A Way with Words — How Timeless Love Letters Made This Couple’s Big Day

Skipping a private first look, this Pittsburgh couple found another way to connect on the morning of their wedding.
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Love letters. While it’s a practice as old as time, notes and poetry to express romantic sentiment are still popular in weddings today. 

Gabby Zacharia and Raymond Krivanek began their wedding day on Nov. 26, 2022, with preparations sealed off and separate from one another. 

Not wanting to set eyes on one another until Gabby entered Epiphany Church in the Hill District, the couple decided instead to be with one another for the morning of their big day through words in the form of personalized letters to one another. 

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“We kind of just wanted to keep that spark of us seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle,” says Gabby. “But we wanted some way to kind of connect beforehand since you go the whole day without seeing each other.”

Krivanek 0002Gabby spent the morning taking photos in matching pajamas with her bridesmaids and doing final makeup touches. Ray received a toast from his groomsmen as he waited to see his bride. They both sat down and read the words their soon-to-be-spouse penned for them.

The love letters had a similar effect as writing personal vows. The couple, together for five and half years, says that they took a few days before the wedding to reflect on their relationship and write it all down. On the day, close friends were tasked with exchanging the soon-to-be wed’s thoughts. 

“It’s a really great way to connect beforehand,” says Gabby.

Love letters before the ceremony don’t need to be extravagantly decorated; Ray’s letter to Gabby was written on notebook paper. 


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The letters, while just a piece of paper, embodied the couple’s love beyond their wedding day. 

“If we ever go through rough patches in our marriage or just want to look back at those notes and kind of be reminded of how we felt on our wedding day,” says Gabby. “We’ll always have those notes to look back on.”

Categories: Weddings