She was a Jewish girl from the Bronx, and he was raised Episcopal on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Together they made some of the greatest film noir movies the world had ever seen, and their May-December romance will go down in history as one of Hollywood’s most glamorous marriages. Lauren Bacall, 19, was a former model starring in her first leading film role when she met Humphrey Bogart, 45, on the set of To Have and Have Not in 1944. Bogart was married to his third wife, actress Mayo Methot, at the time. Despite their 25-year age gap, sparks flew between the two stars, and their relationship progressed quickly. The movie debuted on Jan. 20, 1945, and Bogart was divorced soon after. He and Bacall tied the knot on May 21, 1945 at a ceremony on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield’s farm in Lucas, Ohio. They would go on to have two children together, staying married until Bogart’s death in 1957. One of the letters Bogart wrote to Bacall is not only an exceptionally heartfelt romantic note but also a great piece of writing to inspire your wedding vows.
Slim darling, you came along and into my arms and into my heart and all the real true love I have is yours – and now I’m afraid you won’t understand and that you’ll become impatient and that I’ll lose you – but even if that happened, I wouldn’t stop loving you for you are my last love and all the rest of my life I shall love you and watch you and be ready to help you should you ever need help.
All the nice things I do each day would be so much sweeter and so much gayer if you were with me. I find myself saying a hundred times a day, ‘If Slim could only see that’ or ‘I wish Slim could hear this.’ I want to make a new life with you – I want all the friends I’ve lost to meet you and know you and love you as I do – and live again with you, for the past years have been terribly tough, damn near drove me crazy. You’ll soon be here, Baby, and when you come you’ll bring everything that’s important to me in this world with you.
— Humphrey Bogart’s letter to Lauren Bacall