Love Tales is a team of professional writers who create one-of-a-kind, heirloom storybooks to commemorate your wedding. The authors interview you before the big day, help with your vows and attend your ceremony and reception to transcribe all the action. The result is a unique wedding keepsake that immortalises your romance. We talk to Love Tales Founder and Writer, Kristie Hayden about creating a Love Tales wedding storybook.
What do you love about writing people’s love stories?
Oh my gosh, it’s like watching them unfold. Once we have all the information, the writing process is a joy for us. We get to describe their journey from the day they met to the day they marry. The story is a creative non-fiction; we are witty and descriptive, sometimes poetic but never soppy. We genuinely have fun writing each chapter, telling their date stories, proposal story, putting it all in there for their descendants to read. We also profile the fashions, trends and suburb they live in and write a history of the venues they choose (especially great if they have heritage) which is always an interesting learning experience for us.
Why should a couple invest in having their love story written by a professional?
Our team comprises of journalists, feature writers and academics. We’re trained to ask the right questions to get the full story. We’re experienced in scene writing (we’re all published travel writers) so we know how to hook the reader in with entertaining anecdotes and lead into each chapter with great “people and place” descriptions. We know how to “show” not “tell” the story. That level of writing skill puts the reader in the picture and keeps them engaged until the very last page. Stories are researched and written for longevity – that is, we hope your kids, nieces, nephews, cousins, and all your descendants read it and marvel at the world you lived in.
What’s the process of writing a couple’s love story?
There are five steps to creating the Love Tales wedding storybook:
1. Collecting Information - Through an initial 15-minute phone call to one or both of you, we gather details about you and your wedding plans.
2. The pre-wedding interview - We meet somewhere quiet and talk all things meeting-and-falling-in-love.
3. Secret Questions - What’s a wedding without a few surprises? We’ll reveal our secret questions to you sometime after the pre-wedding interview and before your wedding day.
4. Collaborating on vows (optional and complimentary in our “special Launch Offer”) - We’re ever so happy to talk vows with you. There’s a big difference between thinking about, and then verbalising, your heartfelt feelings. We’ll help you find the right words.
5. The wedding day
(a) The ceremony - Depending on the size of your wedding, we’ll have one or more writers there to record the occasion. They are discreet and you won’t even know they’re there. What they see, they write about. What they hear, they write about. What they smell and touch, they write about. The rustle of her dress, the mood in the room, the whispers of the page boys; it’s all written down and will form an important chapter in your book. Your writer will record and transcribe the entire ceremony.
(b) The reception - As at the ceremony, your dedicated writer will transcribe all the action, from the moment you arrive to the reception until the formalities have ended. The venue description forms a large part of the introduction to this chapter. We like to set the scene with creative imageries and a fun tone. Here, our writers turn roving reporters as the party kicks into gear. The speeches, menus and guest lists are also recorded in your book.
We then get busy writing!
What does a Love Tales wedding storybook look like?
Luxurious and elegant. They’re the size and shape of a romance novel but covered in beautiful Italian linen (so soft, we enjoy watching our couples patting the books when they receive them!) The books are artisan made by Melbourne’s leading bindery, Ort. They look great on the coffee table, in easy reach to flick through the memories any time you like.
How do couples respond when they read their love story for their first time?
We try to send the draft* of their manuscript while they are honeymooning so they have plenty of time to devour it. They get goosebumps! They laugh, they get emotional. They are genuinely blown away by the level of detail. We have secret questions that we ask them individually before we begin writing. These are revealed along with their answers in the manuscript and usually, this provokes happy tears. The Love Tales wedding storybook is full of surprises and our couples are 100% overjoyed.
*The drafts give couples an opportunity to check name spellings and all details before we go to print.
How is the story laid out in the book?
The prologue – This is a snapshot of the times, a bit of wedding history and a little introduction to our happy couple. It’s a glimpse of how the story will unfold.
Chapter 1 – The Love Story – how they met and fell in love. Family, friends, pets, dates, holidays, the proposal and some secrets.
Chapter 2 – The Wedding – written like a lifestyle feature in a magazine. The weather, the arrival, the ceremony (all the words), the vows, guest reactions, ambience – everything!
Chapter 3 – The Reception – The party unfolds, the speeches, menu, guest interviews (if possible), the shenanigans.
The Epilogue – The story wrapped up. What the future might hold and some secrets.
The Appendix – the guest list.
Can you include photos in your Love Tales wedding storybook?
We can create a centrefold of selected professional photos. We do, however, feel it’s not necessary because it’s all about the story. It’s safe to say most couples will get a wedding photo-album so we think the Love Tales wedding storybook is the perfect accompaniment to the album. So far, none of our couples have decided to include photos and once they receive their book, they realise it’s perfect just the way it is.
Do you offer products for couples as well? What are they?
Yes! We offer a professional vow writing service in collaboration with the couple. We put feelings into evocative words that have special meaning for the couple’s ceremony. We also create bespoke vow folders so that couples can keep a copy at hand, through good times and challenging times! These are a beautiful gift keepsake. We also sell these to parents of the couple or family members looking to gift something truly unique.
What does Love Tales offer that other forms of wedding memorabilia don’t?
As our recent bride, Lauren said, “The details! It was so beautiful to read a story about us and envision the day again through the words. It was really witty. The story literally made us laugh out loud. It tells the story of us rather than just the day. The story starts before the wedding and talks a lot about us as a couple and our life which is really special. It’s such a beautiful thing to have for many years to come.”