The Best Honeymoon Funds Make Giving Money Meaningful

patchwork honeymoon fund displayed in iPad

Want to ask your guests for cash towards your honeymoon instead of gifts? Research into the most successful honeymoon funds on Patchwork has highlighted some pretty interesting (although maybe not so surprising) facts. So here are our tips on how to raise the most money for your honeymoon fund while at the same time making the experience as much fun for your guests as possible.

Show everyone what you really, really want

Your guests want to get you what you really REALLY want – so the first thing you need to do is let them know what that is.

And we don’t mean just saying ‘money towards our honeymoon fund please’. That’s a good start, but the more precise you can make the request in your patchwork description the better. Tell people where you’re going, when and why. If you don’t know yet that’s fine, but say so: “We’re not sure exactly where yet, but we’ll be heading off for some winter sun somewhere with great food and good wine. So all recommendations welcome!”

Make your patchwork unique to you

Whether you create your patchwork from scratch or customise one of our templates, it helps if you can make your honeymoon fund unique to you. Describe the individual experiences you are asking your guests to fund in as much detail as possible as this really helps to bring each activity to life and allows everyone to connect with you and your trip. We know that your friends and family feel strongly about knowing how their gift will be spent and this is the best way of ensuring that they feel happy, involved and valued.

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Be specific  – it’s all in the detail!

If you know what hotel you’re staying in, tell your guests why you’ve chosen it – what makes it so special. If you don’t know yet, that’s fine, you can still describe the type of place you’re dreaming of – an Airbnb with a view over New York, a bamboo hut in Ubud or a boutique hotel on the beach in Tulum. Adding details like the what, where and why makes your patchwork more engaging for your guests and will inspire them to treat you to more of your chosen experiences!

Let your friends get in on the action!

While you’ll probably spend most of your honeymoon eating, sleeping and enjoying time together we’ve noticed people love to fund the fun/crazy/out-of-the-ordinary stuff like bungee jumps, scuba dives, swimming with sharks. So make sure you include some action in your honeymoon fund even if that means taking the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower, riding on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto or watching the bull running (from a safe distance) in Pamplona.

skydiving experience patchwork honeymoon fund

Remember – people love giving gifts they’d like to receive

Your dad probably won’t want to pay for tattoos in Thailand. Although your mates might. Giving gifts is super personal and a really meaningful way for people to not only show their love for you, but say something about themselves too. Classic car enthusiasts will choose to hire you a Cadillac for a day, dancers will fund flamenco lessons and party people will want to treat you to all the cocktails! People want you to experience the things they already enjoy. It’s a way for them to connect and means you can spend an evening comparing your experiences over dinner on your return.

Ensure there’s something for everyone

Obviously you should only include things in your patchwork that you genuinely want to experience yourself. But while you’re creating your honeymoon fund it’s worth considering the range of your guests’ interests too. If your friends are foodies, animal lovers or culture junkies including gastronomical experiences, wildlife activities and/or historical tours will make obvious choices for them. If you make gift-giving personal and joyful for your friends they’ll give more generously!

When it comes to gift options – the more the merrier!

Generally people want to give a gift that will put a smile on your face (or scare the life out of you). They want to give a gift that will create a memory that you’ll treasure forever. So don’t deprive them of the chance by limiting the number of exciting experiences you put on your list. It really doesn’t matter if 10 people choose to treat you to a couple’s salsa lesson and you only have time for one. You can thank all ten people for the experience – sending each one a personal message and photo of you on the dance floor. They’ll all feel good that they helped make it happen. And with the extra cash left over you can always treat yourselves to a few more tequilas in the bar. Everyone’s happy!

Think romance, logistics and don’t forget the turtles!

In general, luxury, unique and romantic experiences are funded more often than functional and everyday ones, so make sure you include plenty of special treats in your Patchwork honeymoon fund – champagne breakfasts, couples massages and the ‘love upgrade’ at your hotel.

However to keep everyone happy it makes sense to include some sensible items that Nan will understand and be happy to take care of for you – the taxis from the airport, a night in a nice hotel, a travel guide or a flight upgrade.

And finally, we’ve noticed a bit of an obsession among guests with turtles. It doesn’t seem to matter how many turtle-watching patches are on a list, or how much they cost, they are always top-funded experiences so our tip is: ‘DON’T FORGET THE TURTLES! Clearly this might be tricky if you’re off to Iceland or Canada in which case substitute turtles for other super cool animals like huskies or bears.

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If you go low, guests go high

Lastly, it’s a good idea to include little treats – bottles of beers, ice-creams, or fresh coconuts on the beach. You can set the prices of gift items and experiences within your patchwork to as much as £500. But you can also set them to as low as £1 and we definitely encourage you to do so. Including lower priced treats not only means everyone can afford to buy you something. But, although it sounds counter intuitive, it also encourages people to spend more.

Setting all of your patchwork items to £50 plus because you want people to spend at least this much will not work in your favour. Not only will it exclude some people altogether but setting the bar in this way goes against the spirit of giving and makes people feel resentful. The assumption that people should spend at least a certain amount generally results in people spending this and no more. Whereas deliberately presenting lower priced gifts inspires good will and generally encourages people to spend more – with people topping up their gifts with ‘little extras’, buying multiples of one thing or a selection of different gifts.

With Patchwork guests give more

The national average spent on a wedding gift is £60. With Patchwork the average gift spend is £65. We believe this is because the experience is more personal, fun and meaningful that buying from a traditional gift list or giving cash direct. It’s also because most patchworks are priced in a way that enables everyone to contribute something and inspires, those who can afford, to give more.

You can find more ideas on how to create your honeymoon patchwork here, and browse through our gorgeous templates here.

Patchwork Couple: Emily & Dan’s Honeymoon to Bora Bora

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Dan & Emily live together in the Oxfordshire countryside with their two ragdoll cats, Charlie & Leo. Dan is a record producer and musician (DJ Fresh!). Emily is a photographer and a passionate home cook. They met briefly through mutual friends in 2013, a few days before Dan had leave the UK to tour Asia, they exchanged contact details and the two of them spent the entire time talking on the phone and on Skype. They talked all day, every day, often falling asleep on the laptop because of the 7 hour time difference. The couple arranged to meet again in person on the day Dan returned. At that point it was very obvious that they were already in love – it seemed impossible that they had known each other for just a few weeks. Since that day, the two of them have never spent more than a couple of days apart. We spoke to Emily all about their wedding and honeymoon.

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How did you and Dan get engaged?

We got engaged during a bomb scare in Gibraltar airport! We landed there for a festival Dan was playing at and he had it all planned out (besides the potential terrorist threat part). He wanted to propose on the runway, which has an incredible backdrop, but we were stuck stationary for over an hour while the suspect item was removed. Finally, as we disembarked he asked our dear friend Jamie to take a photo of the two of us in front of The Rock of Gibraltar and as he did Dan got down on one knee and proposed! The cabin crew were in on it, Jamie was in on it, all of my family and his knew and I had no idea.

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What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted to have loads of handmade touches. The wedding cake was made by myself and my mother-in-law Jil, the place cards were origami which our friends pitched in to help create, we designed the invitations from scratch. It really made the run up to the wedding so much fun. It gave us an excuse to get together with our loved ones before the big day to create something beautiful that everyone could be a part of.  

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Did you have a first dance?

No, we just hit the dance floor with everybody as the music got going. As we did a great big rainbow appeared in the sky (according the smokers outside!)

What’s your advice for other couples on their wedding day?

Hire a videographer. For us it really captured the spirit of the day in a way pictures can’t.

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Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We wanted to fund our honeymoon in Bora Bora, which was definitely a bucket list trip – a dream come true, and somewhere we had always wanted to go. Using Patchwork for our gift registry was completely suited to our idea of the perfect wedding gift, an amazing experience for the both of us. Patchworking our honeymoon also made us really think about the experiences we could have on our trip, we did things we wouldn’t normally have done like a traditional polynesian lunch and a fishing excursion!

Since friends of ours had already used Patchwork over the years we had an idea of how well it would work for us – the slick interface, room for creativity and ease of use put it above any other website we were considering.

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It was immensely humbling for us to receive so much love and generosity from our friends and family, who, by the way, were thrilled that they could buy our wedding gift without having to leave the house! It was lovely for them to feel as though they could contribute to our honeymoon in such a simple but meaningful way.  

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So you didn’t want to go down the traditional gift list route?

No, we’d lived together for 3 years before getting married so we really didn’t need anything for our house. Patchwork enabled us to create something easily online for people to gift as little or as much as they wanted with a fun personal touch. Even older family members had no problem figuring out how to send us a wedding gift!

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Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Absolutely, it was paradise on earth. The most beautiful thing either of us had ever seen by far. We spent it scuba diving with manta rays and biking around an extinct volcano. We were so lucky to experience something like that in our lifetime.

 


 

Thank you so much lovely Emily & Dan for sharing your sweet Patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own honeymoon fund patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Most Curious Wedding Fair Competition

Hello and a big thank you to everyone we met at Most Curious Wedding Fair last weekend. Well done for braving the snow! And an extra thank you if you entered our competition to win £100 towards your wedding registry.

Big congratulations to Kelly Oakes. You won!

You have won £100 towards your patchwork. All you need to do to claim your prize is create your patchwork and get in touch!

Patchwork Couple: Lizi & Andy’s DIY Wedding by the Sea

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Lizi and Andy met in 2012 at The Macbeth pub in Hoxton. Lizi says it was fate – it was a hot June evening and they’d both ended up on the smokers’ terrace despite not being smokers. Lizi was having a heated discussion with a super rude man who had pushed one of her friends (drama!). And after the guy actually used the line “do you know who I am?!” Lizi (who had no idea who he was) had enough and chucked her G&T over his head (very unlike her, she says!). Andy saw the whole thing and thought to himself ‘she’s the one for me’. Things got serious pretty quick and they moved in together not long after. Fast forward a few years and the couple got married in an absolutely beautiful ceremony in Devon. Read on for all the details.

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How did you get engaged?

We were in the Azores and I was 7 months pregnant at the time. We had spent a week and a half hiking and caving, mostly in the rain and then splurged at the end of our trip on a super fancy boutique hotel in Furnas.

It turns out it had been a week of failed proposal attempts including a picturesque viewing point at the top of a mounted clouded entirely in fog and a lovely walk around a lake – tailgated by a coach-load of amorous teenagers!

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On our last day I suggested going for a walk on the beach. Andy thought I had cottoned on and was trying to help him out but in all honesty, I hadn’t a clue what he had been trying to do! We were walking along the cobbled beach and I was getting increasingly frustrated that Andy was pacing off in front of me (he was trying to get to a secluded part). Just as I was yelling at him to slow down he turned around and dropped to one knee. I was so pleased to say yes. He had a promise ring made by a lovely Bristol based jeweller called Diane Porter which I love and continue to wear. We then chose the design and stone for my ring together. It’s a beautiful green Tourmaline and I love it!

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What kind of wedding did you plan?

We had already committed to each other in so many ways; we have a mortgage and more importantly (!) a son, Walter, together so the wedding was the cherry on the top. We wanted all of our friends and family with us for a massive party!

The wedding was a fully DIY job from the invites at the beginning to clearing up the morning after. I was on maternity leave from my job as an architect at the time, and our son Walt was not one for much sleep, so there was a lot of middle-of-the-night googling going on to find suppliers etc.

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We found a field right on the edge of the coastline at a dairy called Carswell Farm. Although he’d grown up in Surrey, Andy’s two brothers both live in the West Country as well so it felt right to do it in Devon, near where I grew up.

We roped EVERYONE in to help. My older sister made my beautiful dress, our families helped to dress the marquee, my Dad and Uncle built the bar on an ancient Land Rover which we then parked right on the edge of the dancefloor for the evening reception! It was the most random, best bit of the night pouring gin and tonics from the side of a Land Rover without having to stop dancing. Our friend Tim rigged up the massive sound system and we asked friends and family to compile 30 minute playlists. It was such a nice thing to do as it really made the evening distinct; we had a glam rock set, a country and western slot and then broke it down to more dancey stuff at the end of the evening.

What was your first dance?

We don’t really have a ‘couple song’ …repeatedly singing “we are the robots” by Kraftwerk or dancing along to the Desert Island Discs music were the only two ideas we had that represent our relationship! So we went with The You and Me song by The Wannadies. Our friends had actually used it a few years earlier and we loved the mix of lovely heart felt lyrics and upbeat music straight from our teenage years.

bride-and-groom-dancing-together-on-dancefloor

What was your favourite part of the day?

Lizi: Our ceremony was really special to me. A friend of my mum’s, Vanessa Fitzgerald is a celebrant and she helped us craft a really unique ceremony. We asked 5 friends and family members to read for us and my stepsister sang accompanied by a folk band, Dumbo’s Feather, who we also had play us back to the reception field. Andy’s mum had made canvas banners to represent each reading. We also then used the design of these banners to identify the tables so it all tied together really nicely.

The location was incredible, right on the edge of the coastal path. Thankfully the weather held out for us as to be honest we didn’t really have a fall back plan if we couldn’t have the ceremony outside. Another amazing part of it was walking up with my family… and having to wait for the 300 dairy cattle to pass us as they were blocking our route to the ceremony. In the three days before setting up the site it hadn’t occurred to us that the milking was the same time as the wedding!

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Andy: I loved when the speeches had finished and everyone got on the dancefloor. I had been nervous about making my speech and really wanted to express my feelings and make everyone laugh and smile. They all went well and everyone could enjoy themselves on the dance floor next to ‘Nicky’ the Land Rover which doubled as the bar for the evening. As the speeches had run on longer than planned, our amazing photographer, Joanna Brown, was due to leave so we rushed through cutting out incredible cake which Lizi’s step-mum made. We used a sword borrowed from Lizi’s Dad, who was in the Navy, it was totally exhilarating and mildly haphazard.

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Why did you choose Patchwork for your alternative gift list?

I had googled our options extensively and liked the simple setup and the really clean graphics of Patchwork. What sealed the deal was meeting the team in person at the Most Curious Wedding Fair in Shoreditch (the only wedding/bride event I went to in the run up!)

What did you ask your wedding guests to chip in towards?

We are desperate for a new sofa. Our current one was £200 from eBay originally and its lived a hard life over the last 5 years and is telling the tales… lump of wood in the middle holding it up and all! We also used our Patchwork as a way for people to offer up their time and skills for our wedding itself – our friends pledged to make a dessert, bring blankets for the ceremony and they offered up their DJ skills for one of the 30 minute playlists. Because of this, the day was exactly what we hoped for. For us, engaging our friends and family in our day was really important.

Patchwork was so simple. Once you’ve added your own photos to the site, it looks really unique to you as a couple and the graphics are clear. Everyone found it very easy to use, and the few older guests who struggled in one way or another picked up a phone and worked it out directly with the team so it was absolutely a 10/10 from them!

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Have you bought your new sofa yet?

We have yet to buy the sofa as we are just in the process of buying a dilapidated house, so we are living with the old wreck for a while longer whilst we get the work finished.

We spend a lot of time lusting over Pinterest boards and can’t wait to pick a fabric though.

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Thank you so much lovely Lizi & Andy for sharing your sweet Patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own honeymoon fund patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

P.s Listen to Lizi & Andy’s first dance song in our ‘First Dance’ Spotify playlist, made up of our lovely Patchwork Couple’s first dances.

All photos by Joanna Brown Photography

Patchwork Couple: Steph & John’s Wedding & USA Road Trip Honeymoon

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Steph and John met 9 years ago when they were both travelling with friends in Australia. After they got chatting on a small Whitsunday island, they realised their parents lived fifteen minutes apart and that they even had a few mutual friends. It really is a small world! They travelled along the East Coast and spent New Year together, but Steph had to get back home to start a job. So far, so holiday romance, right? Wrong! As soon as Steph got home, John called her and they spent the next few months Skyping (thank God for technology) until they could be in each other’s arms again. Aww. Skip forward almost a decade and they’re newlyweds! We asked Steph all about their sunny wedding and Patchworked honeymoon.

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How did you get engaged?

John proposed to me during a friend’s 30th birthday weekend. We had gone to a cute forest cabin weekend thing and were all out trying to walk off the amount of alcohol we had consumed the night before. There was an amazing field of flowers so I decided to run through the field in an ethereal way (maybe I was still a bit drunk?!). John came running after me which I thought was weird and then when he caught up with me he was staring at me in a CRAZY way. I asked him if he was ok and then he got down on one knee. I honestly have no idea what he said or what I said, apart from yes of course.

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We hear you had an amazing hen do – tell us more!

My bridesmaids are my best mates, Kat, Lex, Carly and Amber. They are the dream team and organised the most amazing hen, focusing on my other true love; Eastenders. It was fancy dress and friends arrived as everyone from Bepe DiMarco to Nancy Carter, 2 Bianca’s and Wellard. My friend Laura came as the River Thames and painted herself blue! I had 3 character changes throughout the evening, Bianca Jackson, Shirley Carter and Peggy Mitchell. There were Eastenders themed games throughout the evening (The Wheel of Walford was a highlight) lots of shots and a cardboard cut-out of Danny Dyer. It was the best night ever.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We just wanted our wedding to be fun. We wanted everyone to feel like they were on holiday and we wanted it to last for more than one day. John also suggested it should be outside of the UK as he knows I can SOMETIMES get too into the detail and over worry. He suggested if the wedding location wasn’t within arm’s reach it would help me as I could only do so much. While at times this was hard, it was the best decision we made. We planned to visit a few different European cities and try and find somewhere we liked but as soon as we visited Lisbon we fell in love and knew that was where we were going to get married.

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We got married at Quinta De Sant’ana, a vineyard location about 30mins outside of central Lisbon. There were 100 guests, mainly friends to be honest and pretty much everyone came for the whole weekend. Our welcome drinks on Thursday was almost as epic as the wedding! Our friends Carly and Tas officiated the ceremony, one of our friends was MoC and we had our friends do DJ sets, it all felt really personal and unique to us.

We had the legal bit in London a few days before we flew to Lisbon. This was at Hackney Town Hall and we invited our family (no friends) to our local pub in the evening to celebrate which truly was a lovely day. I feel so lucky we got to have two weddings with all the people we love.

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Did you have a first dance? What was it?

We did. I love dancing one of my number one priorities was to create a wedding situation that ensured the dancefloor was full all night long. That was the main reason we had a first dance, I knew it would ensure everyone was in one place on the dancefloor for when the music started! Our first dance was Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac but to be honest, the second tune was most important as that was the track we wanted to get everyone dancing. That song was Vogue!  

What advice would you give to other couples on their wedding day?

Try, try, try to not worry about little things on the day and be in the moment. It’s one day/weekend and it flies by. My dress was a bit big on the day and I have no memory of walking down the aisle or the ceremony really as I was just worried about my dress falling down! And I guess with that in mind my other piece of advice would be make sure your outfit fits you properly! Ha!

How did you decide to use Patchwork?

We wanted to fund our honeymoon to America, starting in New York, flying to Nashville, then driving all the way to the Florida Keys. We really wanted our friends to feel like they helped us do the amazing things we got do on our honeymoon. It made the honeymoon even more special. My friend had used Patchwork for her wedding gift list so we knew how nice it was to feel like you are contributing to your friend’s honeymoon happiness! It’s just so easy and everything is online, even your busiest friends and oldest family members can use it.

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What kinds of things did your friends treat you to?

Someone bought us an evening at a New Orleans Jazz night – this was quite possible our favourite evening of the whole honeymoon. Our friend recommended seeing The Soul Rebels who were playing in New Orleans when we were there. They are an eight-piece band who play Jazz but sprinkled with hip-hop, pop, funk and rock. If you ever see them listed anywhere, GO.

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We were also given water park tickets – despite being a total wimp and frightened of everything I weirdly love water parks so including this on our patchwork was super exciting! Nothing can beat a Universal Studios water park. The number 1 ride at Volcano Bay involves climbing to the top of said volcano and getting into a plastic capsule with a trapdoor. The floor disappears beneath you and you free fall into a tube that just shoots you out at the bottom of the volcano . The whole thing is over in about 10 seconds. It is AMAZING.

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Friends also chipped in towards our hotel in New York – putting this on our patchwork allowed us to stay in a great part of Manhattan. And this hotel had a happy hour that included Whispering Angel – my FAV rosé. Dreamy.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

If you are interested in food, music and culture this is the honeymoon for you. Seeing how the food and music changed from place to place was super interesting. And then being big kids in Florida was the perfect end to our epic adventure.

honeymoon couple in sunglasses on boat in front of new york skyline

 


 

Thank you Steph & John for sharing your Patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own honeymoon fund patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

P.s Listen to John & Steph’s first dance song(s!) in our ‘First Dance’ Spotify playlist, made up of our lovely Patchwork Couple’s first dances.

Patchwork Couple: Jeremy & Catherine’s Intimate Wedding & African Adventure

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Jeremy and Catherine met at a party in 2013 and moved in together (on a narrow boat!) six months later. They’ve been living together, on a boat, ever since. They even showed up to their wedding on it. Jeremy told us all about their wedding day and the incredible adventure that followed.

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How did you get engaged?

On the boat! I made a curry and proposed after dinner. Then I took Catherine away to the Cotswolds to go hiking for the weekend to celebrate, before we shared the news with friends.

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What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted a really no frills affair – we were married in Bow Town Hall and the party was at Stour Space in Hackney Wick, where we pulled up in our boat! We just wanted a fun, relaxed party to celebrate with everyone.

The invitation said ‘wear whatever makes you happy’ so people came in all sorts; from fancy dress, to a top hat & tail, to shorts!

We were able to buy and supply all drinks and food at the venue. We did lots of online shopping, went beer tasting in Bermondsey Beer Mile and bought all the things we love – bread from E5 bakery, bagels from Brick Lane, pies from Broadway Market, chocolate from South Africa!

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What was your first dance?

Bare Necessities from the Jungle Book.

What was your favourite part of the day?

Just having all our family and best friends, from all over the world, in one room.

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Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We thought it was a super cool idea and we really didn’t want ‘things’, we have everything we need on our little boat and both love to travel, so thought this was far more fun than people buying us cake forks and whatnot.

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Instead we asked for various experiences that we hoped to do on our trip to Africa, where we planned on travelling for a few months. We asked for things like seeing the mountain gorillas and climbing Mount Kenya. We were so excited when we left to start our trip, and very grateful for everyone’s generosity.

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It was super easy to set up, the patchwork looked really awesome and it was so easy for friends and family to contribute – they all thought it was an awesome idea.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

There is nothing as amazing as travelling and to spend a year seeing the world with your partner is so incredibly special. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime and have so many stories to tell the grandkids!

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Thank you Jeremy & Catherine for sharing your Patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

P.s Listen to Jeremy & Catherine’s first dance song in our new Spotify playlist, made up of lots of Patchwork Couple’s first dances.

When Giving is All We Have

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A poem by Alberto Rios.

This poem was included in December’s Patchwork LOVES newsletter. Patchwork LOVES is a place for us to celebrate the things that make us happy to be human. Each month we share stories, music, ideas and inspiration around a new theme. This month was all about GIVING. Want to sign up to get the next instalment? Click subscribe in the top left here.

Patchwork Couple: Chris & Kirsty’s Scenic Scottish Wedding

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Chris and Kirsty first met each other in 2009, when Kirsty responded to a room advert in London and moved into a flat share with Chris and his mate Phil. Kirsty says they were very much functional flatmates during they time living together – rarely speaking as they passed in the hallways. It wasn’t until a few years later – when they found themselves single and training for a triathlon – that the bonding experience of trudging through boggy lakes finally brought them together.

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How did you get engaged?

It turns out Chris had asked my Dad for permission back in February whilst we were up in Scotland – they were sitting with Ben Nevis in the background, roaring fire and whisky in hand – so it was the perfect setting! I think my Dad was beginning to think he changed his mind as it was 3 months until he eventually popped the question! We got engaged in May 2016 in the New Forest. We’ve spent several weekends there in the past and always loved it. Chris chose a beautiful ring after a few months of secret plotting.

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What kind of wedding did you plan?

We knew that we wanted to make a full weekend of our wedding celebrations, have somewhere the whole family could stay, which was informal, relaxed and had lots of personal touches.  Chris stumbled across the Lodge of Loch Goil whilst we were searching for venues online – despite the rainy, grey day when we visited we knew it would be perfect for us – we knew we wanted a Scottish wedding and a unique setting.

laughing-couple walking through doors in wedding clothes

As it turns out, we got married on one of the warmest days of the year in Scotland – we ended up changing out plans last minute, and got married outside, the guests needed their sunglasses on and I got burnt! Chris and the groom party all wore kilts too – which was particularly novel for them as they are all English!

We both loved the whole day from start to finish – we couldn’t have asked for it to go better. We had written most of the ceremony ourselves so it told the story of us and our friend wrote a beautiful speech from songs of our favourite bands. My mum made a beautiful cake and Chris’s parents made the table plan. We also loved the little personal touches like the gin bar, cake topper and smore station over the fire pit which went down a treat – and the band were also awesome so there was plenty dancing!

wedding-congregation-toasting-marshmallows-over-an-open-firetable-plan-for-wedding-made-out-of-lego-figures

What was your first dance?

We both already knew what our first dance would be – Birds of Prey by Editors – so that was really easy! We’re pretty aligned in terms of approach and what we like – which made the whole planning process fun and stress free.

Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We chose Patchwork as we wanted a site where our guests could contribute to our honeymoon in South Africa. The best thing is really being able to personalise the content and build the patchwork yourselves. It also seemed really easy for our guests to use which was important to us. We had a number of people comment on how great the site was!

woman-and-man-smilingblue-skies-and-seas-on-a-rocky-shoreline

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Yes definitely. We went to South Africa 5 months after we got married – everyone had been so generous and we knew we had a trip of a lifetime ahead of us. We had a great variety of experiences to enjoy including safari, wine tasting, kayaking and lots of delicious food. Our trip started off with safari which instantly immersed us in a completely different world – and over 4 game drives we saw all of the Big 5 which was amazing! Then we ventured to Camps Bay in Cape Town, took in amazing views from Table Mountain, enjoyed the beaches and incredible food. Then we moved to Franschhoek and the winelands. From there we then drove along the Garden Route, exploring different towns along the coast.

South Africa is a beautiful country, with hugely diverse landscapes, amazing experiences and gave us a great mixture of experience and relaxation time during our honeymoon!

vineyards-with-mountains-in-the-backgroundpenguins on beach


 

Thank you Kirsty & Chris for sharing your Patchwork story with us. And a big congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Patchwork Couple: Chris & Harriet’s Manchester Wedding and Californian Road Trip

manchester warehouse wedding

Harriet and Chris met six years ago in a chip shop at the end of a night out in Sheffield, where Chris was studying. They overheard each other’s Brummy accents, started chatting and hit it off instantly. They’ve since moved to Manchester together and married this summer in a humanist ceremony. We asked Harriet all about their wedding day and the road trip honeymoon that followed.

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged in New York, it was always very important for me to get married, but for Chris it was never really a big thing. When Chris bought me a holiday in New York for Christmas I honestly thought it was his way of buying himself more time! We’d been away for 4 days before he popped the question in the most beautiful candlelit bar in the East Village, with a ring made by one of my best friends, Naomi Jago – we decided not to tell anyone until we got home which meant we were in the most perfect love bubble – it was really lovely.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We planned a city centre party, with our friends and family as the main focus – we really just wanted everyone to have the nicest of days, lots of booze, great food and dancing. We had a very personal humanist wedding ceremony in the People’s History Museum in Manchester, followed by a party in an old cotton mill in Ancoats – it was important for us to get married in the city we live in and both the venues were so laid back, so we really could do anything we wanted.

What was your first dance?

We had the Villagers cover of Elvis The Wonder of You – the words said everything that we felt about each other.

What advice would you give to other couples on their wedding day?

The one thing I’d say is to do whatever you want – weddings are great when they reflect you as a couple. We love having people round to our house for dinner so really wanted it to feel like a big dinner party. That’s how I ended up serving our guests my home made desserts and since the wedding so many of our guests have commented how nice that was – so just do whatever reflects you as a couple!

Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Of all our wedding decisions Patchwork is up there as one of the best ones – for us it was a no brainer. We have lived together for 5 years and have recently renovated our first home, so we have everything we need. All we wanted were lots of memories that we would treasure forever, and with Patchwork our guests could help us have the BEST summer.

Everything about using Patchwork was incredibly easy – from making the Patchwork to the gift giving itself. It also made it very exciting as we planned our honeymoon so far in advance, so people could buy us very specific things.

We were originally worried about how the older members of our family would feel about us asking for money as well as the technology side of Patchwork – but they all loved it – they loved knowing what they were buying for us and loved how simple it was. Our friends loved it – a few of them are now planning on using it for their weddings next year.

What did you ask your wedding guests to contribute towards?

Our Patchwork funded our Californian road trip from San Francisco to LA. We picked this as although we have had many brilliant holidays before, we really wanted our honeymoon to be the dream holiday – and we would never have been able to fund a holiday like that on our own. We started in San Francisco for 5 days, then travelled down the Pacific Coast Highway stopping at Monterey, Santa Barbara and then we arrived in LA, stayed in Santa Monica and then finished off in West Hollywood.

Knowing that all of our friends and family had paid for us to do certain things made me so much more emotional about everything. We took pictures of ourselves cycling down Venice Beach and eating posh dinners and sent them to the friends that had bought us that gift. It was so lovely to thank everyone in that way.

Harriet and Chris’s top 5 tips for a Californian road trip: 

  1. Spend a day at a winery
  2. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
  3. Head to Jon and Vinny’s in West Hollywood for pizza
  4. Go shopping in Santa Barbara
  5. Hire bikes and go for a picnic on Santa Monica Pier

Would you recommend your Californian road trip to other honeymooners?

Our trip was the perfect mix of busy city life and dreamy hotel relaxation – one day we were celebrating with a posh dinner and champagne after a day of sightseeing – the next we were having room service in a lovely comfy hotel after lying by the pool. Also – if you love wine it’s the most perfect trip for beautiful vineyards!

Babb Photo – www.babbphoto.com


 

Thank you Harriet & Chris for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a big congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

All wedding photography by the brilliant Babb Photo – www.babbphoto.com

P.s Listen to Harriet & Chris’s first dance song in our new Spotify playlist, made up of lots of Patchwork Couple’s first dances.

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