Home Gift Ideas An Intimate Barn Wedding and a Year of Dates

An Intimate Barn Wedding and a Year of Dates

by Rosie Hurwitz
Black and white image of Patchwork couple Liz and Jack standing close together with Liz's veil swirled above them, they are kissing

Patchwork Couple Liz & Jack have lived in Ealing for the last 4 years, but originally, are both from the Portsmouth area of the South Coast. They met when they both went home for New Year’s Eve in 2014. Liz says “I got so drunk that I didn’t make it to midnight! But luckily, I had made an impression on Jack and he asked me out on a date back in London. We also coincidentally both work in TV and everybody always assumes that’s how we met, but as fate would have it, it was just right place, right time.” Six and half years later and they have finally tied the knot, despite Covid trying to derail their plans. They join us on the blog to talk about their small but perfectly formed wedding day, a surprise first dance and their date night gift registry Patchwork!

Black and white image of bride (white woman with long blond hair) and groom (tall, slim white man with short fair hair) during wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns

How did you get engaged?

Liz: We eventually got engaged in Richmond Park on the 17th of Feb 2019. I say eventually, because it turned out Jack had made many plans to propose in the months previous, but various things happened which meant it didn’t feel like the right time. We have an ottoman bed, and I was sleeping 2 feet away from the ring for months! Completely unaware. It was a very special moment though when it did happen, it was a beautiful fresh winter day and we had sat down in a really private part of the woodlands, I couldn’t quite believe it was happening but at the same time, I could sort of feel it. Jack was very nervous!

Black and white image of bride (young white woman with long blond hair) stands smiling in her wedding dress with older female next to her and friend attending to her dress
Bride (young white woman with long blond hair) and groom (young white man in blue suit) stand surrounded by bridal party all dressed in blue and smiling at camera

Ah that’s lovely. And what kind of wedding did you plan?

Liz: We planned many, many versions of our wedding, and covid ruined most of them… But we actually managed to get a wedding that was pretty close to our original plan. It was a barn wedding in West Sussex, with the ceremony and reception all in the same place. We had planned to have 100 guests, we had 15. We couldn’t have our reception due to restrictions but we still had a lovely meal after the ceremony, speeches and a first dance.

Jack: When people ask about our wedding now, I always say I wouldn’t change it. It was perfect, even though it wasn’t what we had planned. I only had to make a speech in front of a handful of people, so it was a win for me.

Groom with two groomsmen enter barn through double doors. Men are white and all wear blue suits

So what’s the story behind your first dance?

Liz: So we did have a first dance – but (due to restrictions) only we were allowed to dance. It was outside in the courtyard and everyone had sparklers, so it was really special. We had originally planned to have an acoustic version of one of our favourite songs played by a band, but as we ended up not having the band, we couldn’t decide on a song for ages. Then, a week before the wedding, it came to me. But I didn’t tell Jack, so he had no clue what song was going to be played!

Jack: Back story – for our whole relationship Liz has made it explicitly clear that she hates Oasis, and our house has been an Oasis free zone for years. I’m not a mega fan or anything, but I didn’t mind them and quite liked playing songs on the guitar.

Liz: So, I thought, what better way of showing Jack how much I love him than to have our first dance to Wonderwall! And now, when I hear the song, I absolutely love it, it’s actually a really romantic song! But it’s still the only Oasis song allowed…

Bride (young white woman with long blond hair) and groom (young white man in blue suit) walk down steps after ceremony as guests throw confetti

Love that. So, what was your favourite part of the day overall?

Liz: I think we can both say our favourite part was when the ceremony was over and we walked out to our friends and family throwing confetti. It was a relief that we had managed to get married after all the stress of trying to plan during the pandemic, and now we could finally enjoy the day.

Bride (young white woman with long blond hair) and groom (young white man in blue suit) stand with bridesmaids on either side all the females hold a bouquet of flowers each

Why did you decide to choose Patchwork for your gift registry?

Liz: A friend had used Patchwork and I had always thought it was a great idea. We have enough things and felt like a traditional registry was just asking for things with no real reason. It also felt more polite that just asking for cash! This way, our friends and family could see what we liked doing as a couple and be a part of that, whether that be date nights, dinners, gigs, or trips away.

Patchwork honeymoon fund "A Year of Dates" in iPad

What did you want to ask guests to contribute towards and why?

Jack: We asked for contributions towards our honeymoon, which was at San Luis spa resort in South Tyrol, Italy. So we added things like spa treatments, dinner, drinks. Liz: The scenery at San Luis was breath-taking. We had our own private lodge with hot tub, steam room, all set around a lake. All the food was delicious, organic and seasonal. The staff were incredible – proper 5-star treatment. Being so high up in the mountains, everything just felt clean! It felt like the perfect retreat after the madness of organising the wedding and all the stresses we had come through. Jack: We then added to our Patchwork a variety of experiences and date nights we could enjoy doing in London. Again, things like dinner, drinks, trips to the cinema, gigs. All activities we enjoy doing as a couple.

Black and white image of Patchwork couple Liz and Jack standing close together with Liz's veil swirled above them, they look at each other, smiling

What was the best bit about using Patchwork?

Liz: It was easy to set up and once it was done, we didn’t really have to think about it. It also allowed friends and family to leave a note which was a really lovely touch. Jack: Everyone seemed to navigate it fine. We didn’t have any complaints and I think people found it easier than having to decide on a specific item.

Blond woman stands on narrow country lane in Italy on a bright sunny day with mountains in the distance

How have you spent the gift money you received via your Patchwork?

Liz: We spent a lot of the money on experiences on our Italian honeymoon, but we still have some left, as we couldn’t really have many date nights during the first 6 months of our marriage! But now things have opened up again, we’ve had an amazing lunch at the Shard (for our dinner with a view), been to a few festivals and have booked a weekend away to Chewton Glen.

Thanks so much Liz and Jack for sharing these gorgeous words and photos of your wedding day. If you’ve been inspired to set up a gift registry for a Year of Date Nights or a Honeymoon to Italy, why not get started? Or browse 100s of other gift registry ideas and choose your perfect gifts and experiences.

Finally here are some of the amazing wedding suppliers that made Liz and Jack’s day extra special:

Photographer: Danni Beach

Dress: Rosamund by Maggie Sottero, bought at Proposals of Chichester

Suits: DKNY, bought at Moss Bros

Makeup: Georgina Chambers

Venue & Catering: Upwaltham Barns

Florist: Rococo Florist

Honeymoon: San Luis Lodges, South Tyrol, Italy

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

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