Patchwork Couple: Chris & Leroy’s Cycling Adventure

Keen cyclists Leroy and Chris have been together for six years and have had plenty of adventures in that time. Chris proposed to Leroy during a cycling tour of Rajasthan – they were on the steps of the Taj Lake overlooking Jag Mandir Palace (where Octopussy from James Bond was filmed!) and Leroy said ‘yes!’. The couple decided to use Patchwork to fund their next big trip. We asked Chris all about it.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We chose a local venue near to where we live in Whitechapel called the Ecology Pavilion – it’s an amazing venue set right in the heart of the east end of London, but surrounded by water and wildlife. We had our wedding ceremony there and then a reception for about 150 people.

Did you have a first dance?

No, we decided not to do a first dance, but once I’d wiped the tears of joy away we hugged and kissed!

What was your favourite part of the day?

Putting on each other’s wedding rings.

What made you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We have always wanted to cycle to Mardi Gras through the southern states of America and Patchwork enabled us to do so. Our guests could see how crazy we were to do this in mid-winter, on a tandem! And they could fund all aspects of our trip.

What did you decide to fund?

Everything we wanted to do on our trip. We even added the kennel costs for our two dogs and that was probably the most popular! We included everything from staying in motels to Mardi Gras costumes, huge American Breakfasts and bicycle repairs. It was fantastic to be able to fund exactly what we needed with no hassle and no stress.

How did you feel setting off on your honeymoon adventure?

Amazing – everyone who had contributed also followed our trip with all of the adventures knowing they had made them happen. Though of course they all asked why we wanted to cycle 700 miles for fun, let alone for a honeymoon!

And finally if/why you’d recommend your trip to other couples?

Travelling by tandem through places that have hardly ever seen a bicycle, let alone a dual heritage, same-sex married couple was always going to be a once in a lifetime experience – especially when your trip is featured as the lead news article on Mardi Gras across the USA!


 

Thank you Chris & Leroy 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 Partners with the Big Lunch & Iftar

the big iftar

We knew Patchwork was a super useful tool for organising events like birthday parties, hen dos and school quiz nights. But we didn’t expect for it to be used in such a BIG way by the brilliant people behind the Big Lunch and Big Iftar. We were over the moon when they got in touch looking for a way to help people organise their events in a useful, fun and easy way.

the big lunch

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big iftar

big lunchWe partnered up with the Big Lunch and Big Iftar to create a set of bespoke readymade patchworks, making it easier than ever to bring neighbours together for a celebration of summer, community and friendship. All the budding Big Lunch organisers had to do was customise a template that matched the event they wanted to put on, then send it out to their neighbours. Then their community could choose how to get involved – whether it was making a cake, chipping in for the road closure fee, or organising games for the kids. The organiser could keep track of who was doing what in their account and easily get in touch with everyone to go through any details.

big lunch patchwork in ipadSo if you’re going to a Big Lunch/Iftar this year, have a wonderful time meeting all of your neighbours. And if not, perhaps we can inspire you to organise your very own event for your community or local school.

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

Patchwork Couple: Phoebe & Stuart’s Super Stylish London Wedding…

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…And Nordic honeymoon – made possible with a little help from their friends.

Phoebe and Stuart have been together over 9 years and have been living together for the majority of that time too.  They met when they were both working at a music venue and became close friends almost instantly. They curated their own club night which ran for over 5 years – Phoebe says this was an amazing outlet for their shared creative ideas, and it was this that really cemented the couple as a unit. “As cheesy as it sounds, we both feel incredibly lucky to have fallen in love with a best friend!”. Ahhh! Cheesy but lovely. Phoebe told us all about their wedding and the ‘Patchworked’ honeymoon that followed.

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How did you get engaged?

We always wanted to explore Scotland together so Stu planned a surprise week away on the very north coast in a secluded retreat called Croft 103, on the banks of Loch Eriboll. Stu always wanted it to be just us two when he proposed so he did it while we were on a walk along Balnakeil Beach, which couldn’t really have been more remote or special.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

It took us a couple of years before we properly started planning the wedding and it was really important for us that it felt like a really casual get together of friends and family. We were more bothered about having good people, good food and good music around us rather than table plans and formality. We found a space in London called NT Bar in East London and felt like it had everything we wanted from the venue, in a hidden city centre location. They hadn’t really had a wedding there before so we worked with them to find out how it could work best in the space and used their in-house catering partners who were awesome.

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We had an official ceremony/legal part the day before at Islington Town Hall with literally 12 close family members. Then the next day was friends and extended family altogether at NT Bar for a slow breakfast followed by a short blessing performed by a close friend of ours and basically a big party! I guess we chose this because we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and not have to fuss about getting from one place to another. Food-wise we had big help-yourself buffet dishes inspired by our love of greek food, coffee and doughnuts from our local bakery for after and then late night cheese toasties for when everyone had the proper munchies after dancing for ages! We DJ’ed as did a load of our mates so it really felt more personal than any paid wedding DJ could make it.

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NT-bar-London

Did you have a first dance? What was it?

We actually struggled to find a song that we both felt was right but eventually went for ‘I Really Need Love’ by The Bees. Which turned out to be literally the most awkward rhythm in a song to dance to, haha! So we recommend actually trying to dance together to a song before settling on a track. Seems obvious now when we think about it… duh.

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

We had a limited budget (as most normal people do!) so I think it’s just about breaking it down and making a list of things that really, genuinely mattered to us. Make sure that you spend the most on the things right at the top of that list. It seems really obvious I know, but it’s so easy to get sidetracked with what other people have done or what you think should be the big thing, when actually if you’re honest with yourselves and give weight to the things that really matter you will come away from the whole day with such a positive experience.

Also, just take a moment on the day to look around at the room when everything is in full swing. Seeing everyone you care about in one room dancing, eating, drinking and chatting is a massively humbling experience and something that doesn’t happen often in your life, so it’s definitely worth taking a mental snapshot of that moment for yourselves.

What made you choose to do a Patchwork honeymoon fund?

Having been together for so long we had built up a good supply of what I suppose people would consider the ‘classic’ wedding gifts (ie. kitchen gadgets, furniture etc.) so we thought it would make more sense to give friends and family the option to contribute towards life-long memories made on our honeymoon instead. I mean how many treasured memories will you get from a food mixer?! I guess it all just comes back to that more personal experience again and knowing that memories will last longer than anything you can buy from a shop.

A friend of ours had used a similar platform for their wedding so when we did a bit of research we found that Patchwork fitted our needs/taste more. The range of payment options was great and the ways in which you could really shape the page to be more personal to you was far superior to anything else out there.

Did your friends and family like your patchwork?

Yes. They felt it was a really personal way of contributing to our honeymoon trip and was really easy to use. They said it really took the stress out of having to worry about getting a physical gift and presenting it to us. Because we created a real range of different choices from practical things like fuel in our hire car and winter coats to slightly more glamorous things like a boat trip along the fjords and visits to stunning locations. Everything was priced at different levels, from small to large, so it seemed like there was something everyone could choose from and find their favourite one for us.

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What did it feel like when you set off for your honeymoon?

We were just really overwhelmed by everyone’s sentiments and generosity. It made us really feel like we truly able to make the most of our trip to Iceland and Norway and stay in amazing places such as Juvet Landscape Hotel, when we might have otherwise had to scale back our plans. We were just so excited as we knew we had so many more possibilities than we ever thought we would.

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Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

We would definitely recommend both Iceland and Norway as they are a real get-away, you can not only explore totally unique & breathtaking landscapes and cultures, but you can also find your very own spot to cosy up and spend some time together without distractions. There’s  so much to explore, they’re truly vast and you can cover huge distances on foot and by 4×4 without realising it as around each corner you are drawn further in to the surroundings.


 

Thank you Phoebe & Stuart 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.

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

WIN: Dinner for Two at the Town Hall Hotel

We’re super excited to be bringing you a romantic giveaway with our friends over at the utterly gorgeous Town Hall Hotel & Apartments. We think Bethnal Green’s old town hall is the perfect location for your chic city wedding – whether you’re after contemporary urban glamour or fairytale magic, this unique venue can provide a stunning setting, fabulous food and all the support you need for a stress-free wedding.

Incredibly, every one of their rooms is licensed for marriage, so you can hold your ceremony and reception in whichever room takes your fancy – from the formal splendor of the Council Chamber to the elegance of Bethnal Hall or even the contemporary cutting edge design of the De Montfort Suite.

The De Montford Suite

Plus, with the amazing chefs at the Town Hall Hotel, you won’t have to worry about a bland buffet or an undercooked vegetable. Speaking of their excellent food, we’re big fans of the hotel’s beautiful Corner Room restaurant and we’re very excited to hear about the new menu from their brand new chef Craig Johnson, so we’re thrilled to be partnering up with the hotel to give away a romantic dinner for two at the Corner Room worth £75.

The Corner Room Restaurant

Want to be in with a chance of winning? Just head over to instagram and follow both of our pages, then tag two mates who would love this prize.

Links:

Patchwork instagram

Town Hall Hotel instagram

Giveaway post

 


 

Terms and Conditions:

To enter for your chance to win head to our instagram: 1. Follow both @patchwork_it and @townhallhotel 2. Tag 2 friends in the comments of the competition post on instagram. 1 winner. Ends midnight 17/5/18.

The Patchwork x Town Hall Hotel Collaboration instagram Competition is open to residents of the UK aged 18 or over, excluding employees of the Promoter: Patchwork or their affiliate companies, their families, cohabitants, agents and anyone connected with the promotion. No purchase necessary. The winner must be available to travel to Bethnal Green in London on a date that suits you, any time before the 31/12/2018.

To enter, you must comment on the competition post and FOLLOW @patchwork_it and @townhallhotel so we can see your entry to the competition. The start date of the promotion is 9/5/2018. The closing date by which entries must be received is 17/5/2018 23.59pm.

Prize

There will be 1 winner ONLY. The winner will receive a meal for two worth £75 at the Corner Room restaurant, Town Hall Hotel. The prize is as stated, is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Should the original prize, or any part of it, become unavailable for any reason whatsoever, Patchwork may substitute a prize of comparable or greater value.

Winner Selection

The Free Prize Draw will be carried out on 18/5/2018. The prize-winner will be picked at random. The prize-winner will be announced on the @patchwork_it instagram on 18/5/2018. The winner will also be notified via direct message on instagram and email within 7 days of the Free Prize Draw. Should the prize-winner not respond to the email within 14 days, Patchwork reserves the right to allocate the prize to another entrant. The result of the Free Prize Draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

General

If Patchwork is unable to satisfy certain terms and conditions of this promotion due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control, they may modify such terms accordingly or, if necessary, suspend or discontinue the promotion. By entering the Free Prize Draw, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and that their names and counties of residence may be released if they win the prize. Entrants agree that Patchwork shall be entitled to use the entrants’ quotes in any publicity material. Promoter: Patchwork, 7b Harefield Road, Brockley, London, SE4 1LW

Patchwork Couple: An Intimate Wedding & Honeymoon in Mexico

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Alex and Sophie have been together for ten years. They met at university in 2007 and were put in the same house (with five other people!). It took a year of living together for either of them to make a move, but thank goodness they did and they’ve been inseparable ever since. The couple planned an intimate wedding and then set off to their dream honeymoon destination – Mexico. We asked Sophie all about it.

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How did you get engaged?

Alex proposed at our home that we renovated together, I’d just come back from a friend’s baby shower and he surprised me with an indoor picnic, complete with all my favourites (we’re big foodies!). He got down on one knee and said the most lovely things but I don’t remember any of it because I was smiling so much and wanting him to get up to have a big hug!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We’re both quiet people so the idea of walking down the aisle with lots of people watching filled me with anxiety. We were set on having an intimate, low key and relaxed wedding. I have a pretty big family and we wanted to celebrate with everyone so we had 30 close friends and family to the ceremony, followed by a relaxed picnic lunch just like our engagement. Then we invited the rest of our lovely family and friends to celebrate late afternoon into the evening for a slow and low style barbecue.

What was your first dance?

We love to watch films, hate romantic comedies, and enjoy something a bit different. ‘You and Me’ by Penny and the Quarters is a song that means a lot to us, both because of the film connection and the beautiful lyrics with a vintage vibe.

What was your favourite part of the day?

We were both very nervous about the ceremony because all eyes would be on us. Every time I heard the song I would walk down the aisle to (‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonzalez) I would cry thinking about the whole experience. This built up and up until the day we got married. I was so shaky when I walked down that I was just focused on not tripping up and felt calm seeing Alex there smiling from ear to ear. I didn’t cry, thank god and we both loved the whole thing. What seemed like it was going to be the scariest part was actually the best!

Why did you decide to make a Patchwork honeymoon fund?

We wanted to create a visual mood board of our hopes and dreams for our honeymoon. Patchwork allowed us to compile everything and create a photo album to get excited about on the lead up to our wedding and honeymoon.

We knew we wanted to have our honeymoon in Tulum, Mexico and wanted our friends and families to see what we’d planned to do. We weren’t expecting anything and just wanted to enjoy the experience together. People were so keen to see what we planned to do and wanted to help us have the trip of a lifetime.

Our family and friends liked the ease of logging on and choosing what they were putting money towards. People were able to choose experiences that they wanted to be a part of and this opened up talking points at our wedding, and ever since!

How did you feel when you set off on your honeymoon?

We were a little overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity. It was so exciting that we were able to go and experience everything we’d dreamed of doing. Swimming with wild turtles in the ocean, visiting beautiful cenotes, exploring an underwater cave, having an authentic Mexican cooking lesson, drinking far too many margaritas and eating incredible tacos!

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Patchwork made it really easy to see everything we wanted to do, identify how much we had to spend and who had bought us each particular experience. We were able to send tailored thank you cards and people really appreciated knowing what we were spending the money on and how they had helped make it happen.

Would you recommend Mexico to other honeymooners?

We absolutely loved our trip to Tulum, Mexico. Mexico was somewhere that we’d always dreamed of going but never thought we’d be able to experience. As soon as we arrived in Mexico, we said we needed to come back again and again! We experienced the jungle, the bustling town and the beautiful boho beaches. We loved every minute, thank you Patchwork!


 

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

Wedding photography by Angela Ward Brown.

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 Alex & Sophie’s first dance song in our new Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couple’s first dances.

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.

patchwork honeymoon fund turtle experience

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.

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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

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