Nadine and Bethany started out as pen-pals, and after a few (love) letters they became childhood sweethearts. Twelve years on and they’re still together, after Bethany moved from Nottingham to London to be with Nadine. We’ll let Nadine tell you all about their engagement, wedding day and patchworked-honeymoon.
How did you two get engaged?
Our engagement was very low key with no grand proposal. It was our 10th anniversary and over breakfast Bethany presented me with a ring, which I mistakenly assumed was an anniversary present. As I was running late for work I rushed off and the penny only dropped when I got home that evening!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
From the outset we wanted our wedding to feel like one big party. The most important thing for us was for our guests to have fun and feel relaxed.
We stumbled across our amazing venue and instantly knew it was the one. As a deconsecrated chapel, it has the sacredness, without the formality, of a church. It’s such a beautiful space we knew we’d need very little décor other than candles and flowers to make it look amazing – so that helped sell it to us too!
We did lots of DIY for the wedding, from designing the invitations and hand-stamping paper cups to arranging the flowers and making the homemade syrup for welcome cocktails.
We had a lot of young kids at the wedding, so we made our own party bags to keep them busy – complete with toys, a homemade wedding day activity and colouring book.
It made the whole day feel much more personal knowing that we’d added all these little touches ourselves and remembering how much work we’d put in.
What was your first dance?
Al Green’s rendition of The Beatles’ ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’
What was the highlight of your day?
We chose to mingle with our guests before the ceremony so it was lovely seeing people arrive, particularly those who had travelled to the wedding from further afield. After the ceremony we had a few moments together to take it all in and the venue organisers sweetly brought us gin & tonics that were very welcome!
Why did you choose Patchwork for your gift registry?
We knew that we didn’t want to have a traditional wedding gift list as we have lived together for a long time and didn’t really need bales of towels. We thought Patchwork was a great concept.
One of the best things about Patchwork was that it was possible to have a range of different things people could fund at different prices. This meant that people were able to contribute even if they didn’t have as much to give.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We chose to fund our dream honeymoon trip to New York and Miami. Neither of us had been to New York and both really wanted to go. We knew our time in NYC would be pretty busy exploring the city so we added a few days of pure poolside relaxation in Miami at the end.
For our New York accommodation we chose a cool Brooklyn brownstone Airbnb and then stayed at the beautiful art deco Raleigh hotel in Miami.
How did you feel setting off on your travels?
We headed off on our honeymoon just 2 days after the wedding so it was lovely to ride through on the wedding bliss knowing all our guests had made the trip possible.
People really appreciated being able to choose what their contribution was going towards and see what we planned to get up to while we were away. It also meant there were no envelopes with cash/cheques to worry about on the day! We also really liked that there was an area for friends/family to add messages which were lovely to read.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Definitely, New York is an amazing city and we would love to go back. Miami was also a wonderful place to visit, especially if you like Art Deco architecture, white sand beaches and Cuban food!
Thank you Nadine & Bethany, and a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!
If this has inspired you to make your own gift registry, check out our customisable templates here, or create your own from scratch.