All the Writing Tasks on Your Wedding Planning To-Do List
When planning my wedding, I had to learn a number of new things to communicate with vendors and decide what the look of our day would be.
I researched dress styles and designers so I could let bridal consultants know what I wanted to wear. I studied plants to specify which types of greenery I had in mind. I figured out where to order pipe and drape when quoted three different prices from three different companies ranging from $600 to $1600. (Full disclosure: That was my least favorite task.)
When it came time to work on what I had to say -- to our guests and my now husband, I felt confident I knew what to do given my writing background. However, I underestimated how many tasks required me to put pen to paper.
Sure, many of the things I wrote from scratch weren’t necessary. I could have used tried and trusted scripts or templates, which definitely have their benefits.
Reciting traditional vows, for example, saves you time while planning. Plus, there’s undeniably something beautiful in making the same promises as millions of other couples throughout the years. You’re part of a club.
Our wedding leaned nontraditional, though, and we personalized many elements, including the ceremony. Below is a list of all the writing tasks we undertook to say those two simple words to each other, “I do.”
Bridal party invitation
We opted for having a wedding party, and I asked my lady friends to be a part of it via a handwritten note. Of course, you don’t need bridesmaids or groomsmen to get married. And if you do want a wedding party, you can ask your friends and family in other ways, so this writing task is optional.
Save-the-date card and wedding invitations
While not required, sending a save-the-date card is a popular practice to give guests an advanced notice about the timing of your wedding. Invitations are obviously a must. Neither should require much prose, but you do have to figure out what information to include. Will the message be formal or casual, delivered by snail mail or email? Websites like Minted that let you use pre-designed templates can offer a fill-in-the-blank option to ensure you convey the right details. Otherwise, searching Pinterest for examples can be helpful.
A wedding website is not something your parents had to worry about when they got married. But it's the 21st century, and now most everyone relies on a site to be the home base for all wedding-related information. Platforms like The Knot make it easy to create an online destination for your day. Or you can build your site from scratch using website building companies like Squarespace or WordPress. Either way, just like your invitations, you'll need to decide what content you wish to share on your site.
Welcome bag note
Our wedding involved numerous out-of-town guests, so we created welcome bags that hotel staff distributed when people checked in to their rooms for the weekend. Welcome bags are completely optional, and if you do put them together, you don’t need to include a detailed note. Our card in the welcome bag was simple; it thanked our guests for coming, encouraged them to explore the city and reminded them to access our website for additional information. You can find examples of common things to say in your welcome bag note by searching online.
Day-of note to future spouse
My husband and I wrote letters to each other that we read just before our first look. We wanted to document our emotions before making the official transition from engaged to married and communicate with each other prior to walking down the aisle. You can write whatever you want in the note or not write a note at all. I recommend discussing the idea well before the wedding. That way, both the bride and groom are on the same page with what to expect, and no one’s feelings are hurt due to a one-sided note exchange.
Plenty of people don’t need to worry about scripting their wedding ceremony. If you’re having a religious wedding, then you may need to follow a specific tradition. Or, if you hire an officiant, then you can leave the plans to them. A family member presided over our wedding, and we compiled the entire program from start to finish, leaving room for the officiant to add some words as well. I didn’t reinvent the wheel when putting together our ceremony. Instead, I read about 100 examples of scripts online, took what we liked and changed or omitted what we didn’t.
As mentioned before, couples can write their vows or exchange traditional ones. The traditional vows have stuck around for a reason: They cover some excellent promises. My husband and I wrote our vows and said somewhat traditional ones. It was important for me to include the standard language of “to have and to hold, etc.” We kept our written vows secret from each other, but while drafting them, we did talk about word count and structure to ensure they contained the same elements and took about the same amount of time to deliver.
I believe programs are also optional, although I can’t remember a wedding I’ve been to that hasn’t passed them out. They’re a nice touch, and a good way to honor the people involved in the ceremony, which is the reason we decided to have them as well. Our program featured a meaningful quote, another thank you to our guests and family, a quick overview of the order of the ceremony and the names of everyone in the wedding party.
Menus are another nonessential writing task, although they are typically an easy thing to create since they’re just a list of food or drinks. Wrangling the details from your caterer or bartender and formatting the menu with all the different options may be the most difficult part of this job. We made a simple cocktail menu for the bars and a dinner menu for the tables. I’m pro menus for weddings; people appreciate knowing what they’re eating, and including descriptions can be helpful for any guests with food allergies or sensitivities.
In addition to speeches from their family and friends, the bride and groom often address their guests during the reception to reiterate how much they appreciate everyone taking the time to celebrate with them. This speech should be succinct and can be given by the bride, groom or both. It also doesn’t need to be scripted. My husband and I each said something during our reception, although neither of us wrote down what we were going to say. For those who are nervous about public speaking or worried they would forget an important point, scripting the speech may be a good idea.
Thank you cards
These are not optional and should be individualized to each person you’re thanking. No shortcuts here.
A wedding celebrates your love, and a great way to share your love is by telling the story of your relationship. Not all of your guests will know how you met and fell for each other. StoryLove can make sure they do. You can include your love story on your wedding website or in your ceremony as part of your officiant’s script or programs. You can also keep your love story to yourself and have StoryLove write the narrative as a gift for each other. Whether you choose to make your story public or private, you’re in control of the details. After all, it’s your love story, for you, written by StoryLove.
Weddings are personal, so the list above may not apply to the event you’re planning. I’m all for the do-what-you-want mindset when it comes to wedding planning. I’m also for the you-don’t-have-to-do-it-all-yourself mindset.
But, if your mindset is you want your love story written and you don’t want to write it yourself, then StoryLove would love to help. Explore what StoryLove can do for you.
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