Home Patchwork Couples Patchwork Couple: A Castle Wedding and First Home Fund

Patchwork Couple: A Castle Wedding and First Home Fund

by Ismay Ozga
bride and groom kissing against dark exposed brick background

Deren is from Essex and Jasmine is from the Washington, D.C. area. However, they didn’t meet in either the UK or America, but in Japan in 2013. Both were English teachers on the same teaching programme and quickly became friends. An impromptu trip taken to Kyoto one long weekend soon after getting to know each other counts as their first date. They moved to Cardiff in 2016 and have been there happily ever since! Deren and Jasmine planned a stunning Caerphilly Castle wedding in Wales in 2019 and asked friends and family to chip in towards their first home together.

Bride and groom walking in grounds of Caerphilly Castle under umbrella

How did you get engaged?

Well, if you discount Deren boldly proclaiming, “I’m gonna marry this girl!” at his farewell party before leaving Japan, then I must say that there wasn’t really an engagement! Neither of us are particularly romantic, so it sort of turned into a mutual agreement-type deal. Not long after our decision to get married was set, Deren did reveal that he was planning to propose when we went back to Japan for our other friends’ wedding, but I had jammed the schedule so full of things that we barely had any time alone together…oops.

Caerphilly Castle wedding venue
Bride and groom at wedding reception with flowers on table

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted a joyous celebration where all our favorite people could come together and celebrate. Thematically, most of the aesthetic came together when we settled on Caerphilly Castle for the venue-another impromptu trip we took soon after moving to Cardiff. Jasmine really digs the half-ruined, half-natural vibe of the castle, so she expanded on that when talking with the decoration vendors.

Patchwork couple first dance

What was your first dance?

Our first dance was to “Nanoka” by our favorite Japanese rock band Radwimps. We would listen to their albums on repeat while driving around the Japanese countryside together, so they’re very special to us. The song in particular has an English bit that goes “I just wanna be with yooouuu, until I die!” just to make sure our non-Japanese-speaking crowd got the message.

bride and groom at wedding reception having photos taken by guests
wedding cupcakes by Rosie Shaw Cakes

What was your favourite part of the day?

The whole day was great, but both of us agree that seeing so many people we adore from all over the world at the same time was the best part.

Patchwork couple wedding reception cake display

Why did you choose Patchwork?

We found Patchwork through some good ol’ Googling, and we’re very happy we did. We chose Patchwork because it was the simplest, cleanest, and easiest-to-use registry site that we found for all our international guests. It suited our needs perfectly, and while we didn’t need to extensively customize our Patchwork, it was comforting to know that we could tweak it how we liked if need be.

first home wedding gift fund patchwork in iPad

What did you want to ask guests to contribute towards?

We wanted our guests to contribute to a first home fund. We already have too much stuff, but a lot of traditional registry sites tended to lean towards cataloging stuff, and that was precisely what we didn’t want! And considering how much houses cost, we could use all the help we can get to be honest!

What was the best bit about using Patchwork Gift Registry?

The best bit was obviously how cute it was. The values marked as individual parts of a first home was very clever and we liked it a lot. Additionally, we had guests from a wide range of economic backgrounds, so we wanted to make sure there was a variety of values people could give at a price point they were comfortable with instead of a single option of, say, £20.

What did your friends and family think?

They loved it, they thoroughly enjoyed “buying” us multiple doors and individual bricks and many fences. It was easy to use and understand as well, without too many screens with a lot of text, which helped our guests whose English might not be perfect.

And your first home? Have you found it yet?

We were SO close to doing just that earlier this year in 2020, but for obvious global reasons you can probably imagine, everything sort of fell through. It’s on the cards, though, and we can’t wait. It’s going to feel really good when we finally do put down that deposit, and we obviously plan on showing photos and thanking everyone again when we finally get a place of our own!


Thank you so much Deren and Jasmine for sharing such beautiful words and pictures of your wedding and story so far!

If you’ve been inspired to create your own First Home Fund patchwork you can use our easy-to-customise template, or browse our 100s of other wedding gift ideas. Or, if you’re feeling creative you can start your own from scratch.

Here are some of the amazing suppliers who helped make Deren and Jasmine’s wedding day even more special:

Venue: Caerphilly Castle, Wales

Cake & Cupcakes: Rosie Shaw Cakes

Catering: Mad Hatters Catering

Jasmine’s dress: Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique

Hair & Makeup: Minxies Beauty

Deren’s tux: Hawkes Bespoke Outfitters

Decoration: The Wedding Alchemist

Flowers: Pick Me Florists

Photographer: Chris Francis

Favours: Fabulous Welshcakes

The DJ was Deren’s best friend from Japan, and he absolutely KILLED it!

P.s. listen to Deren and Jasmine’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.

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