Wedding days are a celebration of love, a time when two people come together to start a new chapter in their lives. It's a day filled with joy, laughter, and tears, but what makes it truly special is the unique love story behind each couple. From the first date to the moment you said "I do," your relationship has been a journey. And what better way to celebrate that journey than by incorporating your love story into your wedding décor?
First things first. Write out the whole relationship story behind your wedding day without editing or critiquing. This could be done by using pencil or pen and paper, typing on your computer, or recording a voice message for yourself on your phone. It’s best to get your ideas out of your head and into a format you can look back at to revise.
This process can be as formal or informal as you’d like. Find a special place, light a candle, have your favorite beverage with you, and let the words flow onto the page. Or, take your furry friend on a walk and record yourself chatting away as if you were sharing the tale one more time with a close friend.
If writer’s block is holding you back, think about your hometown, school, families, work, interests, hobbies, clubs, and what you were looking for in a partner. People often want to know how you met, what you were each like, if you clicked right away, whether you have mutual friends or interests, and who introduced you. Take it a little further with memories surrounding your first date, what you jive or clash over, and what happens when you’re just talking about life. Of course you’ll want to update them on the proposal, planning process, and how you got to this day.
You can certainly start at the beginning of your relationship story. Otherwise, you might look for the moment you knew they were the one and jump in there. Then you can decide whether going backward or forward in time first makes more sense.
Eventually you’ll find a hook - a quote, question, surprise, moment that captures the reader’s interest and makes them want to hear more. This goes at the beginning of your piece to draw them in and give them something exciting to grab on to. Then it’s time to step back and look at what you wrote out to organize it in a way that makes the most sense.
The relationship story doesn’t actually have to be a drawn out laundry list of every step you took together. When you find small moments and memories that others can relate to, you’ll pique their interest and encourage them to keep reading.
There might be a special promise that you both have made. If you chose to write your own vows, there may be details from those words that you can highlight and explain further here. It might come in the form of a love note to your partner that you allow others to witness and have a front row seat to observe. Portions of the toast from a friend or family member could be something you’d like to include here as well.
When you use specific details to paint the picture about where you were or who you were with, your reader will feel like they were there alongside you. Think about the time of day, the season, the temperature, whether you were indoors or out, was there a specific scent or sight or sound that you remember? Going overboard makes it sound unnatural and staged, but you can always scale back and decide which elements support your story and which ones don’t affect your main point.
Did any part of your journey together include a long distance relationship or other travel? Were there deadlines to meet or obstacles to overcome? Here’s where you might include your relationship by the numbers. Think miles traveled, texts per day, and outfits tried on. This would be a chance to tug on your guests heart strings and build up some empathy and understanding for times when they’ve been in your shoes before.
Your wrap up may actually highlight the beginning of your next adventures together, but it is still nice to lead people back to your celebration day and the present moment. This might look like an explanation of traditions your guests might notice and wonder about during your ceremony or celebration. Share a bit of your history, family, and culture in a way that is inclusive and respectful of others. The last thing you’d want is for someone to be uncomfortable at your event if they don’t know the customs or response that is expected during certain portions of the day. Whether it is a longstanding family joke or a ritual important to the couple, letting your guests in on how it works and why it is important to you will help them feel connected to your event. Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging.
While some of your guests may enjoy reading your novel, others will appreciate a skimmable version that still showcases who each of you are, and they will be looking for common threads that tie you to your guests and their own stories. Consider breaking it into pieces with bullet points or a timeline or milestones in your life instead of full blocks of text. Perhaps you love making slides or posters or a photo book. Or imagine a scavenger hunt, crossword puzzle, or art for each of the tables at your cocktail hour or reception. Add simple touches like your names, nicknames, or initials forming a monogram to give a polished look to your story. A creative title or a short blurb welcoming guests to your event also helps finish the piece.
Your wedding day is an opportunity to celebrate the unique love story that brought you and your partner together. By sharing your relationship story through personalized décor, speeches, and memories, you create a personal and intimate touch that will make your big day even more special. Remember that your wedding day is just the beginning of your story, so make sure to create lasting memories that you'll cherish for a lifetime.
If you love the idea of sharing the relationship story behind your wedding day with your guests but need some creative assistance to make it happen, let’s chat! I find the stories that spark conversations and turn them into keepsake table centerpieces for events.