Today on our blog we chat to travel loving couple Catherine and Luke. They met at school in Coventry in 2008, became a couple in 2011 and have been together for nearly 12 years now. They were due to get married on their 10 year anniversary but had to postpone it by a year because of Covid. However, Catherine says “it was certainly worth the wait and it was lovely to be able to say we were starting off the next decade together as husband and wife!” They married in Birmingham and had the “best day ever” followed by a honeymoon to Sicily, which was made extra special with contributions from their family and friends.
How did you get engaged?
Catherine: We love to travel and had booked a weekend break to explore Baden Baden in Germany back in 2019. We had the most stunning weather and on a mountain walk in the Black Forest Luke proposed. It was a complete shock to me and I had jelly legs the entire way down (which took about 3 hours!) We celebrated by eating pizza & letting all our family & friends know the good news!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We aren’t very traditional and we wanted a chilled wedding where everyone could have fun. We got married at The Old Library in Digbeth, Birmingham and even though we’ll obviously be biased, it was the best day ever. The whole venue was perfect and it looked stunning on the day, especially after our florist had gone in and worked her magic! We had Greek street food which our guests still talk about now – it really hit the spot. One of our best friends very kindly baked us our wedding cake which was as delicious as it was beautiful. Our photographer was INCREDIBLE and not only did she capture the most gorgeous photos, she put us so at ease and it felt like we’d known her for years. Katie and Sonya made sure my hair and makeup was perfect and the vibes in the hotel room that morning were immaculate! All of our suppliers made our chilled wedding a reality but they also made it so, so special. If we did the day all over again (which we wish we could) we wouldn’t change a single thing.
Did you have a first dance?
No we didn’t. We wanted everyone up on the dance floor for as long as possible as it had felt like such a long time since we could have a big party. We asked our DJ to play Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield as our first song and it certainly did the trick! It was so special to have everyone join us for our “first dance”.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Luke: When Catherine walked down the aisle!
Catherine: I can’t pick just one but the buzz of your wedding day is something else. Seeing how happy Luke and our family and friends were was the best feeling.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?
Catherine: I found Patchwork online and loved that it was a way for guests to gift us a contribution to our honeymoon whilst also being pleasing on the eye! It was so easy to set up and use and we loved that guests could gift us specific trips and items. It also made the planning process of our honeymoon loads of fun for us as every time a gift came through we got more and more excited for our trip. A huge bonus was that guests could also leave messages which we kept unread until our flight and read them on the way over to Sicily – it was such a lovely way to start our trip!
What did you invite guests to contribute towards?
We asked for a range of different items and activities ranging from £5 for our gelato fund to £100 for a boat trip. Sicily has so much to do so we included loads of different activities including vintage car hire, winery tours, volcano trips & of course, lots and lots of food.
What did you enjoy most about using Patchwork?
It was so easy to set up and once we had added our items, we didn’t need to do much else. It was all taken care of by Patchwork and we got notifications when anything updated. We linked our page to our wedding website so that guests could easily access it and everyone found it easy to use. We loved that it felt like a much more personal way for our guests to contribute to our honeymoon.
What did your friends and family think?
The feedback was really good. We think the highlights for them were that it was easy to do and they felt like they were contributing to something. We sent postcards to them after our trip & we let them know how we got on with what they had kindly gifted us.
Where did you go on honeymoon and what were the highlights?
We did a tour around Sicily in July/ August. It was the perfect place for us. So much to do, so much to see and so much good food to eat!
We started in Palermo which was such a fun city with great street food. We then went to Agrigento and visited the ancient temples at sunset. After that we headed to Cefalu which was a seaside dream which looked like it belonged in a Disney film. Then we went to the quieter town of Patti and during the days we weren’t lazing in the sun we went on excursions to the Aeolian islands where we visited Stromboli and watched it spit lava (a real bucket list moment!)
To wrap it up we then went and enjoyed Taormina (where The White Lotus was filmed – not that we knew that at the time!) and made delicious pizzas and pasta from scratch.
How did it feel knowing your friends and family had helped make it happen?
We are so grateful to all of our family and friends for our gifts. We love to travel and so knowing that so many of the activities we did whilst on our honeymoon were all thanks to our loved ones made the experiences all the more special.
Do you have a top tip for other couples planning weddings?
It’s your day so do it how you want to. Don’t feel pressured into spending loads of money or doing things just because they are tradition. Set your priorities to what you both want as a couple and the rest will follow. Most of all, enjoy it!
Thanks Catherine and Luke for sharing your amazing wedding day and stunning Sicilian honeymoon adventure with us! We’re so pleased Patchwork could play a part in making your dreams come true. If you’d like to set up a honeymoon fund to Italy or anywhere else in the world come over and chat to us today!
Here are some of the amazing suppliers that helped make Catherine and Luke’s wedding day the best day ever!
Venue: The Old Library, Digbeth
Florist: Willow & Wild Floral Events
Photographer: Blonde Shot Photography
Catering: Aretsi Catering
Catherine’s Dress: Asos
Hair: Sonya Jayne Bridal Hair
MUA: Katie Leanne Make-Up
DJ: Audiohead Events