Continuing with our reading related week in honour of Valentine's Day on Monday, I caught up with Kate Tym The Wedding Poet to ask her a few wedding related questions...
How did you get into wedding poetry?
I’m a published author and performance poet so my life and work has always involved lots of writing anyway. Then in 2008 I got married. I searched high and low to find something suitable to read during the ceremony and speeches and came up blank. There are lots of lovely poems out there but none of them said quite what I wanted to say. The love poems weren’t about MY love and the ‘humorous’ poems were way too cheesy! So, I wrote something myself. I wrote a poem for me to read to my husband during the ceremony and a poem for my daughter (who was 8 at the time) to read during the speeches. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and it felt very special to have readings to share that were so straight from my heart.
Why did you decide to set up The Wedding Poet?
I thought that if I’d found it so hard to find an appropriate reading, surely other people must be having the same problem. I loved the idea of finding out all about people and crafting a poem that was unique and special to them. I loved every minute of my wedding day and I love the thought of being in a small way responsible for helping to make other people’s weddings as wonderful as my own. I get a real thrill when I feel I’ve really written something that puts in to words someone else’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Where do you find your inspiration?
The stories people tell me about their relationships are inspiration enough. How people met, why they love each other, special things they’ve said or done and funny things too – I’ve come across some very bizarre habits and tastes in food!
What has been your favourite wedding to write a poem for?
I actually love writing every poem I do – I pride myself on being able to gauge just what will work for the particular couple I’m working for and because each person is different, so is every poem. The more information I’m given the easier it is… so I like people who are happy to tell me every last detail of their lives – it’s a great job for nosy person!
What have you found the most challenging job?
I have written a poem for a couple whose child was terminally ill and another for a woman who had just spent a year fighting breast cancer. Obviously this kind of job requires an enormous amount of sensitivity. I felt very privileged to have them share their stories with me and very proud to have been part of their weddings and to have been able to put their thoughts into words at a time of very mixed emotions.
What do you think couples should be looking for when thinking of having a bespoke piece of poetry written?
Have in mind whether you’d like the poem for the ceremony, or for the speeches, and whether you’d like something funny and light-hearted or more romantic and loving. Often if people are very nervous about doing a speech, one of my poems is perfect, as the rhythm and rhyme gives them a bit of support – I’ve had very positive feedback from even the most anxious of clients!
What do you wish couples knew already when working with you?
Nothing! I’m very careful to guide my clients every step of the way. So I send an initial questionnaire, which really gets everything going, and then we question and answer back and forth until I have enough information to start writing. So, I suppose the only they do need to know is that they should be prepared to tell me everything! The more I can ‘get to know’ a couple, the more personal and unique their poem can be.
What’s your one obsession (non wedding related) at the moment-something you just can’t live without?
I’m on a mission to decorate my whole house in 2011! My husband is a builder…. so he never wants to do any ‘work’ at home, and as a consequence my house is always in a state of disrepair. I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands, and so I’m obsessed with colour charts and wallpaper samples, and I’ve got more tester pots on the go than B&Q! Anyone who steps through the front door is made to stand looking at paint samples and not allowed to leave until they agree with me on which is the nicest shade!
Come back on tomorrow for a little poem that Kate wrote for me Always Andri the Wedding Planner!!
All images courtesy of Eliza Claire Photography