Our Creative Director Ismay usually prefers to be behind the keyboard (and camera!) so we’ve had to bribe her with biscuits to let us feature her gorgeous wedding here on our blog. Ismay met her husband Paul at a party over a decade ago in their home town of Worcester. They instantly hit it off, laughing at each others’ jokes, even when no one else was. They finally tied the knot recently in a cosy, casual wedding by the sea. We asked Ismay all about the day and the incredible honeymoon that followed.
How did you get engaged?
We were staying in Edinburgh for Hogmanay and Paul (unbeknownst to me) had planned to propose while we were on a walk up Arthur’s Seat. Unfortunately it was raining sideways, freezing cold and the ground was super slippy. So not the most romantic situation. I was hurrying him back down but he kept wanting to stop and look at the view – which I thought was a bit weird. Now I know he had a picnic blanket and a bottle of champagne in his rucksack, waiting for the perfect moment. Eventually he gave up!
The next day (New Year’s Eve) we went out to Portobello beach for a walk as the sun was setting. The sky was completely pink and was reflected in the water. It was too beautiful. He presented me with a ring made by my best mate and I said yes! Then we spent the evening watching the fireworks and drinking cocktails.
What kind of wedding did you plan?
Well, neither of us had spent our lives dreaming of getting married, and neither of us particularly like being the centre of attention. So we knew wanted something quite casual.
In my role at Patchwork I obviously see a lot of weddings, and I’d seen a lovely one at a place called the Lobster Shack in Whitstable. It looked perfect – it had a relaxed atmosphere and was by the sea. It was the first venue we saw and we booked it. Everything else fell into place around that – we had a BBQ and our friends helped us make sharing salads to go with it.
Our amazing, creative friends helped with a lot of details – one bridesmaid made us an entire dessert table, the other created huge wall hangings for the venue and designed our invitations (which we had printed with MOO), and my maid of honour made us our wedding rings, which she gave to us as a gift. She also gave the most incredible speech. We were surrounded by love!
We had the best photographer to capture the day – Laura of Babb Photo. Her photography was our gift from Patchwork! Best present ever. And our flowers were done by the amazingly talented One Flew Over who I’d met at Most Curious Wedding Fair the year before. I was in love with them.
What was your first dance?
It was ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ by Otis Redding. And we surprised ourselves by not actually feeling that awkward as we danced to it.
We’d normally ask you what made you choose to use Patchwork but we already know the answer!
Yes I had to or I would’ve been fired. But seriously it was perfect for us – we have a tiny flat in London and we don’t need ‘stuff’. If people were going to insist on giving gifts, (and they did) what we really wanted was a big old holiday!! We’d never been out of Europe together so the one thing we knew we’d really appreciate was an adventure – just the two of us. We asked our friends and family to help us have two weeks in Mexico and then a week in New York. We planned to lie on a beach for two weeks drinking margaritas, then do some proper exploring in the Big Apple.
Our friends and family loved our patchwork and it was an extra bonus that I got to show them all the brilliant company that I love working for! They were more generous than we could’ve imagined and it made our honeymoon so special – ticking the experiences off our list that our friends paid for was amazing. Like snorkelling in Tulum or eating pizza at Lucali’s in Brooklyn. It’s a cliche but the memories will truly last us forever and we wouldn’t have been able to afford half of it without their love and kindness!
The best bit was reading all of the lovely, lovely messages our friends and family left on our page. And then being able to send thank yous through the site (with a photo of us enjoying the experience) to each person who’d bought us a gift. I’ve obviously seen this in action many times but getting to see how wonderfully that little function (that I helped design!) worked was very cool.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Yes – definitely. Tulum is such a beautiful place, the beaches are white, the water’s clear and the people are so lovely. If you just want to have salty hair, sandy skin and enjoy your new husband/wife’s company, it’s perfect. And then if you’re like us and love exploring big cities too, adding a trip to New York at the end is ideal – it was a first visit for both of us and we’re dying to go back. Although maybe in the Spring next time as July was unbelievably hot and humid! It was the trip of a lifetime and we loved every minute.
Hooray! Thank you so much Ismay & Paul for sharing your patchwork story with us all!
If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.
P.s Listen to Ismay & Paul’s first dance song in our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couple’s first dances.
Photography: Babb Photo
Flowers: One Flew Over
Hair: Flow & Co
Dress: Self Portrait
Bridesmaid dresses: & Other Stories
Venue: Lobster Shack, Whitstable
Rings: Jago Jewellery
Invitations: Caro Gates