Sunniest Patchwork couple ever, Jo and Will, tell us about their love of cats, cheese, camper vans and all things yellow… (and an unusual engagement tale involving pulling a balloon string out of a cat. Not the tail end, fortunately). Both are originally from Nottingham where they met 6 years ago. Jo is a jewellery maker and illustrator and Will is a soon-to-be data scientist and they now live happily in Cambridge with their two cats, and Buddy the Sunshine Van. They share a love of the outdoors, adventuring with their tent, travelling to new places and a very strong fondness of cheese, gin and …well food and drink in general!
Sound like pretty perfect priorities to us. Please tell us all about the cat-balloon story.
Rewind to Christmas morning 2016 and I was ordered to stay in bed whilst Will went off to make breakfast. Now, I’m usually the first to jump up and run downstairs at Christmas so I was a bit sulky about being told to stay upstairs, but when I knew he was making baked eggs with cheese and mimosas I wasn’t going to argue! I stayed put with a brew and the kitties and a short while after Will returned with the yummiest, yellowest of breakfasts.
Not a bad start to Christmas morning..! What happened next?
Not long after we finished eating, Will suggested heading down to unwrap presents so I jumped up like a five year old and almost missed that he had queued up a special song of ours to play just as we were heading downstairs.
Before this, throughout December, each day I had been finding tiny parcels hidden about the house with numbers written on them and sweeties inside. On Xmas eve I had a slightly bigger one, which was my fave chocolate bar (a Double Decker) and I remember feeling a bit sad that my little advent was over.
However, as I walked into the living room to the sound of one of our favourite Ben Folds songs, I was greeted wth two MASSIVE silver balloons in the shape of a 2 and a 5. I can’t remember what I was thinking at this point but I saw that the balloons were tied to a tiny blue box with a white ribbon and the cats were pawing at the strings.
As I sat on the floor to untie the beautiful bow, I realised there was a ring box inside and didn’t really know what to do. I think I opened it full on gawping and then gave it back to Will saying “what’s this for?”
Good one Jo.
Ah, what a build up! And then he popped the question?
Will joined me on the floor and asked me to marry him, I just remember shouting yes and jumping him. We both cried a bit… mainly a few happy tears from giggling too much! In the mean time Pegs was eating one of the strings from the balloons, which was fun pulling out of her mouth, throat and possibly stomach shortly after. At least it wasn’t out of the other end!
The ring is beautiful, it’s platinum and super simple with a gorgeous shiny YELLOW diamond. I didn’t even know they were a thing but they are and canary diamonds are gorgeous, like little bits of pure sunshine! Will couldn’t have picked a more perfect ring for me and I still get butterflies when I look at it now… “L for LOVE!”
Wow. That’s so lovely! So then you started planning – did you have firm ideas of the kind of wedding you wanted?
Basically, we just tried to plan a big outdoor festival type party, full of all of our favourite things and favourite people. We didn’t have a set colour scheme or theme, we had a LOT of food and plenty of gin and beer. It was local (3 minutes from our house) and one of the most fun-filled, colourful days of our lives!
What was your first dance?
‘Sellotape‘ by Flight of the Conchords :
It’s going to be hard to pick, but was your favourite part of the day?
Jo: Apart from walking in behind my Sister, Niece, Mum and Mama, with my Dad and seeing Will standing there in the tipi waiting for me, my other favourite part of the day was early in the morning when I woke up at home with the cats and took myself paddle boarding for a bit of calm. It worked a treat and helped clear any nerves and calm me down.
Will: It’s hard to pick just one bit… it was great to have some time in the morning with my Dad & Brother. I think I might have done a bit better than Jo in catching all the guests, as I said hello to everyone as they arrived. Probably the best bit (apart from marrying Jo, obvs) was the party – great food, great drinks & great people! I’m just super-bummed I missed out on the ice cream…
What made you choose Patchwork for your registry?
We didn’t really want to put together a traditional gift list and felt very uncomfortable about asking for money towards our travel plans. A friend had told me about Patchwork over lunch one day – she had used it and loved it. After looking into it a bit more we both thought it was perfect. Such an easy way to give our friends and family some ideas for presents or some examples of what we would spend any gifted pennies on.
So what made it on to your patchwork?
We had a mix of things for the house. From bedsheets and coffee machines to beds and toys for the cats (because they deserve to be treated too!) Then a lot of experiences and ideas to help pull together our perfect honeymoon.
What was the best bit about using Patchwork?
You can build a list that’s 100% reflective of you both and it’s super easy to do! I especially enjoyed trawling Pinterest for fun and colourful images to use and I think Will enjoyed the ability to pop a £3 million watch on there for bants! When we set off on our honeymoon, it was overwhelming but in an amazing way. To know so many people had generously helped us plan such a wonderful trip, and to be able to thank each person for specific parts of our travels was just brilliant!
What did your friends and family think?
I think everyone loved it as much as we did. A lot of friends said it was fun to know that they’d bought us beers they saw us having on the beach or that they contributed to some of the activities we booked, like paddle boarding on the lagoon or a days Campervan hire.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
We were a bit greedy and had two honeymoons – more if you break it down into individual experiences I guess! Before we had our own, we hired a camper for our wedding day, and took it to Wales for a minimoon, which is one of the most fun ways to explore and camp if you’re into that kind of thing. A minimoon was perfect and a great chance to escape after the wedding for a few days and to be able to digest the amazingness of it all.
Our main honeymoon was a few months later to Reunion Island, via Disneyland Paris and a Flight Of The Conchords gig in London. I’d recommend Flight of The Conchords to anyone who enjoys music and comedy. Disneyland Paris was magical on every level, everyone has to go to experience the magic at least once. Reunion Island is such a special place out in the Indian Ocean (next to Mauritius). It has the beautiful paradise beaches but is also an island full of adventure with volcanoes, canyoning, kayaking, paddleboarding and hiking. I’d recommend our trip(s) to any outdoorsy, adventure-seeking, fun-loving couples, but then maybe we’re biased!
Hooray! Thank you so much Jo and Will for sharing your patchwork story with us all!
If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, find out how here – you can customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.
And if you’re looking for a fun, alternative way to entertain your wedding guests, head over to Jo’s very happy website Hello Sunshine to check out her gorgeous illustration packages.
Finally, here’s a list of the many lovely suppliers and people who made Jo and Will’s day – in their words: “just bloody perfect!”
Photographer: Daniel Ackerley
Videographer: Mark Asplin at White in Motion
Tipi: Cambridge Tent Company
Celebrant: Michelle Taylor
Dress: The Tailor’s Cat
Bowtie: Lauren Vickers
Groom’s shoes: Undandy
Bride’s shoes: JuliaBo
Bouquet, button hole & posies: Cambridge Floral Designs
Hair & make up: Siân Revill
Mezzes & fries: The Wandering Yak
Chicken wings & mini sliders: Buffalo Joe’s
Gelato trike: Jack’s Gelato
Churros and dips: Churro’s Bar
Horse box bar: The Gin Joint
Cheese: Cambridge Cheese Company
Cake topper outfits: Sew In The Garden
Gluten Free and Vegan cake: Two Little Cats Bakery
DIY gurus: Work Bench Shop
Camper van Hire (minimoon) : Camperbug.co.uk
Honeymoon pics – Jo’s instagram!