Anna and Ollie met at a ‘spots and stripes’ party in Leeds 8 years ago, but didn’t get together until fate intervened when they bumped into each other at Secret Garden Party (where Ollie followed Anna around like a lovesick puppy). After that they went on a lunch date at the Phoenix pub and ‘snogged outside Sloane Square tube station’. Hooray! They moved in together not long after that, and married this year in a beautiful garden ceremony. We asked Anna all about their wedding and their very arty wedding registry.
How did you get engaged?
We added on a few extra days to a family holiday with his parents. We had 5 days staying in Seville and near Cadiz. We were staying in a little eco hut in this Swedish hippy guy’s garden. Ollie found it on Canopy and Stars. He had kept asking if we could go on walks, some of which I was up for, like view points and random cliffs! At one point he took me up a hill where his plan was ruined by some very threatening cows. In the end it happened over a beer on our little balcony. It was lovely – I interrupted his speech and said ‘OH MY GOD YES’ before he had even asked me.
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We were very lucky because my mum lives in a pretty house in the middle of the countryside. We didn’t want a religious service but wanted a ceremony. We got married on the Tuesday before in Salisbury Registry Office and then had a ceremony and party on the following Saturday. There is a pretty wood next to our house, so we put hay bales out in it and made a little aisle. My dad, a celebrant, did the ceremony, my stepdad’s choir sang and my mum gave me away. It was a beautiful sunny day. We were so lucky. We then had drinks on the lawn, a big hog roast and a boogie in some tipis in the field. It was great.
What was your first dance?
KC and the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight. And yes we did a routine.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your alternative wedding registry?
I am a big fan of the company. I agree wholeheartedly with its non materialistic ethos. I hate getting given presents now and totally agree with the idea of people pooling together to get people actually something they want!
What did you ask your wedding guests to contribute towards?
We were so keen to get some art for our flat. One day we walked down this little alley in Peckham and there was this random exhibition on. This guy paints all these incredibly atmospheric details of mountains with creeks running down them, in Wales. We instantly wanted one. With our wedding round the corner we thought a Patchwork would be the perfect option.
I loved how engaged everyone was with the whole thing. Usually people buy a present for a wedding gift and nothing really ever gets said. I was amazed by how many people got in touch saying what a great idea they thought it was. People loved the idea of giving us art as well. I think they resonated with its special significance. It felt like a little connection between us, the wedding and our family and friends. As soon as we bought it we sent a picture to everyone!
How did it feel to go and pick your artwork – knowing all of your wedding guests had bought it for you?
It was the best feeling transferring the money and the artist dropping off our painting!! He was so chuffed to be giving it to us. When we went into choose it, we walked in, it was like fate. There were only two in the whole workshop and we both pointed at it, and went ‘that one!’ It now hangs in our stairwell and it makes me happy every day.