Pete and Kate are both from Sussex, and actually grew up half just an hour away from each other. They met two and a half years ago, on Bumble. Kate moved in with Pete after nine months, and they got engaged on their first anniversary! Read on to hear how they planned their beautiful, sustainable wedding during the pandemic. Oh and hear the sweetest primary school tea towels story that went on to become a memorable part of their wedding day…
How did you get engaged?
Kate: We were in lockdown for our first anniversary, so he recreated our first date (at Bills in Lewes) – he cooked the same food we’d had, and even contacted the restaurant to get hold of the menus to print out!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We knew from the start we wanted a very relaxed outdoors wedding, nothing too formal or ostentatious. In addition, we also wanted to stick to a tight budget and, both being creative people, were prepared to do a lot of the work ourselves. We grew our own flowers, made decorations, I baked the cake, and Pete even built the bar out of pallets. Our other priority was that it must be as eco-friendly as possible so we decided on veggie Thai curry for the food, and borrowed lots of items, sourced from local suppliers, or bought second hand.
After looking at lots of conventional venues, nothing felt right. We approached a local farmer and asked if we could hire a field. Thankfully they said yes, and we’d found our perfect setting. It was looking directly across the valley to the little church we’d booked for the ceremony in the next village. We spent weeks researching everything from tipis to toilets, generators to street food trucks, furniture hire to bands until we’d found our perfect suppliers. Then I got to work sourcing vintage armchairs and rugs on gumtree and facebook marketplace to fill the field with comfy corners for our guests to relax in.
One thing I couldn’t find was a dress. I tried on plenty of traditional wedding dresses but none of them felt comfortable, or very ‘me’. I really liked the idea of a vintage dress, both because I love vintage fashion, but also because I really wanted to reuse and recycle as much as possible rather than buying brand new. In the end I stumbled across Poppy Perspective on Instagram. Phiney makes sustainable dresses out of vintage lace, each one is totally unique and utterly beautiful.
Did the pandemic affect your plans for your sustainable wedding?
We were INCREDIBLY lucky when it came to covid. Although we got engaged in lockdown and the whole planning process was done through the pandemic. When it came to the big day we couldn’t have planned things better. Our date fell just 5 days after restrictions eased. Although we weren’t 100% sure we’d be able to have our full numbers until just a week before the big day itself, in the end it worked out perfectly. We did make a few adjustments so that everyone felt safe. For example, asking guests to wear masks while singing in the ceremony, offering individual bags of ‘Crap Crisps’ or ‘Classy Crisps’ instead of canapes, and providing plenty of (fancy!) hand gel.
Did you have a first dance?
I think finding a first dance song was the hardest bit of wedding planning! We don’t have ‘a song’ so we didn’t really know where to start. We’d picked a ceilidh band for the evening, so wanted something that wouldn’t sound too ridiculous being followed by a fiddle! In the end we settled on The Waterboys – How Long Will I Love You as the lyrics are so beautiful.
What was your favourite part of the day?
The whole day was amazing! There’s nothing like having all your favourite people in one place. Plus you get to wear the best outfit you’ve ever owned, eat awesome food and dance the night away! But our wedding tea towel is my favourite thing.
On one of our first dates we stumbled across the subject of primary school tea towels and it came to light that we’d both had traumatic experiences! My drawing had apparently ‘fallen off on the way to the photocopier’ so I was the only child in the school not featured. Pete had completely misunderstood the task and instead of himself drew a girl in his class called Holly, so he has pigtails and a skirt in his drawing!
So when guests sat down for the meal we tasked them with each drawing themselves. A couple of weeks later we laid all the drawings out and sent them off to be made into our very own tea towels to send out as thank yous.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?
We chose Patchwork because we knew a traditional gift list just wasn’t going to work for us. We were in the midst of renovating our house. So although we’d have loved some fluffy new towels, we didn’t have the snazzy bathroom to put them in yet! We also already have a lot of the traditional items on a wedding registry and didn’t want to end up adding things to a list for the sake of it. Some friends had used Patchwork for a honeymoon fund and we really liked the personal feel.
What did you want to ask guests to contribute towards?
Three months before the wedding we moved into a crumbly little cottage which was a top to bottom project. Patchwork was a brilliant way of asking for money towards the renovation in a way that made our guests feel like they were really contributing to something, and helping to set us up for married life in our cosy cottage, without our cupboards ending up full of clutter!
What did you love most about using Patchwork?
The way Patchwork works, where contributors ‘buy’ you things or experiences makes it feel so much more involved than just giving cash. I think people like to know where their money is going, and this makes it feel like they’ve actually bought you a gift. We also loved how we could completely personalise it, everything from the text to the photos, so we could use pictures of how we actually want our house to look when it’s complete.
What did your friends and family think of your Patchwork registry?
Everyone loved our ‘gift list’! We had so many positive comments from friends and family about how imaginative it was, and how personal. People really enjoyed choosing what to ‘buy’ us and it was really interesting seeing who chose to spend their money on pretty things like tiles, wallpaper and light fittings, and who picked practical items like sheets of plasterboard or insulation!
How did it feel receiving your home renovation ‘gifts’ from your friends and family?
It’s really exciting knowing all our friends and family have helped make our house a home. Everyone’s really keen to pop round for a cuppa and see the kitchen sink, tiles or fireplace they’ve bought us! One friend bought us a brick from each of their children, so we’ve decided to write their names on some of the actual bricks which will be used in the project so they can come and see their bricks once it’s done! We’re currently waiting on planning permission to start our extension so we haven’t spent a penny just yet, but it’s safely tucked away for when we need it.
Thank you so much Pete and Kate for these absolutely beautiful words and photos of your gorgeous wedding day.
p.s. you can listen to Pete and Kate’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.