I just stumbled across a note to remind myself that I want to tell you about a wonderful experience I had on Southwest Airlines last fall.

You’re gonna love this!

I was on a flight from San Francisco to San Diego and right before the airline attendants started to pass out our drinks, they announced this: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a special couple on the flight today who are getting married tomorrow. To help them celebrate, we’d love for each of you to write some wedding advice or a wish to them!”

When we were given our coffee, tea, and whatnot, we also were each given an extra napkin to write our advice or wish upon.

How fun is that?

I asked my seatmate if she would share what she wrote and she showed me her napkin — which read, “I wish you a lifetime of happiness. Be sure to try new things together and create new memories!” I could hear others around me asking one another what they wrote. Our whole little airplane community was abuzz with love.


Can you guess my advice?







{Right here’s a photo of the front of my napkin wish gift.}

My advice was for them to each make a list of 10-100 things they love about the other. On the back side of the napkin I continued, saying that these Love Lists were wonderful to pull out whenever they might feel upset, angry, or frustrated with one another. They could simply read their lists to each other and remember all the love and joy they felt on the eve of their wedding day!

I really had to squeeze that all in so there was also room for a wee wish: “May you always be blessed with the kindness of strangers!”

It was so much fun to “make a gift” for two total strangers!

After everyone wrote their advice/wishes, the flight attendants collected them and gave them to the bride and groom. THEN, to top it off, the Southwest crew made the bride and groom crowns out of snack bags and coffee stir sticks. It was absolutely delightful! (You can see the couple in their crowns in the photo at the top of the page. They let me take a photo when we were in baggage claim after the plane landed.)

I want to give a shout out to Southwest Airlines for thinking of something celebratory to do right there on the spot. (Flight Attendant Ashley, if you’re reading this, I send you a special hug for masterminding this spontaneous and loving gift!)

I bet that couple will remember their Southwest wedding send-off for the rest of their lives. And you know what, it’s likely that many of us who got to participate will always remember this, too.

It just goes to show that great gifts don’t have to cost a lot. They just have to mean a lot.

Got napkins and snack bags?

Now, time to write a letter to Southwest Airlines and thank them for all this joy!

Happy trails to you— by land or air or sea,




P.S. If you’re trying to think of a wedding gift for friends or family, think about how you could use this idea from my Southwest Airlines flight and transform it to fit the style of the bride and groom you want to celebrate. Perhaps collect wedding wishes or advice on postcards that their friends and family send from wherever they live? Maybe have each person send a photo and on the back they could write a wish? Perhaps each person could draw something, with a wish on the back? I bet if you think about it, you can come up with something unique. Write and tell me, okay?!