Molly and her now-husband Davy met on New Year’s Eve 2017, they were both on holiday with their respective families at the time. They first met about 20 minutes after midnight, on the dancefloor on the top deck of a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Davy shimmied over to say hi to Molly… and three years later tied the knot in a love-filled celebration at Blenheim Palace.
Davy is from wine country in Northern California, but lives in L.A., and Molly is from a little village in Oxfordshire. In 2019 they had a legal marriage ceremony in California, while they were planning their big white wedding for 2020. Due to Covid, that wedding was postponed to 2021, a few months after Molly’s Green Card was issued. Now they’re finally living together in L.A., happier than ever after four and a half years of being long distance! Read on to hear their very beautiful love story, and share in their stunning Anglo-American wedding and exciting new life in California.
You had a tricky start to your relationship – what happened?
Molly: After that cruise we honestly didn’t think we’d see each other again. However, we stayed in touch and after a couple of months I decided to fly out to L.A. to pay him a visit. About 18 months and a couple of visits back and forth later, we made it ‘official’ on the cliff tops of Northern Ireland. We were on a grand tour around the UK that I had organised for us. Just afterwards, I moved over to L.A. for three months (the maximum I was allowed at the time). We pretty much knew from then that we were both in this for the long haul.
How did you get engaged?
In June 2019, Davy came to visit me in the UK and we had a trip planned to Italy a few days after he landed. The night before our holiday, we went out for dinner in Oxford with my family and Davy had organised for our good friend to secretly film his proposal. Davy went to the bathroom at one point and took ages. When he got back he tapped me on the shoulder, I spotted a ring box and freaked out. I had no idea it was coming and was completely floored. He got down on one knee and told me ‘Molly… I want you to be my wife’. I always tease him that he never technically ASKED me to marry him, but I said yes anyway! I’m very hard to surprise so I give him MAJOR credit for pulling that off!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
I always knew I wanted our wedding to take place in the UK. I worked at Blenheim Palace at the time so was able to secure the stunning Orangery as a reception venue. For the ceremony, we both wanted my local church, St. Mary’s.
Our overall plan for the wedding was to have a bright and beautiful day filled with love, that felt timeless. We originally planned our wedding for 2020 and with 2 months to go, we pushed it back a year to 2021. When I started planning back in 2019, I don’t think any of us knew just how much more the big day would mean to us by the time it happened. It was brighter, more beautiful and more filled with love than we could’ve imagined.
Most of the US contingent of the wedding guest list sadly couldn’t be there, as there was still a pretty strict quarantine requirement in place for international visitors. Davy’s parents, brothers and closest friend bent over backwards and braved quarantine, and were able to be there, which was so special to us all.
I am a sucker for detail so we tried to think of everything we could that would make the day feel extra-special. We had my BFF, a graphic designer, create all of our stationery and signage and the wonderful ladies at Blenheim Palace volunteered their time to do our flowers. The fabulous Searcy’s team designed a main course just for us (a super special pasta dish because we absolutely love pasta, and chicken & potatoes is boring). We also wanted to try and bring in some nods to the USA/California where we could. Our flowers included silk California Poppies (alongside the English Rose, to represent Davy and my roots), we had a vintage Cadillac convertible for our wedding car, and my Dad made Cornhole (a lawn game from the U.S!) with flag-themed bean bags to go alongside our hired lawn games.
Did you have a first dance?
Despite restrictions at the time banning dancefloors, we did have a first dance, and it was one of the highlights of our day. Our guests all poured out into the courtyard at Blenheim Palace and each had a sparkler. They formed a circle around us and our song ‘Lost Stars’ by Adam Levine was blaring out of some speakers. It was amazing to see every one of our guests around us, cheering us on, just like they had throughout our relationship. Very emotional and amazing moment!
What was your favourite part of the day?
There were two that stand out, aside from the sparkler-lit first dance:
When I walked down the aisle, I had the church pianist surprise Davy by playing James Horner’s ‘For the Love of a Princess’ (he’s a huge Braveheart fan). Davy turned around when I was halfway down the aisle and was already in tears because of the song, but he said that seeing me sent him over the edge. I was so pleased that he loved the surprise! The rest of the ceremony was really special too. We had readings from Davy’s Mom and my Sister in Law, and Davy’s brothers and Dad performed a hymn. We also had my Mum light a candle and we had a minute of reflection and remembering those that couldn’t be there, for any reason. It was really special to sit and think about how far we’ve come!
The second favourite part was the speeches. We had five in total, interspersed throughout dinner. Since we couldn’t have a ‘disco’ we decided to make more of the dinner experience, and they were all stunning. The Father of the Bride speech was so wonderful, then Davy said a few words and got emotional (again), then two groomsmen spoke and finally the Best Man. The final three speeches blew us all away, they all had us laughing, crying and cheering!
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?
I met the lovely Liv at The Unwedding Show in Birmingham, back in 2019. The show was absolutely brilliant and really opened my mind to lots of amazing ideas. What drew us to Patchwork really was firstly how customisable it was. We could literally put anything we needed on there – and the fact that we had guests and loved ones wanting to contribute from both sides of the Atlantic.
We’d planned to move in together in L.A. after the wedding, so we would’ve had to ship and/or store any stuff we received. We wanted maximum choice for gifters, and minimal hassle, and it was the perfect solution!
The fact that our loved ones could buy us something, and the money to buy it would be waiting for us once we were moved in and ready to shop, was just brilliant.
What did you invite your guests to contribute towards?
We did things the old fashioned way and got married before getting a place together. So, unlike a lot of couples getting married now, we did actually need all the ‘typical’ wedding registry stuff (toaster, house plants, cutlery etc.) We made sure to add some fun stuff too like cooking classes, board games, favourite recipes and even some more practical stuff (cleaning supplies, a bicycle, a loo roll subscription) since we really were starting from scratch.
You made use of Patchwork’s ‘make’ and ‘do’ functions – tell us more!
We absolutely love that these functions exist! We knew that for many guests, attending our wedding would be a big expense in itself, and we didn’t want anyone to feel obligated or awkward about the gifting process (because it can feel that way sometimes)! There were so many ways that our loved ones could add value to our move without spending anything. For example, we asked for their favourite recipes, for time to help with a DIY project or help with packing/unpacking. For our friends and family in California, we asked for an invitation to spend time together.
What was the best bit about using Patchwork?
So many things. The team have been so helpful and responsive from the start, and shown so much kindness in the craziness of 2020, extending our Patchwork by another year to align with our change of wedding plans.
Patchwork itself is so easy to use, and there is so much inspiration to get the juices flowing. I thoroughly enjoyed creating our board and new things would pop into our heads regularly to add to it. It felt like curating a Pinterest board whilst simultaneously online shopping – two of my favourite things!
I also absolutely love the marketing & communications that Patchwork creates. I’ve been following you on Instagram for 2 years and love seeing what you get up to. Your email newsletters are the best and I always look forward to getting them!
What did your friends and family think of your wedding give list?
“What a fantastic/brilliant/great idea!” came up many times. Everybody saw how perfectly suited to our situation this give list was, and I had feedback from a few loved ones that they really enjoyed using it and seeing all of the options laid out like they were.
As more of my friends are buying houses, getting married, and having significant birthdays, I have been recommending Patchwork every chance I get!
How did it feel spending the gift money collected from family and friends?
It was so much fun and a real weight off our shoulders. We could buy what we really wanted and didn’t have to settle. We could also take our time choosing just the right thing, which I really appreciated. Our home is now fully furnished and looking fabulous, and that is thanks to our amazing friends and family. Cheesy as it sounds, we feel surrounded by their love and support every day because they built this home with us through their amazing gifts.
Any top tips or favourite places you’ve found in your new home in California?
We’re living in Culver City, California and absolutely love it here. Our favourite places here include Café Vida for brunch and Meet in Paris for dinner. We also love walking up Baldwin Hills with amazing views of L.A.!
Wow. Thank you so much Molly and Davy for this amazingly beautiful story of your love and marriage. We are honoured to have played a part in such a wonderful celebration and we wish you both many many years of happiness together!
Here are some of the highly recommended suppliers who made their day – in Molly’s words – “bloody brilliant!”
Ceremony venue: St Mary’s Church, Bloxham, Oxfordshire
Reception venue: Blenheim Palace
Planner: Vanilla Rose Weddings
Molly’s headpiece: Megan Therese
Davy’s Suit: The Wedding Barn, Upton
Flowers by: Blenheim Palace Head Gardener Hilary, and Florist to the Duke of Marlborough, Molly
Hair and makeup: Maxine Wilson
DJ: Dukebox Discos
Photographer: Emma-Jane Photography
Videographer: Matt at Fizzy Jelly Films
Lawn Games: Dolly Dimples Weddings & Events
Cake: Jess at Bishop’s Bakes
Stationery and signage design by Bride’s best friend Katie Tapper
p.s. you can listen to Molly & Davy’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.