Writing a love letter has always been a romantic gesture, but in this day of email, social media, and other impersonal communication, they are even more special. But there is an art to writing a great love letter; here are tips and ideas on how.
The Basics of a Love Letter
Follow these guidelines to format your letter so that everything is included:
- Greeting: Don't just write "Dear [name]." Instead write, "To my Darling" or "To my one true love" or even use their pet nickname like, "Dear Buttercup."
- The First Paragraph: Start off by saying why you are writing the letter. It could be something like, "I feel so full of love for you today that I just had to express my feelings." Or, "This will be our only Valentine's Day as an engaged couple. It is unique, just like my love for you."
- The Heart of the Letter: This is where you describe your love, and how you feel. It's important to be yourself. If you are someone who is sentimental and flowery, then your letter should be, too. But if you're more of a funny person, don't be afraid to add a little humor or silliness here. These should be your words and your voice, speaking from the heart. You might write something like, "I feel so incredibly lucky right now, planning a wedding to a man that I love so much. But it's not just the wedding that makes me feel lucky; it's every day when you walk through the door and I see your handsome smile. I feel lucky when I lay in your arms, surrounded by your strength and warmth. And I felt especially lucky last night at the party, seeing you be witty and charming and knowing that I was the one you were going home with. I want to bottle this feeling. I want to capture it, to remember that wedding planning isn't about stress and guest lists, but it is this feeling of anticipation and joy. And most of all, it is about our incredible love for one another, which truly seems to grow bigger, and deeper, and wider, in ways previously unimaginable, everyday."
- Finishing Your Letter: In the last paragraph, you want to both tie back to the beginning and look to the future. You might say, "It's hard for me to express everything I am feeling right now; these words are only a small measure of my love for you. So I am thankful that I have the rest of our lives to tell you over and over again how much I love you." Or, if you started by writing about the uniqueness of this Valentine's Day, close with a paragraph like, "So on this unique Valentine's Day, I am so glad that you are my Valentine. I can't wait for the next February 14th, when I also get to call you my wife."
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Sign your letter with an extra bit of romance. "With all my love always, John" or "Yours forever, Alice." Consider spraying it with a touch of your cologne, or sealing it with a kiss. Put it in a pretty envelope, write your loved one's name on the front, and leave it in a place where your beloved will be sure to see it.
Find Love Letter Inspiration
Write a Rough Draft
If you've selected a lovely piece of stationery for your letter, don't start right there. Every great writer knows the value of editing. You will want to compose your note first, either on scratch paper or electronically. Start off by writing a rough draft. Find places where you can be more clear, or more expressive. And most importantly, make sure your spelling is correct. Use a spellchecker. Misspelled words might convey an entirely opposite meaning. Only when you've given it a good edit, then put it on the good stationery.
Take Your Time
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither should your love letter be. It takes time to get clarity about how you feel for a person, and time to figure out how to write it down. Similarly, you can take your time in the letter, too. Instead of just saying how you feel, add in a short anecdote of a memory you share, or the moment that you were sure.
Just Do It
Your love letter may not be the most perfect one ever written. But as long as it comes from you, and is sincere, it will be perfect in the eyes of the person who receives it. And in affairs of the heart, that's all that matters.