As wedding photographers, we are continuously experiencing new wedding trends. One of our favorites (adapted for our own wedding in Iceland), is the love letter ceremony. In wedding planning there is always a struggle to find a unity ceremony that hasn’t been done by a friend or relative. The love letter ceremony can provide the extra special detail you have been looking for.
What is it?
A love letter ceremony is a alternative to a unity candle, sand ceremony, tying the knot, or hands ceremony. The bride and groom write letters to each other expressing their feelings for each other, and their future together. It can be taken a step further, by incorporating parents (or other special people) and ask them to write a letter to the couple containing their wishes. During the wedding ceremony the letters are then locked in a box to be opened at a future date.
The letters are a symbol of love on the wedding day and a continuous reminder as to why you chose to marry. Sometimes it is hard for the bride, groom or parents to communicate all of their thoughts as the wedding day comes. Writing can be an alternative outlet to express their feelings. The goal is to open those letters as a celebration on your 10th, 25th or 50th wedding anniversary. It’s extraordinary to read the letters after so much time has passed. They serve as a time capsule for that magical time in your life.
Ideas for the bride and groom to write about:
- How you felt when you met.
- A favorite adventure together.
- How much you have grown from the early dating days to your wedding day.
- Feelings as you anticipate your wedding day.
- How much you admire your partner and why.
- Wishes for your future together.
- Promises to your partner.
Ideas for the Parents to write about:
- The bride’s parents write a letter to her and the groom’s parents write a letter to him expressing their excitement for their birth, childhood, successes, how proud they are, etc.
- Parents then write letters to the couple declaring their excitement for them finding each other, marriage, wishes for the future, or lifetime words of wisdom.
It is best to choose one with a lock. Such boxes can be purchased on crafting sites such as Etsy. Or maybe building one from scratch is more appealing. Any locking container will do. Be creative and have it reflect who you are as a couple. Adding touches like having names and the wedding date carved or painted in to the box add that extra special touch. Don’t forget to seek out some unique stationary to write your letters on. Once the box is ready to be locked, the key can be attached to a ribbon. Then the end of the ribbon is inserted between the lid and the base before being locked. This helps prevent the key from becoming misplaced.
A love letter ceremony is typically incorporated into your wedding service after you have stated your intentions, said your vows, and usually before the rings. The box can be placed on a table or have someone special in charge of safe keeping and bringing it forward at the appropriate time at the ceremony. The officiate of your service begins by calling up the person with the box, the parents, and the bride and groom. He/she then states the meaning of the ceremony and each person is to put their letter in the box. They explain the box is not to be opened unless the couple encounters hardships in their relationship or as a celebration during a milestone anniversary. The box is then formally locked. Please see our blog post on the specific love letter ceremony wording here.
Once you return from your amazing wedding, display the box in a prominent spot in your home as a daily reminder of your love, and unity, as you build your future together.