Annouska and Gareth have been together for five years, and after Gareth took a job in Saudi Arabia, the couple lived apart for three and a half long years. On the day Gareth finally returned to the UK, he asked Annouska to marry him. We asked her all about their wedding and Hawaiian honeymoon patchwork – funded by friends.
How did you get engaged?
On the day Gareth returned home from working abroad, I picked him up from Heathrow as usual. We had two nights booked at a hotel in Brighton, one of our favourite places to visit! We arrived straight from Heathrow in the afternoon, and had a table booked for dinner at a lovely restaurant on the seafront. We stopped off at a little cocktail bar before dinner, where he popped the question! Totally unexpected, and very romantic. He’d nipped over to Dubai to buy my ring, and it was absolutely perfect, and fitted like a dream! Turns out he’d been talking to my best friend, Lucy. It’s always good if your bestie knows your ring size!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
Living in Somerset, we are spoilt for beautiful countryside, manor houses and estates. We picked a beautiful little barn in Muchelney, a small village on the outskirts of our hometown, Taunton. It was to be a relaxed, intimate, rustic wedding, but still classic and traditional. We had mismatched teacups and saucers as favours for the girls, and vintage half pint tankards for the boys. Our table names were ski resorts we’d visited together, and we hand-made all our invitations/place-cards/table plans and order of services.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Walking down the aisle of the church, clinging on to my father’s arm, seeing my husband to be waiting for me, and the faces of all my favourite people, smiling back at me. I couldn’t stop beaming! After that, the speeches were incredible, and our band were wonderful! Dancing the night away with my family and friends was a great way to finish a perfect day!
Why made Patchwork the best gift list for you?
As we don’t yet own our own home, we didn’t want to go down the traditional route of a gift list for our house. Instead, we’d rather our family and friends help us have a once in a lifetime experience for our Hawaiian honeymoon! Memories last forever, and we got to do many things we’d never have been able to, without the help of our Patchwork. It was a more personal approach to a gift list, and gave us lots to talk about and thank people for upon our return.
What did you use Patchwork to fund?
We wanted to fund our Hawaiian honeymoon. Mainly lots of fun activities to keep us busy! We’ve always been fans of experiences, rather than materialistic things, so it made sense.
What was your favourite thing about using Patchwork?
Knowing that all our loved ones had contributed to our honeymoon was a wonderful feeling. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of people! After the expense of a wedding (unfortunately no matter how hard we tried, it still cost a lot!) it was lovely to be able to relax on our Hawaiian honeymoon, and not have to worry about spending too much. Our friends and family had sorted that for us! It took the stress out of the experience totally.
The ease of keeping track of who’s given certain gifts was also fantastic. It was extremely handy when it came to the thank you cards after the honeymoon!
Our friends and family loved it too. It was easy to use, and completely personalised. We’ve been to many weddings over the last few years, most of whom have either asked for money towards their honeymoon, or vouchers. While this is easy enough as a guest to give, it feels very impersonal, and you can’t be sure what you’re actually giving them to do on their honeymoon.
And would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Yes. We did San Francisco and then two Hawaiian islands. It was the most wonderful experience. The perfect mix of culture, relaxation, adventure and serenity. 100% recommended!
Thanks, Annouska and Gareth! And congratulations from Team Patchwork.