Category: Patchwork Couples

Patchwork Couple: Ange & Steph’s Winter Honeymoon Adventure

Ange and Steph met in 2011 at work in Birmingham, and Ange says it was ‘friendship at first sight’. They both needed flatmates so they moved in together with another work pal. They soon found out they had loads in common and shared a bond only Celts living away from home amongst the English can share! A year later, Ange got a promotion and moved to London, and it was then they realised their true feelings. After 9 months of living apart and getting trains up and down, Steph decided to move to London so they could be together. Fast forward five and a half years and the couple are joined at the hip, still working and living together, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. We asked Ange all about their beautiful wedding day and found out how Patchwork helped give them the honeymoon of their dreams.

How did you two get engaged?

Steph organised a wonderful day of treats to celebrate our anniversary, including a spa day, lunch in our fave cafe, a stroll via ‘Love Lane’ (in London) before heading to a rooftop overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, where Steph popped the question under the stars. It was a very surreal moment and one we will never forget. We took the next hour to ourselves sipping on champagne before we called the family to tell them the good news.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We were very much inspired by our family and friends.  We are both really close to our family and have a tight knit group of pals. We wanted it to be as much about them as it was us. That’s what inspired a lot of the personal touches and the location itself allowed for that, since the barn we chose pretty much comes as an empty shell with all the potential!

We wanted there to be music at all times and every song was chosen by us, from the pre-ceremony playlist right through to the party tunes. Music evokes memories and says a lot about a person. There were Irish jigs interwoven with Scottish tunes throughout the drinks reception and songs from the early days of us, giving our guests a little insight into our life through music.

Did you have a first dance? What was it?

The idea of a first dance had never really appealed to us. Our wedding weekend was very much about bringing our families together so we decided to share our first dance with the whole wedding party and cheekily selected to dance to ‘The Gay Gordons’ to kick off the ceilidh. I’m not sure anyone got the irony in the song choice, but we did so that’s all that mattered.

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?

It’s really hard to choose just one so we are going to be a bit greedy. We often recall when reminiscing about the day the moment we entered the barn together. We decided to walk each other down the aisle, to symbolise the fact that this marriage was equal and we were in it together. This was met with a thunderous round of applause from our guests which actually made us stop in our tracks. We were overwhelmed by this ‘wall’ of love greeting us and it really set the tone for the rest of the day and night.

We can’t not mention that our Our ‘Pals of Honour’ rewrote the lyrics to Beauty and The Beast ‘Something there that wasn’t there before’ as part of their speech and toast, which was incredibly personal, memorable, hilarious and special.

Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?

We knew we didn’t want a traditional gift list so went in search of something we could personalise. We had our dream honeymoon in mind, full of experiences and culinary adventures instead of material gifts. Patchwork made that so easy for us to do.  

We wanted a winter honeymoon full of romance, fairy lights, mulled wine and christmas markets, as well as history and culture to fulfil our inner geeks. Since trains featured quite highly in the early days of our relationship and they’re just so old school and romantic, we decided to ‘winter-rail’ across Western Europe. We left on the 5th December from Edinburgh Airport and travelled across Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Belgium on first class trains before returning home to London just in time for the Fireworks of New Year.  

We spent Christmas in Paris and visited fairytale castles in Bavaria, tasted numerous gluhwein the length and breadth of Western Europe, explored ancient Rome and got lost in the cobbled streets of Brugge.

How did you feel when you set off on your travels knowing all of your loved ones had chipped in?

So grateful! We wouldn’t have been able to do everything on our wish list if it hadn’t have been for our friends and family funding our trip. Things we could only dream of doing like travelling 1st class across Europe, our 7 course christmas dinner in the legendary Le Train Bleu in Paris, sipping coffee from the same cups as poets Keats and Shelley at Caffe Greco in Rome, champagne and macarons at Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, geeking it up on the original Sound of Music tour in Salzburg and a night at the Moulin Rouge. And that’s just scratching the surface.  

Would you recommend your winter adventure to other honeymooners?

Yes we would recommend our honeymoon, especially around Christmas time, just so magical. It was definitely just as much about the journey as it was the destinations and countries we went to. Some of our most treasured memories are whilst getting from one country to another, like the time we almost missed the train because of a very heavy overnight snowfall which meant we had to tobogan our way to the station on our cases. It was a true adventure and a way to discover hidden treasures in big cities and off the beaten track towns and villages.

What was the best bit about using Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Well firstly, it was just so much fun to create! It actually helped us to plan our honeymoon and was really great for us to refer to when planning what to fit in and when. Secondly, it looks really cool and is so user friendly, both to set up and to use even after the Patchwork goes live. There was a couple of times when some of our items sold out and we had to go back in and up the quantity. This was super easy to do.

Our patchwork became such a talking point at our hen dos and the wedding and some of our guests have since got in touch asking for the website, so they could use it too. They seemed just as excited about our honeymoon as we were!


 

Thank you Ange & Steph for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

 

Patchwork Couple: Childhood Sweethearts Amelia & Lee’s Wedding Day

Amelia and Lee are proper childhood sweethearts. They’ve been together since they were 14 and 15, when Lee was in a band at school and Amelia was a loyal groupie. She’d wait for him at the bus stop every morning and they’d walk to school together. They even spent their days writing little notes and letters to each other. See – proper childhood sweethearts. They were smitten with each other, and they still are. On the day they married they’d been together for 11 years, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day. We asked Lee lots of nosy questions about their wedding and their Patchworked honeymoon to Mexico and New Orleans…

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged on our 10 year anniversary, in bed. I presented Amelia with a photo album of our ten years together, and once she had finished looking at the book I proposed with my Nan’s engagement ring, which had been passed down to me – adjusted to Amelia’s size secretly by my mum years before.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

Amelia planned what some have described as ‘relaxed’, ‘not traditional’, ‘intimate’ and ‘romantic’ wedding. Our ceremony was in the church next to our school where Amelia’s parents were married. Our reception was at ‘Poplars Hall’ – a beautiful old orphanage in Brentwood, Essex.

We had a buffet style dinner, in which we had our friends cater in the style of a jerk-pan BBQ, some meats and beautiful salads. Myself and my best man served our guests. Amelia had arranged benches for people to sit at with no seating plans which encouraged a free and easy system where guests could move around and mingle easily. Our cake table was made up of home baked cakes from family members, and the two wedding cakes were made by Amelia and her bridesmaid Joanna. Amelia made the decorations herself with the help of friends and family and the flowers were also all arranged ourselves the day before the wedding.

What was your first dance?

Our first dance was ‘Leon bridges – Coming Home’ – this was a last minute decision, as we were actually set on having only having a ‘last dance’ as something Amelia had really wanted, which was ‘St Vincent – Stars Aligned’.

What was your favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the day – (obviously this is a difficult one) – was our ceremony, when it sunk in that we were actually married! I was crying, laughing, jumping in the air – it was pretty overwhelming.

Amelia’s – Our first dance, it was lots of fun especially as I was so against people watching me badly dance until a few days before, so we made sure we had 30 seconds of planned dancing before everyone ran onto the dance floor to join us!

Why did you decide to use Patchwork for your wedding registry?

We had previously used patchwork a couple of years before for Amelia’s brothers wedding gifts, we found it such a fun and easy way to give people exactly what they want!

What did you decide to ask your wedding guests for?

We wanted to fund our honeymoon – an incredible trip to Mexico and New Orleans. Amelia and I hadn’t been on a holiday together for what seems like such a long time! So we planned a ridiculous adventure which included paradise beaches and street parties.

It was so fun to create the patchwork and actually really helped in planning our honeymoon, finding all the fun things we could experience on our trip! It’s so so easy to use, I loved that you can even adjust it after it goes live, we didn’t realise items would ‘sell out’ so fast so it was ideal that it only took a few moments to up the quantities people could buy. It’s also great that you can look back to see who got what when writing thank you cards!

We had really positive feedback from our guests about how easy and fun it was to use! I have recommended it to so many people since.

How did you feel setting off on your honeymoon?

We felt so lucky and so special that people had been supportive of our gift selection, and extremely excited to go off and actually experience the things we had planned. The Patchwork was a great way for people to visualise our holiday and we mixed up the prices so much so that people could buy us something small and fun like 1 donut, or part of a flight!

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Our honeymoon was absolutely incredible! We were so lucky to be able to go to 2 places, we went to Mexico in October which is known as off season however this meant we had the whole of Tulum beach to ourselves! It was incredibly hot so we were so so lucky it felt like a private paradise! New Orleans is the most amazing city we’ve been to, it’s southern hospitality at its finest! It’s so fun and vibrant, we didn’t want to leave, the food and cultures of both places are amazing and we couldn’t recommend them enough.


 

Thank you Lee & Amelia for sharing your patchwork story with us. And congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

All wedding photography by threeflowersphotography.co.uk

Patchwork Couple: Bea & Robbie’s Intimate London Wedding

Bea and Robbie met in January of 2014 when they were both begrudgingly dragged along to a group date with some pals. Bea says there hasn’t been a day since that Robbie hasn’t made her laugh – the perks of marrying a stand up! Thank goodness they went along to that fated date, as last year they tied the knot in a beautifully intimate ceremony in North London. We asked Bea all about it.

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged on my birthday in the November of 2015. Robbie surprised me with a trip to Cornwall where we stayed on a dry docked boat in the middle of nowhere. I was confused when he made me get up so early for my birthday breakfast, but it turned out the ring was burning a hole in his pocket… He proposed over eggs and bubbles!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

From day one all we wanted was good people, good food and a good knees up. We had to save from scratch and didn’t want to hang about, so we had 9 months to get some money together and plan the whole thing. We did the whole thing locally in North London, opting for a non religious ‘ceremony’ hosted by our best pals followed by a big sharing feast and party at our favourite local pub.

What was your first dance?

September by Earth Wind and Fire

Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Of the few ‘funding’ sites Patchwork was the easiest to use. It’s transparent about cost and it’s interface is breeze whilst looking really lovely. It was so easy to use. Everything from setting it up, to sharing our link, to transferring the money was so user friendly.

What did you ask for contributions towards?

We funded a whole list of lovely things we wanted to do on our honeymoon – we thought it would be nicer for someone to know they bought us a boat trip, or dinner at the top of a mountain rather than a gravy boat or a hand towel…

Setting off on our trip knowing everyone had chipped in felt like a big extension of our amazing day. We were thoroughly overwhelmed by the love and generosity of our family and friends and being able to think of them as we went on our adventure was such a nice feeling. Our friends loved how original the idea was.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

We did a little road trip through Portugal and Spain for our honeymoon. Staying in Europe was amazing because we didn’t waste any time travelling before we could start our fun!


 

Thank you Bea & Robbie for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Patchwork Couple: Patrick, Julie & The Mission to Find ‘the Missing Power Loop’

Patrick and Julie are self-proclaimed ‘weirdo/geeks’. So when Patrick decided to propose, he knew he had to do something sufficiently geeky (and romantic!). What followed was an epic sci-fi treasure hunt, a very happy Julie, and a beautiful wedding. Patrick tells us all about their engagement, wedding day and the wonderful honeymoon that their friends and family helped to fund.

How did you get engaged?

This is probably more complicated than it should be. But she is more than worth it. I wanted to marry Julie after about three years of being together. Even though I always told her I never wanted to get married (which she was okay with but secretly wasn’t). So it was a complete surprise when it happened (so sneaky or clever depending).

I wanted to incorporate a bit of ourselves into it so I decided to do a sci-fi treasure hunt. I created illustrations and clues and a guide book to go along with the event which took a year to make and plan. I wanted to tie it in with our four year dating anniversary so Julie wouldn’t suspect it was a proposal, just a really good anniversary present.

I created invites for Julie and two friends to take part in the “mission to find the missing power loop” (wink). On the day I presented her with the book and the first clue which would lead her to the next and so on. Each location were places we had been to on dates and were special to us – seven in total. (I thought it was going to be a logistical nightmare getting all these businesses to help but I was really surprised and grateful that all of them said yes they would.) The book of illustrations along with a “star map” would help her decipher the clues. Julie and her friends made it round London to all the locations with the last clue leading to me waiting at Opium – one of her favourite cocktail bars. She was instructed to bring all her clues with her.

After a drink I presented her with the eighth clue which was a star constellation chart. What she didn’t realise was that all the clue cards had bits of constellations on them, printed on tracing paper.. And that when stacked up in a certain way on top of the chart they spelled out ‘will you marry me?’. I got down on one knee in the middle of the bar and presented her with the ring. She said yes whilst crying. Ahhhhhh!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We had to be clever for our wedding due to financial constraints, so we planned it for a year and a half to get it down to what we really wanted. We decided on a simple ceremony with sixty family and friends at Clissold house – a beautiful manor house set in a park in North London. For our reception we wanted an industrial/natural theme at the West Reservoir Centre, an art deco former water pump house on a boating lake just down the road.

We’re big on the organisation (Julie is the best at the spreadsheets, rotas and paraphernalia that goes with it) due to her job as a Health care assistant for disabled children. I try to keep up but mainly I bring the hands on skills as I’m a bookbinder. We did everything ourselves (not for the faint hearted!) from folding 800 origami butterflies to hang from the ceiling, making concrete planters with Maidenhair ferns for the table centrepieces, designing and printing the save the dates and invites. We had complete control over everything that went into it which was nice as it was a complete reflection of us and no-one else!

To bring our geekiness we had the Star Trek enterprise model for our guestbook and Marvel Avengers figures set in concrete for our table numbers. And for the natural elements, besides the origami, our florist (Your London Florist) made Kokedama (Japanese hanging plants) ferns to hang from the double height space. I always think it’s the details that make it special (that and an open bar!) and people will take that with them after the event. It was a lovely day, tiring but lovely.

What was your first dance?

Our first dance was to ‘Do You Wanna’ by the Arctic Monkeys. It was a disaster! I stepped on Julie’s dress so much. That’s one detail we ran out of time to perfect. We tried to do a foxtrot (learned of course through YouTube) as it was a pretty simple step. Yeah… it wasn’t. We have a video which we will never watch again!

Why did you choose Patchwork for your gift list?

We went to the Most Curious wedding show in Brick Lane, saw the Patchwork stand and thought it seemed like a really good idea. I mean it makes sense for modern day couples who already live together and therefore have gravy boats and wine glasses. Pooling individual gifts into a collective is perfect.

What did you decide to fund?

We wanted to fund our honeymoon to Mauritius as we were on a tight budget for the wedding, with nothing left for the honeymoon. Julie’s family is from Mauritius and I had never been so we wanted to do a luxury boutique hotel and then stay at her dad’s and see family – a best of both kind of thing, so the funds went to all kinds of stuff from cocktails to a private boat trip.

We were really grateful to everyone for making it possible. It was a big success. And I think it helped that our friends and family could relate to where we wanted to go. It made it easier for more traditional guests to get on board with that ‘new fandangle interweb’ instead of a physical gift.

And finally, would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Who doesn’t want to go to a tropical island! Mauritius is great and I know we are a bit biased but it does have something for everyone, from luxury to camping and everything in between.


 

Thank you Patrick & Julie for sharing your story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Patchwork Couple: Nareni & Paul’s Sri Lanka and India Honeymoon Fund

India honeymoon

Paul and Nareni have been together for 5 years and they share the same passion: travelling. They’re happiest when they’re exploring, seeing the world through each other’s eyes and learning from different people and cultures. Nareni says ‘the world is just too big to stop looking at.’ And although the couple were living in different parts of the world when they met and neither were particularly looking for love, fate brought them together. Nareni tells us all about their wedding and honeymoon – made possible with gifts from friends.

How did you get engaged?

Paul got extra excited once he had gotten my dad’s blessing and planned the proposal right away in the lakes of Mexico city. We went there to see the sunset for one of our famous walks and whilst he was talking to me about all that we have achieved together and everything we meant to each other, he proposed. It was the best day of our lives – until our wedding day!

Then he proposed again in Eastbourne, when he took me by surprise on a weekend trip and whilst we were going for a hike in the cliffs next to the sea, he popped the question again. Yes, I have two rings and I wear them both!

The fact that Paul proposed first in Mexico gave me the opportunity to celebrate with my family, including my grandparents, who are very important to me. I will always be thankful to him for thinking about this when he was planning it.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted a wedding with great music and plenty of surprises. We wanted everyone there – all of our friends and family, and we were truly blessed to see that on the day – everybody came, people flew from all over to be with us on our special day. It was the best day of our lives.

The theme took inspiration from rustic temples in the middle of the rainforest, we wanted lots of green (which the venue had already) with flowers and candles everywhere. We wanted ice-cream and Batucada dancing, and a band and yes, of course Mariachi. Plus Irish music as Paul is Irish. We wanted to merge our two cultures together, and we got a great result, just like in our partnership!

What was your first dance?

Ma Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder and You Are The First, The Last, My Everything by Barry White. And Paul really wanted us to dance to Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, so he asked the band to play the song later for us.

Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We loved the idea of people being able to gift us with an experience. And then to later show them pictures of that experience and say, look! This is thanks to you!

Also, we wanted to give people the freedom of giving us whatever they could, as we appreciated the fact that they were all making the effort of either flying or driving for hours to come to meet us on the day.

The best gift for us was our honeymoon experiences. So facilitating that through Patchwork was brilliant. We chose to fund a trip to India and Sri Lanka because we had always wanted to go there – we also thought India was a country that would cherish marriage, so what best time to do this trip but on our honeymoon. And being so close to Sri Lanka we didn’t want to miss it, it was the best!

We were so excited when we set off for our honeymoon and pumped up to do it all – to experience everything to the fullest, as people had trusted and wished we would.

What was your favourite thing about using Patchwork?

We loved that you can build up your page with everything you want – it’s flexible so you can add all of the experiences you want or trips you want to do but you can also cater to all budgets. Also, because our friends and family were able to leave us messages and wishes for the day, trip and life, it made the full cycle really cute and enjoyable. Our friends and family thought it looked beautiful and they loved the phrases and creativity we put into it.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

OMG, yes, it was such an amazing experience, Sri Lanka is such a magical country and India is crazy! We got the best combination, from the mountains and sea in Sri Lanka, with their great animals – the leopards, the whales, elephants, and adventures of the safaris, their people are incredible and so caring, they definitely tried their best to make every day on our honeymoon the best day ever. And in India, going to the Taj Mahal, experiencing the festival of colour and the parties by the beach, going for cooking lessons and then enjoying the feast.

The sunsets and sunrises were beautiful, and the way you can do as much or as little in both countries as you want each day, giving you the perfect atmosphere for spontaneity. It was absolutely amazing!


 

Thank you Nareni & Paul for sharing your story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Patchwork Couple: Sam & Charlotte’s Whitstable Wedding and Sri Lankan Honeymoon

Sam and Charlotte had known each other for years – Sam went to school with Charlotte’s brother and sister. According to Charlotte he was a prolific flirt (actually, she called him a tart!) and she even used to warn her friends not to get involved with him. Years later, they bumped into each other while they were both visiting family in the Easter holidays. Sam asked Charlotte to go for a drink, Charlotte said no. He asked again, and she thought about it. Eventually, they went out. And the rest, as they say, is history!

How did you get engaged?

Sam took me to Paris for my 30th birthday. Having never been before, Sam took me round all the typical touristy spots so I could tick them off my list. That evening, the last stop was the Eiffel tower before dinner. As we were crossing the road by the Trocadero, he made me walk right into the middle of the road to take a photo of the tower lit up ‘so I would get a clear shot’. After taking the photo – I turned round and Sam was stood with a ring in his hands. I was so taken by surprise, I can’t remember a word of what he said. Thinking he was taking the piss, I very unromantically asked, ‘is this a f**king joke?!’… Before obviously saying Yes!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We both knew we wanted a wedding that felt more like a giant party than a formal occasion, and so traditional wedding venues were never going to fit the bill for us. We found the amazing East Quay venue in Whitstable, Kent which was right on the beach and happened to be a place we would visit when we first started dating. It was a former sea food restaurant that had been converted into a venue – it was quirky and fun and the perfect setting to celebrate with our loved ones. It was the first place we visited and we booked it immediately!

The inspiration for the rest of our wedding would be the venue itself – it has a real industrial feel to it and we wanted everything to feel relaxed. To reflect the industrial look, we decided to trawl junk shops and antique fairs in order to find props to decorate. We then asked our florist to offset all the junky bits and pieces with some vibrant rich flowers spilling out of everything! We spent ages personalising all the little details of the day to reflect each other and our guests.

What was your first dance?

All of me – John Legend.

We struggled to find a song for our first dance as we both have quite different music tastes. We settled on this because of the lyrics; ‘you’re crazy, and I’m out of my mind’.

What was your favourite part of the day?

We loved every minute of the day – but I think we’d both agree that the ceremony surprised us by being our favourite. For such a short part of the day, the excitement and anticipation of that moment when we first saw each other was hard to beat. From that point onwards the day continued to be so much fun – such a strange word to describe your wedding, but we both laughed and enjoyed every minute.

Why did you chose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Having lived together for a while, we didn’t feel like we wanted traditional wedding gifts – but we really wanted to treat ourselves to an amazing honeymoon. I found Patchwork as I was googling honeymoon fund websites and loved the whole concept!

What did you decide to fund?

We really wanted to go to Sri Lanka for our honeymoon and didn’t want to hold back on things we could do when we were there because we were saving money. Using the patchwork to fund different trips and activities on our travels meant that we could do everything we planned to without worrying about over spending – everything we did felt like a special treat because it was a gift from someone. 

I remember sitting in the airport before we flew, writing a list of all the things people had bought us to do while we were away. We couldn’t believe how generous people had been and we could finally start plotting the various things we wanted to do. We bought a camera at the airport so we could take some amazing photos of everything we did to send to the people that had treated us to them! We’d have never done half the things we did had people not contributed to our honeymoon, which enabled us to have the holiday of a lifetime.

Our friends and family loved the convenience of the website – and give me someone that doesn’t enjoy a bit of online shopping? They loved getting a bit of a say in shaping our honeymoon and the things we did.

And finally would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Sri Lanka is quite possibly the most beautiful place to visit – the people, the wildlife, not least the food and the weather!! It was a holiday of a lifetime and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough! Who knows – maybe we’ll return for a special anniversary in the future?

 


 

Thank you Charlotte & Sam for sharing your lovely wedding and honeymoon with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Wedding photography by Ross Hurley: www.rosshurley.com

Rosie & Barry’s Honeymoon in Bali – Funded by Friends

bali honeymoon fund

Barry and Rosie lived in the same halls at Uni and Rosie plucked up the courage to ask Barry out after spotting him in the bar she worked in. He said yes and the couple will have been together for ten years this month. We asked Rosie about their wedding day and the couple’s Bali honeymoon fund.

How did you get engaged?

Barry surprised me with a trip to Budapest in December 2014. He got hold of my grandmother’s engagement ring from my mum, that my grandad and dad had proposed with.  He took me to the highest spot in the city, got down on one knee (in a puddle) and asked me to be his wife.  He had even made a photo collage of pictures of us with the words ‘Will you marry me?’ written across it.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

A summer wedding in the Cotswolds village where my mum lives. We got married in the local church, then the procession walked down the lane to the reception, which was held in a flower garden and marquee, with beautiful views across the countryside. My mum grew all the wedding flowers, sewed all the bunting and made our cake. Barry and I put a lot of work into the wedding, including hand-making each favour and brewing our own beer.

bali honeymoon fund

What was your first dance?

It was supposed to be Penny and the Quarters – You and Me; but we were enjoying ourselves so much we missed our cue and ended up dancing to Estelle – American Boy first instead!

Why did you choose Patchwork for your gift registry?

We have lived together for many years and have everything we need for our home. We wanted an easy way for guests to give a gift if they wanted to. We thought Patchwork had a great design and it was really simple to customise.

As a couple we have been on plenty of city breaks but have never been further afield than Croatia before. So we set up a honeymoon fund for a two week trip to Bali – our dream honeymoon.

We felt grateful, loved & lucky knowing all of our friends and family had chipped in towards our dream trip, and they thought it was a novel way to give a wedding gift.

bali honeymoon fund

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

We had a fantastic time in Bali – we travelled to three different parts of the country and found each one exciting and unique. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend our honeymoon to others looking for a mixture of adventure and relaxation.


Thank you Barry and Rosie for sharing your sweet story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Photography by www.millarcole.com

Tanya & Stephen’s Dream Honeymoon

honeymoon fund mauritius

Tanya and Stephen met online three and a half years ago and had a beautiful countryside wedding last year with all of their friends and family. They were planning the honeymoon of a lifetime when they found out they were expecting another little member of the family (who’s on her way next month!) so their plans had to change. We asked Tanya all about what they decided to do for their honeymoon and how their big day went.

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged on the rooftop terrace of our hotel in Venice. It was freezing as it was November, but the sunset was electric pink and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Steve did very well!

Tanya & Stephen by Catherine Mead – photographybycatherine.co.uk

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted an informal, personal countryside wedding. We wrote our ceremony ourselves, had a big sharing-style meal, and lots of cocktails to keep the party going.

What was your first dance?

We did the Jewish Hora with all our guests – neither of us could face doing a dance just the two of us!

What made you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?

A friend had used it for their wedding and I’d thought it was a great idea when I gave them a gift. Plus we knew there was nothing we really needed for our home, and that we couldn’t really afford a honeymoon ourselves.

honeymoon fund mauritius

So you decided to create a honeymoon fund?

Yes, for our dream honeymoon – a trip to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We had the whole thing planned out and were so excited, but then I fell pregnant and couldn’t go to the Maldives due to the Zika virus or to Sri Lanka due to vaccines. So we had to scrap it last minute and rebook to go to Mauritius – which we figured was next best from the Maldives. We really liked knowing that all of our friends had helped to give us an amazing experience, rather than a set of towels or saucepans. And they were happy to contribute towards something fun.

honeymoon fund mauritius

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?  

Yes. Mauritius was a fantastic holiday – direct flight, hardly any jet-lag, stunning lush greenery with amazing beaches, delicious food, peace and quiet, and our accommodation was all we could have hoped for – total luxury.


Thank you Tanya and Stephen for sharing your lovely story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Wedding photography by Catherine Mead – photographybycatherine.co.uk

Neil & Zoe’s Honeymoon in Japan

Engagement photo with dog paw

Neil and Zoe are both actors and live in South East London with their dog Pickle. They married last summer in a beautiful weekend-long extravaganza. Then, with a little help from their friends, jetted off to one of their favourite places on earth – Japan. We asked Neil all about it.

So how did you two get engaged?

The 11th March is a strange anniversary for us both as it coincidentally marks the date both of us lost our mums. Each year we try and do something special to celebrate their lives and two years ago I thought ‘what could be better than to make this difficult anniversary mean something completely different’. Zoe loves a good treasure hunt, so I planned an epic journey to lead her across London to a lovely vegetarian café. Whilst we ate, my friends laid out hundreds of candles in the beautiful nearby Bonnington Square gardens and as night fell I took Zoe into the square and popped/blubbed the question. Thankfully, she said “Of course!” as I had boldly arranged for all our friends and family to be in a nearby pub waiting for us. 

Neil & Zoe on their wedding day – by Howell Jones Photography

What kind of wedding did you plan?

When we thought about our favourite weddings, the one thing that they all had in common is that we never wanted them to end. So, we decided to have a weekend long wedding where we could have everyone stay on site with us from Friday ’til Monday. We hoped it would be a chance for friends & loved ones to have a mini holiday with us, for them to get to know each other and for us all to share our post wedding hangovers over a game of rounders by a lake and a moonlit cinema. We found a beautiful 22 bedroom house called Colehayes in Bovey Tracey, situated in beautiful acres of stunning Devon countryside.

It was everything we dreamed of and we were so moved by how all our guests threw themselves into the whole thing. It had a glorious feeling of community and connectedness that we wish we could have bottled. 

Neil & Zoe on their wedding day – by Howell Jones Photography

What was your first dance?

We both love the film When Harry Met Sally and Harry Connick Jr, so we went for “It Had to Be You”. We had grand hopes of doing a short dance routine to it but with Zoe’s dress being very long and so much else to plan, we simply didn’t get round to it, so ended up doing the traditional but loving ‘foot-to-foot shuffle”. 

Why did you decide to use Patchwork?

We wanted a website that could bring together all our honeymoon ideas and give people a chance to see what was on our honeymoon wish list. Patchwork was so easy to use and helped us put together a beautiful visual itinerary that our friends and family could feel part of. It also made it easier for us plan our trip and start to get really excited about it.

We guess, like many couples who get married, we felt tentative about asking people to contribute to our honeymoon as everyone was already travelling so far to join us for our wedding and we honestly didn’t expect anything in addition to this! However, we were aware that some people kindly wanted to get us something in the way of a gift. We were absolutely over the moon with how generous people were and the simple truth is that without their help, we couldn’t have had such an epic honeymoon in Japan.

Wedding couple by lake

Zoe & Neil by Howell Jones Photography

Patchwork was so easy to use and gave us something we could easily send to people so they could feel like they were directly contributing to a part of our journey. We also loved that we could create a variety of different value gift options so people didn’t feel pressure to give lots of money and yet were still going to be adding joy to our honeymoon with options like Karaoke and Sink a Sake.

Neil & Zoe on honeymoon in Japan

Why did you decide to have your honeymoon in Japan?

Ever since we first went to Japan back in 2014, we had a dream of returning and exploring more. We adore Tokyo and whilst we wanted to go back, we also wanted to travel further afield and see what other parts of Japan were like. Kyoto and Osaka were cities that we wanted to explore and we also wanted to visit snowy Nagano and see the snow monkeys and stay with Buddhist monks up in Mount Koya. We feel so lucky that we got to do all of this and more on our holiday.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Yes. Japan is simply one of the most remarkable places on earth. Their culture is so different to our own but yet strangely familiar at the same time as if visiting a parallel universe. It has everything- epic landscapes, ancient historic temples, futuristic cities and a blend of nature and technology like nowhere else. It’s also inhabited by such polite and gentle people that make travelling around it feel easy and safe. We have fallen in love with Japan, in fact, we have fallen so in love that we’ve even started making a series of vlogs about our trip and all things Japanese called Woman, Man, Japan with the hope of helping likeminded people plan their own trips there and so that we can get back there as much a possible.


Thank you Neil and Zoe for sharing your brilliant story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

A Creative Camden Wedding & Slovenian Escape

James and Lucy met at University and got together in their final year. 14 years later and they’re newly married and living in Brockley, London. They’re a seriously creative couple – James is a fantastic wordsmith and Lucy is a super talented designer and illustrator (her beautifully illustrated patchwork really caught our eye). Their love for all things creative plays a huge part in their lives, and influenced their wedding in a big way. We asked them all about their day, and the unconventional honeymoon that followed.

How did you get engaged?
James originally asked me in a fairly casual way during a lovely evening out at the theatre. It was so casual in fact that I didn’t realise he was asking me and a few days later he asked me again. I had a few reasons why I wasn’t sure if I could go ahead with a wedding so I said I needed to think. (None of these reasons were to do with James or our relationship!) James said he would wait and I was under no pressure to say yes. He gave me a ring to put on if I ever felt I was ready.

A few weeks later on New Year’s Eve I was cooking us a meal and decided it was what I wanted and we could have a wedding no matter what anybody thought. Nothing mattered but us. So we ate our meal and then went up to Hilly Fields park to watch the fireworks at midnight. James didn’t know I had sneaked the ring onto my finger! At midnight I took my hand out of my pocket and I emotionally said to James “I’m ready!” Not the conventional proposal at all but it always makes me smile.

Perfect. What kind of wedding did you want?
We knew we wanted a small, intimate wedding and only had 25 guests. We wanted to be able to chat to everyone properly during the day and we’re quite private people really so a big wedding really didn’t appeal. We had about 60 more guests in the evening.

How did the wedding planning go?
We kept it really simple, I’m not a massive wedding person really and we didn’t want to spend years agonising over little details so we kind of decided to strip it back. We honestly just wanted everyone we cared about under one roof and that was all that mattered. I designed all the invites and made all the simple things things we chose to have like the favours, some signs and envelopes containing Oyster cards for our guests.

Tell us about the day.
After getting married at Camden Town Hall we all got the tube one stop to our wedding reception and it was honestly one of the highlights of the day. All the guests thought it was a novelty and we had so many strangers wishing us well, including one old man who said he and his wife did the same thing years ago! We didn’t want to be too conventional so I did a speech, along with my new mother in law!

What was your first dance?
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons / You Send Me by Willie Hightower

Why did you choose Patchwork for your gift list?
Originally (and trying to break with convention again!) we weren’t going to ask for wedding presents because we felt that wasn’t why we were getting married and we didn’t want people to have that extra expense. But so many people asked us what we wanted that we gave in!

Living in Brockley I had seen the Patchwork studio but didn’t know what it was all about. James told me and I thought it was just perfect for our wedding gift list.

As well as it being a great concept, we were really keen to support a local business. (To the point that when my dad said “Can’t I just give you the cash so they don’t take a cut?” I firmly explained that Patchwork is a local business and to please give through the website!) Being a freelance designer myself I was particularly insistent on this – if everyone said that then there wouldn’t be a business at all!

That is brilliant, thank you. So what did you decide to fund?
We wanted to fund our honeymoon to Slovenia as even a smallish wedding is rather pricey! Our main expense was staying in a tree house by Lake Bled, and the flights. We were conscious of the fact that guests would have very different budgets so we included things of low prices too. We wanted people to feel they were helping fund activities regardless of the amount they contributed.

We were really touched by people’s wedding messages to us on the website. People were very generous and we were able to enjoy the honeymoon without worrying at all about money. It was lovely knowing all those friends and family cared about us.

And our friends thought it was great, quick and simple to use, and nice to know what they were putting their money towards.

Why did you choose Slovenia for your honeymoon?
Neither of us are sunbathers and we like to get away from it all as we live in hectic London. Slovenia had it all in terms of gorgeous scenery, forests, turquoise lakes and rivers, and tranquility. Oh, and it was within my less-than-three-hours flight time as I am terrified of flying!

We’d definitely recommend it – it was absolutely stunning and there was plenty of time to contemplate and plan our new, married lives!

Hooray. Thanks for chatting to us and a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork just customise one of our readymades or create one from scratch. And check out Lucy’s brilliant design work here.

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