On writing for a wedding...

So, my best friend, @bondybaby on twitter, asked me to write a poem to be read at her wedding in August, which was so sweet of her and a vote of confidence in my writing skill. I've been working on it for a while and for the longest time the pressure got to me and I came up with trash, all of which ended up in my recycling bin. Finally, I've got something I'm happy with though it's still being worked on. If you ever have to do this, here are some words of advice:

 Invitation made by @bondybaby.

Know the people.
Chances are if you're asked to write a reading or poem for someone's wedding you'll know them quite well. I started by listing the things they like, what inspires them, thoughts and feelings about the couple. This will help form the tone of the piece. Also, knowing the theme of the wedding helps.

It doesn't matter what form it's in.
If you like to work in certain, set forms of poetry, great. For me, I write in free verse most of the time and for those of us who aren't natural poet's it works really well. I start by writing a paragraph which i'll chop and change until i'm happy. Then i'll split the paragraph into lines on a page and go back and edit again. Once I have one section i'm really happy with I find it inspires me to keep going.
It doesn't have to be about True love, finding "the one" and "knowing instantly".
Sometimes we feel it poems and readings for weddings have to be about true love. They don't. Another friend of mine who is getting married next year asked me for advice on finding a special reading for her ceremony that wasn't lovey dovey. I suggested looking through her favourite books for paragraphs about home, family and the things that her and her fiance really cherished in life. Things that are important to you make a better statement on the day. Of course if you or your friends did know instantly and did find "the one", there's nothing wrong with that, but only say it if it's absolutely true!!

Ease the pressure.
It's difficult to write something for someone you love dearly especially when it's going to be read aloud as part of the most important day of their life so far. I set it aside for a while and only wrote when I had something to say and tried to forget who it was for. Focus on the writing, and forget about the performance...for now!

I hope this helps a little if any of you find yourself in this situation!

Good night, bloggeroo's.

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