Hannah and Chris met in 2013 and became good friends very quickly. Chris became Hannah’s absolute rock a couple of years later when Hannah was given the terrible news that she had cancer. Hannah says it was this tough time that meant an incredible bond formed between them. Chris became her everything – she says ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. Are you crying already? Us too. Read all about their beautiful beach wedding and Patchworked honeymoon to Mexico below.
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged on the 15th August 2017, on the beach in Hove, where we lived at the time. And later that day, I received the news that I was in remission, so it was like winning the lottery twice over!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We wanted a beach wedding and originally planned to marry the following summer. However, we had to bring the wedding day forward to January, and found the most incredible venue, nestling in the dunes at Camber Sands, called The Gallivant. Instead of it being a beach themed wedding, I opted for ‘Winter Wonderland” and was able to create the most magical backdrop. Fairy lights, Christmas trees, and mood lighting. 70 people attended our wedding and sit down meal, and a further 40 joined us in the evening for shenanigans. Everyone there had played their part in supporting us through the tough times, and we felt that we were finally able to get everyone in one room and show them our gratitude. The day was more than just about love. It was a celebration of life and friendship.
What was your first dance?
It certainly wasn’t traditional! We both work in the music industry – dance music. And both grew up in an era that saw some of the best dance tracks ever produced. We chose an old trance track by the Space Brothers, who Chris new personally and I had forever been in love with this song! It’s called “Shine” and the lyrics seemed to say everything ……
“You have the bravest heart I’ve ever known
You have the strongest will I’ve seen
With every step you take you touch my soul
With every breath you will succeed
The soul of an angel
Touched from above
Your spirit is shining
Surrounded by love”
Everyone got up and danced with us as the song broke in to the chorus! It was amazing!
What was your favourite part of the day?
Wow! That is so hard to pick. I loved being able to tell Chris how much I loved him, in front of a room full of our closest friends and family. And I LOVED going over to the beach for our wedding shots. It was a cold, crazy windy day being the 4th January, but a load of us piled over nonetheless and larked about for an hour before the sit down meal!!
Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?
We wanted to do something a bit different. We were just happy to have people there with us. But also we wanted people to have the freedom to contribute towards something that we desperately wanted and needed after everything we had been through – our honeymoon. Somehow, we felt that memories were more important than everyday household gifts (as is the tradition). Memories last a lifetime. Patchwork seemed the perfect idea, and it was exciting putting together honeymoon ideas and researching all the amazing things that we could do!
Being able to be visually create a mood board – a story board on Patchwork was brilliant. I spent hours picking out pictures and thinking up little quips and anecdotes. And also it was lovely receiving the messages from everyone and being able to say a heartfelt thank you in real time.
Mexico played a huge part in our journey. We had visited it two years previously and it’s where our friendship had developed in to a relationship. It was where we had visited when I had undergone cancer treatment the first time and before the disease came back for a second time. We wanted to retrace old steps and relive the memories of our previous holiday – as well as create new memories! And this we did in abundance, with the help of everyone that contributed!
How did you feel when you set off on your travels – knowing everyone had chipped in to help you make your dreams come true?
Beyond excited! We took a list of who had paid for what and ticked off our dreams one by one. We also took pictures and sent them to the people who had contributed. It was a nice way to involve them and say thank you! Everybody loved it. It was such an original and engaging concept.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Where do I begin?! Mexico is such a beautiful country. Full of colour and personality. The Mexican people are really welcoming and have the biggest smiles on their faces. In some ways it’s also very humbling. We travelled to four very different areas. Cancun, Isla Holbox, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. They all have their own charm and character for different reasons.