want to spend every moment for the rest of your life with them? Think of how much your heart fills up with you get to hear encouraging, empowering and affirming words about yourself. Now’s your chance to fill someone else’s bucket with that same feeling.
2. What are Your Hopes for How The Day Will Go?
Don’t be afraid to tell it like it is. Laugh about the silly things you’ve made a big deal about in the planning process (too soon?) and describe how it will feel the moment you see each other for the first time. What movie plays in your head when you think about it? One thing that’s for sure is your wedding day will be gone in the blink of an eye. So slowing time down before it even starts can begin by starting to feel every moment completely. Maybe your biggest hope is that you won’t fall flat on your face on the dance floor or that your cousin (who will remain nameless) doesn’t get wasted. Or perhaps you’ve been making threats about how the cake cutting is going to go down? Whether you want to talk about what that walk down the aisle represents to you or how much this day would have meant to family member who has passed, this part of your letter prepares both your hearts for what the day could be.
3. Include a Few Promises for Your Future Together #CoupleGoals
There’s a chance you might already be sharing personal vows during the ceremony, but if not this is a great time to make some heartfelt promises to each other. And if you’re already saving the sentimental stuff for later, than cut loose and make promises that are crazy funny, like eating ice cream in bed or have a safe word to get out of family gatherings. Jeremy and I promised to make each other laugh every day and dance together every night. It may seem silly, but to this day we still have dance parties with our kids in the kitchen, and it’s amazing.
4. Share the Moment you Fell in Love
There’s an ah ha moment that I think every couple experiences, and sometimes you have lots of them along the way. But when you close your eyes and think back to a specific moment that you knew you were fall in loving or a memory of a time you knew they were your forever person, the one you were going to marry. It could be a night of long talks walking by the lake or after a game night that had you laughing till it hurt, but sharing about these moments brings you back to that time when love first sparked. And walking into your marriage with the opportunity to look at where you’ve come from and where you are going is a very powerful thing.
5. Wrap Up Your Letter with How They Inspire You
A great way to end your letter is to share a memory or moment when you felt the proudest of your partner. What qualities did they expose when you saw them really strive for something and succeed. Perhaps they conquered a life-long dream or overcame an obstacle that seemed impossible. Sharing a time when they inspired you, motivated you, or just made you feel like you’re with the kind of person that’s going to push you toward your goals in life. WOW! That’s powerful. I know when Jeremy and I got married, we promised to put each other’s dreams before our own. Cause when you always know you have someone in your court pushing you to be better, there’s really no way you can fail.
Here are Some Tips to Set You Up For Success
Speak from the heart and be yourself.
Writing like it’s you and your voice can sometimes be challenging. But do your best to just brain dump all your thoughts and emotions exactly as they come out. Don’t edit yourself. And don’t be afraid to include small details. Embrace every reason you love them both big and small.
Put your phone away while you work on this important task. It deserves your full attention and without interruptions from notifications, text messages and phone updates.
Handwritten is Key
No matter how bad your handwriting is, this is one letter that needs to be hand-written.
Invest in Nice Stationary
It doesn’t have to be over the top, but writing on something with intentionality can not only ensure your words don’t get lost in the shuffle, but also that it can stand the test of time. Sorry guys, a paper napkin just won’t do.
Make a List of Everything You Want to Mention
To make sure you don’t leave anything out, consider making a list of all the things you want to include in the letter. Or, you might even find it helpful to use voice-to-text to get all your thoughts out. Then handwrite your “final draft” after you’ve composed it in the app.
Have Somewhere to Keep Notes
Maybe your list is on your phone or in a journal? You never know when inspiration can strike and you don’t want to forget while you’re shopping or watching your favorite show. So don’t be afraid to quickly pause and write down your thoughts, so you can come back to it later.
Set Aside a Quiet Time to Complete the Letter
When you write the letter is completely up to you. Some people like to actually write it that day and while that probably is when the emotions are fresh and the planning isn’t cluttering your mind, it’s also likely that you don’t have the margin to really take the time to write this uninterrupted. We recommend the night before or if you think it might take a while to focus, give yourself time and try writing earlier in the week.
Wedding Day Delivery
Be sure to arrange for a family member or person from your wedding party knows to “deliver” the letter to your partner on the morning of your wedding.
BONUS TIP: There is something special about addressing each other for the first time as “husband” or “wife.” Simply referring to each other in this way can make things even more real and exciting.
WHEN SHOULD WE READ THE LETTERS?
We’ve seen couples read these letters first thing in the morning as the day is beginning and other couples read them back to back before their first look. As filmmakers we love being a part of this special moment and typically recommend reading them when we first arrive so you have time for “touchups” after. Reading your letter’s for us privately is a huge part of your day and really helps us tell your love story in a way few things can. With this incredibly personal and special moment, we are able to take your heartfelt words and weave them into your wedding day highlight film.
Looking for more Wedding Day Inspiration? Check out other real life couples and watch their wedding day unfold on the BG Blog.
Are you looking for a wedding cinematography team to retell this amazing day with a cinematic wedding film? We would love to be there and capture all the tears, laughter and fun of this special day. Let’s connect and see if were the right team for you.