Home Patchwork Couples An autumn Suffolk wedding and honeymoon to St Lucia

An autumn Suffolk wedding and honeymoon to St Lucia

by Rosie Hurwitz
James and Katie on their wedding day at Henham Barns in Suffolk. James stands behind Katie with his arms around her waist, she is holding a large bouquet of autumnal coloured flowers.

Gorgeous couple James and Katie chat to us today all about their beautiful Autumn wedding and honeymoon to St Lucia. Katie is a nurse and originally from Chester and James runs his own business and grew up in Suffolk. They met in the summer of 2015 at Latitude festival and have been together ever since. Like so many couples, their original wedding and honeymoon plans were de-railed by the pandemic. Their honeymoon to Borneo became an adventure to St Lucia which they made the most of – with a little help from family and friends! Despite delays, their patience paid off and they finally got their big wedding celebration with all their loved ones back where it all began – the Latitude festival site in Suffolk. Read on to hear more about their joy-filled day.

James just after proposing to Katie on the ski slopes in France

How did you get engaged?

James: I proposed to Katie at the top of a mountain whilst we were skiing in France in 2019. We had everything originally booked to get married in 2020 but had to postpone until 2021 due to Covid.

Wedding ceremony room set up in autumnal colours at Henham Barns
Katie and James' wedding breakfast at Henham Barns

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love for all our friends and family as much as it was about our love for each other. Katie had always enjoyed the idea of an autumn wedding and we both wanted a nod to how we met so we returned to where our story began at Henham Park (where Latitude is held) for the wedding. With Covid forcing us to postpone our wedding by a year we made the most of it and tried to source as much as we could from the Suffolk countryside. We spent months foraging and drying rose petals for confetti as well as all kinds of other flora to dry and use in our arrangements, collecting pheasant feathers and old gin bottles to use for our table decorations, and hand-making as many elements as we could for the day. We also included our friends as much as possible in the process. Two of our closest friends performed the ceremony for us and a lifelong friend of mine created the incredible floral arrangements for the day. Another old friend agreed to miss out on all the fun out front by staying behind the scenes and doing the catering for the day.

James and Katie on the dance floor on their wedding day
Guests on the dancefloor at James and Katie's wedding

Did you have a first dance?

Our first dance was to “Take on Me” by A-ha – it began as the acoustic version so we could have a quiet moment together before kicking up into the original tempo to get everyone else stuck into the dance floor!

A simple, modern, three tier wedding cake decorated with Autumnal flowers and fruits. Cake is by Two Magpies bakery and stands on a wooden board with an exposed brick wall behind.
Guests standing up to toast the marriage of James and Katie during their wedding reception at Henham Barns

What was your favourite part of the day?

James: Having everyone so special to us in the same place is so rare and meant the world to me, seeing Katie for the first time in her dress is something I’ll never forget, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever laugh again the way I did at my brother Richard’s Best Man speech. It sounds cliché but the whole day was so overwhelmingly full of joy (especially after all the lockdowns!) that I honestly can’t pick a specific part to hang my hat on as a favourite!

Katie: Having all of our loved ones under one roof, especially after such a tough year where we’d been separated for so long. James and I had a sweetheart table which meant we had time alone together to soak up the atmosphere. The whole day was so special I wouldn’t change a thing.

James and Katie outside in the sunshine on their wedding day at Henham Barns, Suffolk

What made Patchwork the best registry option for you?

We found Patchwork through a Google search and it was instantly obvious that it was what we were after. The platform was intuitive and easy to use from the outset, when we had queries or needed support the whole team were an absolute joy to deal with. Even when Covid threw a spanner in the works and we had to reinvent our entire Patchwork, it was easy enough to do.

A Patchwork honeymoon fund to the Caribbean, shown in an ipad. Each 'patch' shows different experiences that guests can treat the couple to on their honeymoon

What did you invite friends and family to contribute towards?

Since we already live together and mostly have what we need for our home a traditional wedding gift list wasn’t what we were after, but we hated the idea of people just giving us cash. It was incredibly important to us that people knew they would be giving us something we would enjoy, and if we had the opportunity to share it with them then that was even better.

James and Katie on their honeymoon to St Lucia

What did your friends and family think?

We’ve only heard good things from friends and family, with several couples saying they intended to use the site for their weddings as well.

James and Katie on their honeymoon to St Lucia

What have you done so far with the gift money that you received via your Patchwork?

Our gift money went towards experiences on our honeymoon. We were lucky enough to travel to St Lucia and the contributions from our guests helped us enjoy all kinds of experiences whilst we were there, from sailing to scuba diving, waterfalls and tours, and plenty of pampering and cocktails. At the very end of the trip our camera was lost and so were all of our photos, but thankfully because we had been sharing our experiences with people along the way to say thank you it was ironically our friends who were able to give us photos of our honeymoon when we got back!

James and Katie on their honeymoon to St Lucia

How did it feel knowing your family and friends helped make it happen?

It added another level of enjoyment to the trip and serendipitously helped us out with the photos!

And finally, what’s your no.1 top tip when planning a wedding?

Be versatile – every change that felt like we were losing something when we first had to cancel worked out for the best in the end. Oh, and enjoy every minute of it, it really does fly by!

Thank you so much James and Katie for sharing your very special day and these gorgeous words and photos with us. We’re so pleased you finally had the day you both wanted and that Patchwork could help make your honeymoon dreams a reality!

If you’re thinking about a honeymoon fund instead of a traditional gift registry you can browse our paradise island collection of templates to help you decide on a destination! Or find our whole honeymoon collection here.

Here are some of the brilliant suppliers who helped make James and Katie’s day perfect:

Venue: Henham Barns

Caterer: Paul Thompson, Paul Thompson Events

Flowers: Katrina Skybak-Doyle, Cloud Hill Flowers

Photographer: Owen Tetley

Videographer: Caitlin Young, One Forever Films

Cake: Two Magpies Bakery

Band: Festival Folk

Katie’s Hair: Stacie Goodwin

Katie’s Make-up: Emily Chantal

p.s. you can listen to James and Katie’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.

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