Today on the blog we chat to wedding stylist Callie Punchard of Studio Dine and find out what it was like for her to style her own wedding! Callie met her now husband Sam at Uni; she says “we had mutual friends so we’d see each other here and there around the building.” Callie also worked in the Student bar so their chats became more and more frequent until eventually they got together. And hooray! They’ve just celebrated their 7 year anniversary of being a couple. Callie tells us more about how she planned and styled their day (and has some great tips too for couples planning their own weddings!) She also gives us all honeymoon FOMO by letting us in on their amazing honeymoon to Puglia, Italy, funded by family and friends with a little help from Patchwork!
How did you get engaged?
Callie: In our little one bed flat during lockdown. Sam had always joked he’d propose on the day he finished his masters and that ended up being exactly what he did. As he couldn’t go out and celebrate his final hand in with his friends, I took the day off and we decided we’d have a picnic in the flat. When I suggested we go to the park if it was nice out (at this stage we were allowed to sit outside!) and he said he’d rather stay in, I got suspicious. Popped out to the postbox and when I got back to the flat he was down on one knee. We celebrated with a takeaway pint from our local pub.
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We knew we wanted a pretty relaxed day and that the most important thing was having all our friends and family there. Something less traditional and full of personality. Being a wedding stylist myself, I can’t pretend I didn’t feel the pressure right off the bat though. It was finally my opportunity to do everything exactly as I wanted. Obviously it had to be beautiful! But fun and colour were definitely priorities. Oh and the food. The food was very important. We chose Loft Studios which had the perfect casual, London vibe and sourced everything ourselves. A lot of work but so so worth it in the end.
How did you find styling your own wedding as opposed to other peoples’?
I definitely found the run up more stressful and overwhelming than I’d imagined to. Naturally, the planning felt somewhat an extension of work, which definitely had its negatives, but it was so rewarding to be able to create something that totally reflected us and my style. The week of the wedding was hard work if I’m totally honest. We put a lot on our plates and did everything ourselves, from the flowers to making and painting the signage, designing menus, making my own candles, etc. We even made the bloody napkins! Actually it was only once it got to the day itself that I let the pressure go. I was so happy with everything we’d created and knew at that stage the work we’d put in had paid off, but once you wake up and it’s your wedding day, I couldn’t have cared less what it looked like. It was just amazing that so many people were there and we just had the best time.
Did you have a first dance?
YES. Our first dance was Abba, Super trouper. We knew we wanted something fun and our families are all ABBA obsessed so it just felt like the perfect choice. I hate being the centre of attention so I was really nervous about this bit of the day, but we’d bought some confetti cannons to be set off at the end of the first verse and it ended up being totally magical. That sounds SO lame but it really was. At that point our friends couldn’t wait to get on the dance floor and it was the best start to the night.
A bit of ABBA never fails! And what was your favourite part of the day?
I loved it all so much. Our first dance was definitely a highlight, but our ceremony was really amazing too. We had a humanist ceremony, which our celebrant Nat Raybould just made so personal and wonderful. We did Rock Paper Scissors to decide which of us read our vows first – haha.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?
I knew from the moment I met you guys that we would use Patchwork for our wedding. Other than you being the dreamiest team and working with you previously, it just made so much sense. We loved that we could totally customise it to what we wanted and that we’d be giving back to environmental charities with our fee. A huge win-win.
What did you invite your guests to contribute towards?
We decided to ask guests to contribute towards our honeymoon. We’ve lived together for years now, so we didn’t need gifts or any more ‘stuff’! We just wanted to have the best time away together in Italy.
What did you enjoy most about using Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?
It was just so easy and so much less icky than asking our guests for cold hard cash! Haha! We completely mapped out our trip on it from meals out to hotels and activities so there was a total range of things and prices. It was so fun seeing what people bought us too.
What did your family and friends think?
They loved it. We had so many compliments on how great of an idea it was, and found everyone loved being able to choose what they were contributing towards. It was lovely that we could send people updates throughout our trip too of things we were doing that they’d made possible. So many friends have gone on to use it for their weddings now too and we love being on the reverse, getting to choose for them!
Where did you go on your honeymoon and what were the highlights?
We went to Puglia in Italy. Honestly the dreamiest trip. We planned to travel around the top half, staying in each place for 1-2 nights to see as much as possible. We started in Bari before moving along to Matera – This gorgeous old cave city (and where part of the new James Bond was filmed!). Stopped off at a wine resort and had a few days on an Italian farm in-land too, before travelling back up the coast and having a few beach days. We stayed in this incredible cave hotel in Matera which was cool and had this unreal seven course tasting menu one of the nights we stayed on the farm. That was definitely a highlight. We visited a ceramics village which as a tableware obsessive I loved! One of the days in Monopoli we found this hidden away beach cove which was amazing. We just sat on the edge of the clearest water with a spritz and fresh fried seafood and it just felt like we were in heaven. Polignano a Mare was also gorgeous – By far the busiest place we went but worth the hype for that view. Also all the food and wine. Obviously. Delicious. Want to go back immediately.
OK, now we all have honeymoon FOMO! How did it feel knowing your friends and family had helped make your dream trip a reality?
Amazing – and really special. We’ll remember that trip forever.
And finally… do you have any top tips when it comes to planning / styling your wedding?
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything feels super important in the run up and it’s easy to get carried away but on the day the little things don’t matter.
- Make sure it reflects you as a couple. Don’t fall into the trap of doing things because you feel you should. The best weddings are the ones where your guests walk in and immediately think how YOU it is. What are your favourite things? Think about how you can bring them into your day.
- Work with your venue!! This is such a big one. Usually you’re spending a lot on the venue itself so make sure that it reflects the vibe you want your day to have, and that your ideas for styling will work with the space. Think about the existing features, colours and furniture and compliment it with everything you bring in.
- Trust your suppliers. They know what they’re doing and you’re paying them for the expertise they bring to the table.
- Don’t worry about making your wedding look ‘timeless’. Just have fun with it.
- Make sure your budget is put to good use! Eg. If you’re paying for a big floral ceremony arch, where can you move this to once the ceremony is over?
Thankyou so much Callie and Sam for sharing your beautiful day with us and making us all want to immediately head off to Puglia for Aperol Spritz and seafood…. Congratulations from all of us at Patchwork, we are so pleased we could play a small part in your celebrations!
If you’ve been inspired to set up your own honeymoon fund, you can find our templates for Italy and 100s of other destinations here. Or if there’s something else you’d love your friends and family to help with – check out some of our other unique wedding gift ideas. If you’d like to chat to Callie about how she can help create the wedding of YOUR dreams you can read more about her services on the StudioDine website or on Instagram
Here are some of the wedding suppliers that made Callie and Sam’s day super special:
Make Up: Abi Taylor Bride
Food: Pasta E Basta
Cake: Maison Pe’lumi
DJ: On Repeat
Venue: Loft Studios
Dress: Charlie Brear
Photographer: Alba Turnbull
Videographer: The Smiths & Co
Bar: We are Twenty Six
Pizza Van: Napoli on the Road
Furniture: Ya Hire
Candles: Studio Dine Store
Celebrant: Nat Raybould
Confetti: Flutter Darlings
Honeymoon hotel in Matera: Palazzotto Residence & Winery
p.s. you can listen to Callie and Sam’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.