2020 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most difficult years in recent history, and couples who had chosen this year for their wedding have certainly been hit hard by disappointments, frustrations and in many cases, financial difficulties. But it hasn’t stopped many amazingly resilient and determined couples from showing that, despite all the obstacles, love will find a way. We spoke to Zoe, an endocrinologist and general medical physician, and Tom, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, who live in London. So this is a couple who have not only had to reimagine their entire wedding during a global pandemic but did it all whilst looking after us and protecting us all in their roles as doctors in the NHS. I don’t think we could be more in awe of this gorgeous pair and their beautiful, love-filled small wedding.
How did you make the day special despite the ongoing restrictions?
Tom and I finally got married on Saturday August 8th 2020, in a very small ceremony in the village I grew up in, after being able to get a common licence from the Bishop. It was just Tom, me, our parents and siblings and my 4 year old niece as flower girl.
Our re-imagined small wedding reminded us that our marriage was really about the joining of our families. Everyone played a part (or three!). My mum and my sister and I spent the morning of our wedding day making flower crowns and bouquets. My husband’s brother organised all the music including playing and singing a song he wrote himself during the ceremony, and was also Tom’s best man, and a witness!
It sounds like everyone played an extra special and important part in your day?
They did. The village had pulled together and organised beautiful flowers for the church, petals for the flower girl, and organised photographs, and many of our neighbours came to watch from a safe distance!
We weren’t able to have a big wedding reception because of the government rules not relaxing, so my mum made our wedding cake and hosted champagne and cake in my parents’ garden, and we had a small family dinner outside afterwards.
How did it feel to have a smaller wedding than you’d originally planned?
We missed our friends, of course, but we’re hoping to be able to have a marriage blessing and a big celebration in our original location with all our friends and family, once the pandemic has passed. We decided to wear our “proper” wedding outfits for our smaller ceremony, which were black tie, so we did look rather fancy for a tiny village church in North Yorkshire!
Was your wedding day very different to your original plans?
It was quite far from our original wedding plans, which were in a chapel in my old university and a grand medieval hall with around 100 guests, but in the end it was really just as special.
What’s your advice for couples wondering whether to postpone their wedding?
My advice is to go ahead with getting married even if it can’t be the perfect day you had planned – in the end, the material things did not matter so much to us.
You went ahead with your Patchwork. What made Patchwork the right wedding gift list for you?
We chose Patchwork because it was very easy to use, and we wanted to personalise our wish list so that it was meaningful to us and our friends and family. We’d seen honeymoon wish lists before, but we were looking for something a little different. Tom and I wanted our wedding guests to feel they were getting us a gift rather than giving money, but preferred to pick how we spent the money ourselves – Patchwork was the perfect solution.
I found it easy to make an attractive Patchwork, which I did in one evening, and easy to transfer the money subsequently. We are planning on a garden makeover with the money, although as we are both doctors we have been very busy since March when I set up the Patchwork so we have not had time to use the money yet!
Thank you so, so much Zoe and Tom, for sharing these words and photos from your beautiful day with us. We think a small wedding where everyone can play a part in your celebrations really captures the spirit of what Patchwork is all about! And we really do hope you get some time soon to spend your gift money on your garden in the way that you want – and hopefully create a beautiful space for you to relax and think of all the friends and family who helped make it happen!
If Zoe and Tom have inspired you to organise a small wedding or set up an alternative wedding gift list, check out our gorgeous readymade templates. With Patchwork, it’s easy and fun to ask friends and family to get together virtually to make your dreams come true, whatever they are!