The rain didn’t spoil this stunning Yorkshire wedding! Self-employed musician Tom, and university councillor Anne, live in Leeds, where Tom is born and bred. They’ve been together for 8 years after originally meeting while travelling in China in 2010. Anne took the plunge and moved from her home in the Netherlands to the UK in 2012 and has not looked back since. Well OK, she admits she does miss home at times! They both love to travel and are interested in exploring different cultures, cuisines and the natural world. We chat to them about their Yorkshire wedding and month long Colombian honeymoon adventure.
How did you get engaged?
We had a very nice Christmas Eve dinner at Tom’s parents’ place and decided to go out for a walk afterwards. Tom had chosen the place previously – an old bandstand on the edge of a nearby park. We walked there through the woods in the dark, and when we finally arrived we were unfortunately not alone, as a small group of young people were already there, celebrating the occasion by sharing some ‘herbal’ cigarettes… so it was time for Plan B. Fortunately this was the area Tom grew up in so we deviated slightly and walked to a nice little pond which was very pretty in the moonlight. Tom gave me my early Christmas pressie, and asked in the traditional manner – ‘Shall we?’ – to which I replied… ‘Ok.’ (Jokes. I said ‘yes please’!)
Quite an eventful proposal! And then, what kind of wedding did you plan?
We wanted to have a small wedding originally, but as these things tend to do it rapidly snowballed. I have a large family with several aunties and uncles on both sides and millions of cousins… so the numbers gradually got bigger and bigger! As we had lots of international guests, some of whom had never visited the UK before, we decided to get married in a typical Yorkshire location and ended up settling on Standedge Visitors Centre in Marsden, West Yorks – a stunning converted storage warehouse on the canal up in the Pennines. We decorated the venue ourselves with help from our amazing family and friends and had an absolutely incredible (and very wet!) wedding day.
What was your first dance?
We danced to Eva Cassidy’s Songbird – performed by Katie and the Northern House Motown Band.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Tom: It was seeing Anne for the first time walking down the aisle in her stunning Morilee dress, closely followed by my brother Laurence’s outrageous best man speech.
Anne: Arriving by boat in the torrential rain was both surreal and hilarious fun! And seeing Tom crying his eyes out was also fun. Pie and Mash provided by Hinchliffe’s farm (a very last-minute rescue job! Thanks guys!) was perfect! But I think what takes the prize is looking across the room and seeing everyone you love in one place there to celebrate with you, an absolute one-off experience which is very difficult to put into words.
What made you choose Patchwork?
We felt quite strongly that we did not want people to buy us any ‘stuff’ as we have pretty much everything we need here at home. However, as we love to travel so much we had our hearts set on an epic adventure honeymoon – Patchwork gave us the opportunity to invite our guests to contribute to this, and also for us to document our experiences with photos and share them with everyone.
What did you ask guests to contribute towards?
We invited our guests to contribute towards our honeymoon in Colombia. People funded specific honeymoon experiences and adventures, such as a cruise around the Cartagena bay, a dinosaur bones cycling tour, and a coffee farm experience.
What were some of the highlights of your honeymoon?
We spent a month travelling around Colombia, really learning a lot about this previously mysterious country. It felt like several holidays combined into one as each destination we visited felt so very different and unique. The cities were vibrant and occasionally chaotic! The mountainous coffee and cacao growing areas were stunning, sleepy and with beautifully preserved Spanish colonial architecture. And we swam in the Caribbean Sea, ate lobster on beautiful white beaches, as well as hiking through the jungles of the national parks. Perhaps the absolute highlight though was finding that we had an entire hotel to ourselves – and not just any hotel, the most stunning and luxurious Hacienda style accommodation in the whole of Colombia! The Hacienda Buenavista, Quindio.
How did you feel when you set off on your travels knowing everyone had chipped in to make it happen?
We thought of our guests and our contributors at almost every turn. Because of them we were able to travel in business class for the first (and probably only!) time in our lives. We were able to stay at beautiful hotels and resorts such as the above, and we were able to go on incredible adventures over a really good long holiday. They really made it a dream come true for us, so it was very special to be able to share it all with them.
What was the best bit about Patchwork?
The best thing about using Patchwork was being able to share our experiences on the honeymoon with our guests, and for them to feel that they were a part of our adventure. It was also very easy to set up and use, and it was great that you could set all the prices for contributions so that no one would feel left out. Our family and friends loved it and a lot of them have said that they would use this service too.
Finally, would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Absolutely! In particular Colombia’s coffee region and the city of Medellin. Barichara and Villa de Leyva further east were also stunning.
Thanks so much Anne and Tom for letting us share in your gorgeous celebrations. Congratulations from Team Patchwork!
Anne & Tom booked everything independently, with accommodation mostly booked through Booking.com. They had a little help from Jack’s Flight Club who alerted them to some really good value Business Class flights on Lufthansa.
Below are some of the other suppliers that made their day amazing:
Wedding Venue: Standedge Visitors Centre
Anne’s Dress: Morilee
Catering: Hinchliffe’s farm
P.s. listen to Anne & Tom’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.