Hi, all you love birds out there! In case you haven’t noticed, today is January 31st. Do you know what that means? That means it’s FOURTEEN days til February 14th. And in case you’re in a winter fog, February 14th is VALENTINE’S DAY. You have fourteen little days to get ready!
No pressure, right??
I’m one of those people who really, really loves Valentine’s Day. I’m a super romantic person. I collect hearts all year long, I LOVE roses and chocolate, and flinging sweet, pretty cards around makes me happy. I just like loving on people, y’all. There’s all kinds of ways you can communicate love to your people, but if you were to ask me for ideas on what you could give your sweetie this Valentine’s Day, this is what I would tell you:
Write your sweetheart a real love letter.
With a pen.
On actual PAPER.
I can totally imagine your thoughts right now. “That’s nice, if you’re good at writing. I can’t write an email, much less a love letter! The Hallmark people do a LOT better job than I can!” Okay, I get it, but stay with me a little longer.
Y’all, a handwritten letter is a beautiful, rare gift, and it’s not as hard to write one as you think.
We live in the era of text messages and emojis, and don’t get me wrong, I love me some kissy and heart emojis! But the problem with living in the era of emails, texts, and Snapchat is this: our written “I love you’s” have become kind of shallow. And they don’t LAST, y’all.
You can’t dig a dusty box of text messages out of the attic and relive the earliest moments of your relationship.
A text message doesn’t preserve your loved one’s quirky, messy, or beautiful handwriting.
Your children and grandchildren can’t re-read your old texts and discover how you fell in love with each other.
Also, you can’t save all your text messages or Snapchats and use them as beautiful wedding decor. Just look below to see how Katy-Whitten and Brandon completely WON with this idea for their amazing backyard wedding!
Love letters have staying power, y’all. They matter.
And since they matter, they take a little effort. I know, because I’ve written a few! It’s not easy to find the right words. And most of us haven’t really written ANYTHING since college! We’re not in the habit of putting our thoughts on paper anymore. But so what if our letters won’t compare to Shakespeare’s? To your sweetheart, a letter from your heart will be a forever treasure!
Don’t worry, now that I’ve totally pressured you into maybe trying to write your own love letter, I’m not going to leave you hanging!
Here are a few tips to make writing that precious letter easier.
… but before reading those, take a peek at a beautiful moment during Lindsey and Alex’s wedding day, a moment that happened thanks to two little heartfelt letters.
Lindsey says their letter exchange was one of her favorite moments of their wedding day!
How to Write a Love Letter in the 21st Century:
Get a pen and some paper. And envelopes, don’t forget those. Buy a nice pen you can stand to write with. Seriously, it makes a difference! Just plain old notebook paper is fine, but if you want to spring for some beautiful paper to write on, go for it! (Extra points if you dab a little cologne or perfume on it.)
Play your favorite love song playlist and brainstorm ideas. Write them down on a scrap piece of paper before diving into the real thing.
Don’t overthink it. Just write the way you talk, and don’t worry about having perfect penmanship or grammar or spelling.
What are some things you admire about your sweetheart? What are his or her strengths that you appreciate? What strength of theirs helps you?
Celebrate their idiosyncrasies. “Idiosyncrasy” is just a fancy word for their personal weirdness! This might be a tough one, so here are two examples from my and Jonathan’s relationship. I have a habit of not closing cabinet doors when I’m in the kitchen. I literally forget I opened them, y’all! So when I leave the kitchen, it looks like a scene from Poltergeist. Jonathan thinks this is cute… annoying, but cute. One of Jonathan’s idiosyncrasies? When he’s barefoot and lounging on the couch, he wiggles his toes. CONSTANTLY. I tell him his feet look like sea anemones. It’s adorable.
Say “thank you,” and be specific. It can be for great big things like supporting you through a really hard time, or it can be for little things, like running to Dollar General at 9 pm to get toothpaste. Just find several things that maybe you tend to take for granted, and let your sweetie know that you noticed.
Commit to change. This is BIG. And don’t you dare commit to make a change or address an issue if you aren’t going to follow up on it! Example: “I know leaving my shoes scattered around the house really bothers you. From now on, if they’re not on my feet, they’re in the closet. Because I really, really love you.”
Get a little physical. Yep! Describe what you love about your sweetheart physically. It’s up to you how spicy you want to get, but remember, the idea is that a love letter is a little time machine. Don’t write anything you don’t want your kids reading some day! Again, be specific. Jonathan wrote a letter to me while we were dating, and I will cherish it forever for this reason: he told me he loved the way I walked. I had never thought about how I walked, y’all, but apparently, to him I was graceful! Suddenly I felt SO special and set apart! I still think about that letter often, and yes, I still have it!
Write out your hopes and dreams for your life together. This is a good way to finish your letter! Where do you see the two of you in five years? Ten years? Fifty years?
Plan the moment. When and how are you going to give your letter? Are you mailing it? Will you read it to them, or let them read it? Will you put it inside a book of love poems, or tie it to a bouquet? Or will you present it in a keepsake box, like the one Coleman made for Kathryn? (hint, hint!)
So what do you think? Are you going to go for it and become one of the last, great writers of love letters? We’re getting kind of rare these days, but it’s totally worth it! I can’t wait to see the sweet letters that my 2019 and 2020 brides and grooms will give to each other. It’s always one of my favorite wedding day moments.
Do you have any tips for writing love letters you’d like to share? Or a special memory about a love letter you’re received? Let me know in the comments!