Can you think of anything more romantic than a love letter? The handwritten envelope sealed by the touch of your cherished one’s tongue, the tenderly-folded paper, the opening words: My darling Jen, I need to tell you how much I adore you. We can only think of one thing more swoon-worthy here at Elūm than receiving written proof of our loved one’s adoration, and that’s sending a love letter ourselves. When we write a love letter we immortalize our feeling for our partners, sweeties, main-squeezes and spouses. We demonstrate and celebrate our love in the time-honored romantic ritual of setting pen to paper. But where do we begin? What paper to choose? What words to use? How to start and how to finish? Love letters can be thoughtful, spontaneous, starry-eyed, jaw-droppingly passionate, tender and sweet. Yet how do we create these romantic works of art? At Elūm we believe that writing a love letter should be as wonderful an experience as receiving one that’s why we’ve put together our six passionate pointers for creating the perfect love letter.
1. Pick a canvas worthy of your words. By writing a love letter you’re creating a unique and moving keepsake that will be treasured by your loved one for years, even decades. Pages torn from a ruled spiral notepad have many wonderful uses, but will not create the same sense of significance as a beautiful foil-stamped cotton rag note or a page of plush artist sketch paper, lifted from your personal journal. As the English poet John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Create a gift of tangible lasting beauty with your choice of pen and paper.
2. Send your love letter by mail—even if you see your loved one every day and share the same apartment or house. By writing a love letter you’re creating an experience for the recipient. The delightful surprise and sense of intrigue created by receiving a hand-addressed envelope through the mail adds to the magic. Choose a pretty stamp, mist the envelope with your favorite cologne, and write your name and return address on the back (so your loved one has to turn over the envelope to discover who sent it). Give them the full experience.
3. Draft your love letter before setting pen to paper. Use whatever medium works for you—laptop, mobile, pencil and notepad—and plan what you want to say. Leave it, come back to it. Experiment. Use your draft to hone in on the most important thing you want your loved one to know. Maybe you want to tell him or her that your life changed the day you met them, that when you hear their car pull into the driveway your heart beats a little faster, or that sometimes you lie still in the morning just to watch them sleep.
Planning what you say beforehand will cut down strikethroughs on the finished page. A love letter doesn’t have to be perfect—a sprinkling of errors are endearing and charming—but too many will distract the reader from your purpose.
4. Begin your letter with a familiar and tender term of endearment. If you call your loved one Babycake/Honey/Hubs/Sweetie/Love Muffin now is the time to use that pet name. Simply drop it into the classic love letter opener, “My Darling ________” or “My Dearest________”. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo began loves letters to her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera with three simple words, “Diego, my love,” and the French emperor Napoleon began letters to his new wife with “My one and only Josephine”.
While your greeting sets the tone of the letter, your closing should end it with a promise. The line above your signature is the place to tell your loved one you will cherish them forever, as the composer Beethoven did to the woman known only as Immortal Beloved, “Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours,” and Jimi Hendrix pledged to his girlfriend, “Love to you forever, Jimi”.
5. Date your letter. You’re creating a tangible and lasting gift, a letter to be kept, treasured and reread. In ten years time, when your loved one reaches for the box at the back of the closet, finds your letter inside and pauses to read it, you want him to know the exact date you set down the words. Knowing the date will help transport him back in time to the moment he received it.
6. Finally, write like yourself so when your loved one reads your letter he or she can imagine you saying the words. Your voice and turn of phrase are uniquely beautiful. Remain true to yourself and write exactly how feel. If you love his goofy dancing, the way he holds the door open for strangers, or how he makes you laugh, tell him. If the way she cares for your family sometimes brings tears to your eyes, let her know. At Elūm we believe a love letter should always be a message straight from your heart.
Now it’s your turn. Head to our website to find the perfect canvas for you to spill your heart out.