Kasia and Sam met at six form college and had loads of mutual friends. It took them a couple of years but eventually they kissed – at the Paradise Bar in Deptford – on a group night out. They’ve been together ever since. And after what may be the world’s longest engagement (14 years!) they finally tied the knot this summer at a big garden party, made possible with lots of help from their lovely friends. We asked Kasia all about their ‘Patchworked’ wedding weekend and familymoon.
How did you and Sam get engaged?
We moved to Barcelona when we were 24 for 18 months. We lived in a beautiful old building in the top floor apartment. There was an old wrought iron lift which was very small. I always said how much I loved the lift, because you could see each floor and the staircase that wrapped around it as you went down. It was very old fashioned and beautiful. One evening on our way out to a Christmas party, Sam grabbed a bottle of Champagne and we got in the lift. As it started to go down Sam announced he had something in his pocket, which made me laugh. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He pulled out a ring box and proposed. I said yes, we kissed and then arrived on the ground floor. It was very romantic. Unfortunately we didn’t seal the deal until 14 years later.
What kind of wedding did you decide to plan?
We planned an intimate ceremony with just our closest relatives at Chelsea Old Town Hall. The following day we planned a big Garden Party in our family house in Essex. It was a bit like a mini festival. We had Bell Tents in the back field for our guests, a large marquee with flowers and hay bales and beautiful white table cloths and an amazing BBQ with a selection of salads.
Many of our friends and family helped to make our day special. The party was held at Sam’s family’s house in Essex. His Aunt Mary worked on making the garden look beautiful leading up to the day. Sam was in charge of the music and food. He asked individual friends if they would play and they all said yes. Sam created a DJ Rota and gave them each a list of tunes he wanted them to include in their sets. It worked really well.
Our friend Philippa and her sister offered very early on to do the flowers. They were amazing. She grew them from scratch created the most stunning displays. I didn’t give a brief and was open to anything they wanted to do. I just wanted them to be colourful and wild and they exceeded anything we could have asked or paid for. They were so beautiful and special and made the place look incredible. That was a very special gift from them.
Sam and our friends did the food. He bought all the meat and fish from Billingsgate and Smithfield’s Market. Then on the day our friends prepared the salads and we had a few friends do the BBQ. That was one of the most important jobs and they were great, I think they had fun doing it. At least they looked happy in the photographs!
I was in charge of the decorations and set up. My best friends all helped to clean, decorate the marquee with foliage, set the bar up, lay the tables, move the hay bales and all the other finishing touches. That was a huge joint effort. But it makes you realise that many hands make light(ish) work.
Finally we had asked our guests if they would like to bring cheese, or a bottle of booze or make a cake. We were blown away with how many people did this. We had a full table of cakes and later a full table of cheese. It was incredible. We just had to make sure we had all the Prosecco, Wine and mixers.
Lastly our friends Laura and Rowan offered to take the photographs. Rowan is an artist and Laura is a photographer. Between them we have beautiful photographs capturing both days. We were so fortunate to have so many good friends who just wanted to help make our day even more special.
It sounds like an incredible joint effort. Did you have a first dance?
Our first dance was to Susan Cadogan, Congratulations. It’s a beautiful Reggae song, which we love.
What advice would you give to other couples on their wedding day?
Just go with the flow. Don’t worry if certain details change or the timings of day move. You have to remember no one else knows if something didn’t go quite right or the day is behind schedule. Guests just want to see you having fun and enjoying yourself and then they will. Also remember to not be worried about asking your friends and family to help or contribute. They will be happy to.
What made Patchwork the best gift registry for you?
We chose Patchwork because we thought it was a beautiful and tasteful way of asking our friends and family to contribute towards our Spanish Honeymoon. There’s no way we could have afforded to go away as a family without their help. We created a patchwork of things and places we wanted to experience on our honeymoon, like dinner and drinks in a Flamenco Bar for example or a day at a Waterpark with the children or even a night in the villa. All these things cost different amounts so people could give as little or as much as they wanted. We also used our patchwork to ask our friends to contribute their time on our wedding day – the wonderful thing about Patchwork is that you can also have ‘do’ and ‘make’ patches, so people could contribute their time by saying they would make a cake or man the BBQ.
We were amazed how many of our friends and family contributed on Patchwork in the end. It was a wonderful feeling being on the plane knowing everyone had helped us get there. We were so tired, but so happy when we set off for Spain – we honestly felt so lucky to have enough money to enjoy ourselves.
What was your favourite thing about using Patchwork?
It is completely bespoke and it looks beautiful.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Our trip was very specific to us – we wanted a few days just the two of us and then we wanted to share the rest of our holiday with our children and family. It was Sam’s 40th birthday while we were away so it was lovely to share the occasion with his mum and sister. It was a real family affair and our villa was incredible, so everyone was happy.
Thank you Sam & Kasia for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!