An embarrassing hobby my friends and I have, mostly to pass time, is to watch wedding videos on YouTube. Yes, you read that correctly, we watch wedding videos of people whom we don’t know. Mostly, we enjoy watching for décor, dress, location, etc. All of the elements we might one day mine for our own weddings. But there’s one element in particular I watch for and am more often than not disappointed by: the letters the brides and grooms write to each other.
Love letters are an art form. There is nothing more beautiful than a well written love letter. And there is a reason why Carrie Bradshaw was so interested in the love letters of great men – because even though these men were busy ruling countries, writing books, winning wars they still took time, valuable time, to sit down and express their emotions to their beloved.
There used to be a time when letters were the only form of communication. You couldn’t just say a quick “I love you” via a text or phone call. No, life was precious, life was different, and you never knew if the person you loved would die tomorrow. Letters took time to get delivered and because they took time they wouldn’t waste a letter on something as small as “I love you.” Instead, they wrote eloquent, emotional texts to the ones they loved to ensure them of their love. Sometimes, it was hard to express just how much they were adored but by putting their pen to paper they were going to try to tell them.
It’s time to bring back the art of the love letter. A wedding is quite literally a declaration of a couples’ love for one another and yet their words fail. These letters are… bland, boring, and sometimes they’re even typed. How much of an uncultured swine must you be to type a love letter? You can type a draft of a love letter and then transcribe it over but under no circumstances should a love letter ever be typed and sent.
We’ve forgotten how to express love via means other than technology.
We’ve lost the art of love, the very core of what it means to tell someone you love them. A love letter isn’t just a letter – it’s a sign that throughout everything and despite it all you still matter to someone. You matter enough for them to agonize over what to say to you via their own hand. I honestly believe that a letter’s raison d’etre is to express love.
You can’t keep a box of old “I love you” text messages. But you can keep a box of old love letters. I bet that anyone would say they’d prefer a letter of love over a text message of love. With a letter if you make a mistake you have to start again. There’s no backspace with a pen. You have to mean what you say and say what you mean. There’s a heartfelt conviction behind a love letter that doesn’t seem to exist anymore in the world of technology. Sometimes it’s not about being quick with words, it’s about meaning them.
So next time you go to type a declaration of admiration or love, remember these words of love by Beethoven and consider writing them instead:
‘Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm – love me – today –yesterday – what tearful longings for you – you – you – my life – my all–farewell. Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.’
We should never, under any circumstances, underestimate the power of a love letter.