Liz and Gary have been together for 7 years – this time around. They first went out as teenagers, after going to the same small secondary school in the South-East of Ireland. Their brief romance came to an end, but they both wondered what might have happened if they’d met later in life.
We’ll let Liz tell you the rest.
One day at Christmas time in 2008 when we were both back in our hometown for the holidays, Gary got in touch. He wanted to ask me some questions as he was thinking about a career change into medicine, and I was at medical school at that time. We met for a cup of tea and the rest, as they say, is history! We have been almost inseparable ever since. In 2013 we adopted our gorgeous little dog, Ruby, and we have been a happy little family ever since (although Ruby definitely wears the trousers…)
How did you get engaged?
In the summer of 2012, Gary visited a relative in Bath. He was charmed by the beauty of the old city, and was eager for me to visit with him there ever since. In June of 2014 we finally planned the trip; little did I know, he had big plans for our short break. One day as we were exploring in Bath, he suggested we buy a bottle of bubbly and some champagne flutes for his cousin as a thank you for her hospitality. On the way home, we made a stop at the Royal Crescent where he revealed the real reason for the champagne. Under a big tree, he told me he wanted us to grow old together. He had collected photographs of us together through the years, and had even made a visit to my father beforehand. Almost a year to the day later, we were married!
Why was Patchwork the best gift list for you?
When we started to plan the wedding, we realised we both felt unsure about having a gift registry, as we were really keen that none of our guests should feel obliged to give us gifts. We knew that the wedding we ideally wanted was likely to cost more than we had in the bank, but hated the idea of asking friends and family for monetary contributions. One day, my cousin gave me a copy of Elle Bridal magazine, where I stumbled across a feature about Patchwork. It was the perfect solution! We used the site in place of a registry to provide suggestions for those who did want to contribute. We included a mixture of wish-list wedding services such as a DJ, wedding flowers and honeymoon car hire, and also asked for people to pledge their time and skills to contribute to our mostly-DIY wedding day. It worked a treat.
What was your wedding like?
From day one, we knew we wanted something a little different, and to my delight we found that the best way to achieve this was to organise everything ourselves! I have a love of organising, crafts and beautiful things. The wedding was the ideal opportunity to combine these passions and it became my second job for a whole year. I loved every minute, from devouring wedding magazines to creating Pinterest dream boards, and designing and coordinating every detail. We both pitched in a lot of time and effort to make things just the way we imagined, and I have to say it was absolutely worth it.
We were able to choose the most fantastic independent vendors for our day, and making a lot of things ourselves allowed us real control over how the day was styled. I arranged all the flowers, Gary spent many long evenings cutting napkins from fabric with pinking shears, and my teenage niece made our stunning cake.
We went for an uncomplicated, bohemian look with lots of quirky, pretty and vintage-inspired details. It was all about maximising the things that mattered most to us, and being able to create a day that was symbolic of our relationship, but also showed our love and gratitude to the friends and family we had invited to join us on our special day.
We decided right from the start that we would each make a list of three top priorities, and that the lion’s share of the budget would be spent on these. I think in the end the big winners were the ceremony itself, the venue, and food/drinks… Gary’s suit ended up costing far more than my vintage wedding dress! Given the chance, we would do it all over again and not change a thing.
What was the best bit about the day?
The whole day went by as if in a dream, but it was just perfect. The sun came out and we were able to do the whole day outdoors. Seeing each other as I walked down the path with my father to the sounds of the piano theme from “Amélie” was a perfect moment in time. Our Humanist ceremony, in which we included carefully chosen literary readings, was really special and personal for us both. There were so many highlights from the whole day that it’s hard to choose one favourite, but being surrounded by so many of our loved ones was an amazing experience. We think people really felt personally invested in the day through their contributions to the wedding, and that made it all the more special.
We had so many compliments on the wedding in the end. Everyone had a ball, and all seemed to enjoy attending a wedding that was a little offbeat. It felt very true to our personalities, and our guests fed that back to us. A few of our friends have since asked for help planning their upcoming nuptials, so watch this space!
How exciting! Thanks Liz & Gary and a massive congratulations from Team Patchwork.
Photography by Into The Light