To Greet or Not to Greet: How to Write a Valentine


More than any other time of year, it is as Valentine's Day nears that we most often hear this question: 

"What does it say on the inside of the card?"

Most often, the answer is "Nothing!" 

Victoria Smith

It seems that many have come to expect (and rely on) an interior greeting in their cards, a message meant to suit a myriad of occasions and relationships.

But -- and I'd love to hear some feedback on this -- isn't the whole point of Valentine's Day (or a birthday, or any other card-worthy occasion) to celebrate your affection for someone you feel lucky to have found? Someone unlike anyone else you've ever met?

A Favorite Design

Though the pure white maw of a blank card may intimidate some, our aim is to provide inspiration -- a beautiful backdrop for the thoughtful expression of unique sentiment toward the one you love.

However, if you're the type to panic when you pick up a pen without a prompt, here are a few quick tips:
  • Have a photo of the recipient at hand. Looking at their smiling face is sure to inspire!
  • Think of songs, movies, books that you both enjoy -- there's plenty of material to mine. 
  • The internet is an eternal spring of inspirational quotes. Beware: it's easy to get lost and mired down in the sheer volume of profundity. I'd steer clear of this method unless there's a passage you have in mind. 
  •  I (almost...) always write out my message on a piece of scrap paper before writing in the card. My apologies to anyone reading who has received a card I wrote without practicing first.... Believe me, the last thing your valentine wants is a card full of spelling errors, mistakes, and awkward, rambling endearments.
Anzu Ltd.
I asked Joan to share some insights on what she looks for when buying cards for the store. She said that she looks for unique art or text on the front of a card, to be used as a jumping-off point. Her advice for a well-written card? "Let the front of the card be the inspiration for your own, handwritten message. The inside of the card is a blank palette to paint your way to communication." Wise words, no?

La Kaligrafica

There is a lot of pressure this time of year to get everything right. To buy the perfect gift, to make the perfect gesture, to buy the perfect card, to say all the right things. I can understand the perception that a ready-made message is a safe bet. But I would argue that it's the card and the thoughtful, handwritten note inside that is the most important gesture. It's your opportunity to take a moment and make this holiday uniquely meaningful to you and your beloved. It's your chance to say "I Love You" like you mean it!

Mr. Boddington's Studio

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