Charlotte from Farnham in Surrey and Donald from London met in the thoroughly modern way online and hit it off straight away. Charlotte says “We’d actually been chatting for a couple of months but due to our travel commitments, didn’t actually meet for a while, but when we did, we knew it was special, he brought me a chunky silver jewellery. You get to a certain point in life and just know when you meet the right person.” They married earlier this year on a beautiful sunny day near Charlotte’s home in the Surrey countryside. Read on to find out more about their wedding and dream honeymoon – funded by friends and family with a little help from Patchwork.
How did you get engaged?
Donald took me on a surprise holiday to Cancun. It wasn’t until we got to the airport that I was aware of where we were going! The hotel was beautiful, and we were well looked after throughout our stay there. One evening we decided to go for a walk along the beach. I love looking at the stars and searching for satellites and so Donald spontaneously suggested to go on the top bunk of a cabana. With the waves crashing and a clear, warm night, Donald said it would only be more perfect if I would become his wife! It was magical – so magical that I wasn’t sure whether Donald was joking or whether I was dreaming!
As it had been spontaneous – Donald didn’t have the ring with him (imagine dropping it in the sand!) So, once back in the hotel room, he asked me to go onto the balcony and not turn around. A few moments later, he asked me to turn around. There he was, bent down on one knee with a beautiful ring and asking me to be his wife – again!
What kind of wedding did you plan?
The wedding was set in the beautiful English countryside at Bury Court Barn in a village called Bentley, near Farnham. The weather was beautiful so we were able to have the ceremony outside in the sunshine, with the forest and fields as our backdrop. It was a dream come true to marry outside – it was perfect! After looking at a few local photographers we chose the amazing Rob at Shooting Hip. We loved his style, he’s super talented! Trying to source local suppliers was important to us as well, so it worked perfectly.
What was your first dance?
We took a while to decide our first dance but finally decided on a slower tune – Al Green’s ‘Let’s stay together’ which was then mixed into Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’. We knew that would get everyone else on the dance floor, plus it’s ‘our song’!
What was your favourite part of the day?
That’s a really hard one! It sounds cliché, but the entire day was just pure happiness and pure love like we’ve never experienced before. We couldn’t stop smiling or looking at each other and everyone was getting on so well with each other. From the moment we saw each other at the end of the aisle, to all of the speeches (but particularly Donald’s), to family crying with joy, to going around the tables during the wedding breakfast so that we could chat with everyone, to dancing together so much, to sneaking off and having moments to ourselves and watching our guests having so much fun! The list is endless really!
What made Patchwork the best gift registry for you?
I met Liv at a wedding fair and loved the thought of making the honeymoon list so personal and allowing guests to choose a gift rather than just adding to a pot of ‘honeymoon money’. Patchwork allows guests to feel like they have really contributed to an experience that we wanted and that they wanted to give.
I also loved the passion that Liv had for the company – you could see how much it means to her – bringing joy to others.
That’s wonderful. So, what were some of the things on your wish-list?
Guests contributed to various experiences for our honeymoon – from flights, to stopovers, to spa sessions. Guests could choose a variety of options that we made available for them to choose from.
How did you feel when you set off on your travels knowing everyone had helped to make it happen?
It felt so special and really made us think of those who had helped us to experience such a wonderful time together. Writing the thank you emails with a photo is an awesome idea too, as our guests could see exactly what we’d done and how grateful we were.
What was the best bit about using Patchwork?
Being able to make it personal to us, the ability to thank people and show them a photo of their gift and the simplicity for us and our guests. Our friends and family found it really easy to use. We considered having a honeymoon fund through a travel agency, but guests couldn’t see what it may be spent on. With Patchwork, guests could see what we wanted to do and contribute to individual experiences.
Thank you so much Charlotte and Donald for sharing these special words and photos with us.
Photography: Rob at Shooting Hip
Make up & Hair: Sophie J Dutta
Accessories: I wore the Natalie hand crafted flowers in my hair by Lila-Lila Accessories
Bracelet and earrings by: Ivory and Co.
Shoes: Rainbow Club range at John Lewis They were padded and so comfortable!
Cake: Vanessa Albury from Forever Cakes based in Four Marks
Stationery: Lilac and White the stationery was beautiful and worked so well with the venue