Katherine and Steve live in Hampshire, where they run a little micro pub together – the West Street Alehouse – in Fareham. They met in 2016, while working at different branches of the same coffee shop chain. They were both sent to cover the same shop in Weymouth for a month and all those dinners in a strange town naturally led to them dating. Katherine tells us more about their vibrant alternative wedding on a blustery autumn day and the Patchworked Paradise Island honeymoon that followed.
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged in September 2018, we had a fire pit in our garden and we’d planned it as a date night. Nachos and hot dogs were on the menu and there was an apple tart in the oven. We made it through the nachos and the hot dogs and were waiting for the tart to cook when Steve got down on one knee in our garden and popped the question. I didn’t even say yes, just grabbed the ring! We then spent the next hour on the phone to our respective friends and family telling them the good news – I cried continually and the tart burnt!
Always a shame to lose an apple tart. But worth it! So you planned quite an alternative wedding?
We got married in November 2019, it was all autumn themed with lots of yellows, reds and oranges. It was a pretty alternative wedding, I had a dip dye veil and a yellow leather jacket with patches on. Steve took my last name. We were married at The Three Choirs Vineyard in Wickham, Hampshire and had a brass quintet play during our ceremony and drinks reception. Afterwards we had a family style roast dinner for our meal, and a folk/punk band played our evening reception.
What was your first dance?
Our first dance was The Gambler by FUN, performed by our band. Afterwards the singer of the band asked why we had picked that song as it’s not a particularly happy song, but tells the whole story of a couple. It tells the story from when they met, through their whole life, their kids growing up and sort of how the mundanity of life is always amazing when you have your partner by your side.
‘You come home from work and you kiss me on the eye, curse the dogs, you say that I should never feed him what is ours. So we move out to the garden, look at everything we’ve grown.’
What was your favourite part of the day?
Katherine: Oh goodness! How do you pick a favourite part. For me seeing my dad at the hotel before driving to the venue and him hugging me when he saw me. Seeing Steve at the end of aisle smiling at me. The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance being played by our evening DJ at my dad’s request and my dad hugging me the whole way through it and crying into my shoulder while I cried into his (we both love MCR you see).
Steve: My favourite part was Katherine crying when she got to the end of the aisle and seeing how happy she was. Our first dance together when our family and friends joined in. Seeing our nieces and nephews all dressed up and dancing the night away with us.
What made Patchwork the best honeymoon fund for you?
I actually found Patchwork at the Un-Wedding fair in London in January 2019. I thought it was such a cool idea getting people to contribute but buying you something real rather than just donating money to a pot. It meant our friends and family could pick out experiences for us to enjoy while out there. One of our bridesmaids bought us the patch ‘All The Beers’ 5 times!
You need those kind of friends! So you set up a honeymoon fund. What did you invite guests to contribute towards?
We’ve been living together since September 2016, and got our own house together in January 2017 so didn’t need anything on a traditional registry. We wanted to go away to a paradise for a week and spend some quality time together. As my cousins had got married recently and asked for contributions towards their honeymoon fund we knew my family would be okay with a similar request. We thought it was a lovely way of our friends and family who wanted to contribute (we didn’t expect anything), to buy us things like a meal out, or an island tour, or feeding sea turtles rather than just popping a tenner in a card.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Barbados for a week, we would have loved to have gone for longer but as we run our own business we had to get back! But we adored it and are thinking of going again next year!
How did you feel when you set off on your travels knowing everyone had helped make it happen?
Happy, excited, grateful. As we’d booked an all inclusive hotel and booked our excursions in advance with the money raised through our patchwork, we took hardly any money with us. We were able to enjoy and do everything we wanted to, knowing our friends and family had paid for us to enjoy it!
What was the best bit about using Patchwork?
Firstly it was super easy to get to grips with and really user friendly. Secondly (and what I liked most) was that it’s really vibrant! I loved having photos and images of what people were buying us alongside cute descriptions and titles. It was fun to set up and it looked impressive. When I sent the link to people, it looked like a lot of time had gone into it, but really it was super quick and straightforward to create.
What did your friends and family think?
They all thought it was impressive, and that it was nice they could pick what they wanted to contribute to. My great auntie bought us a fishing trip, some old school friends bought us a caving experience, and we had a bottle of champagne on the flight paid for by a pub buddy. It was fantastic seeing what people picked out for us to do and enjoy.
Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooning couples?
Absolutely! It was an amazing week under a beautiful sun, watching the sun set over the Caribbean Sea each night and starting on the cocktails at 11am every morning. It was filled with experiences we will remember our whole lives such as feeding sea turtles and swimming in an underground lake watching the Atlantic Ocean crash against the cliffs through a cave ‘window’. A wonderful island full of the friendliest people we’ve ever met on any of our travels.
Thanks so much Katherine and Steve for sharing your beautiful wedding and honeymoon stories with us – it’s definitely brightened up our day!
Katherine and Steve booked their honeymoon with TUI. “They were fantastic, we were really vague when we booked and just told them our budget, that it was our honeymoon, and we wanted paradise and they found us the perfect holiday package.”
Finally, here’s a list of the lovely suppliers that made Katherine and Steve’s day extra special:
Electric Eden were our band and they were incredible, everyone danced all night.
Suephisticated Cakes made our wedding cake.
Hana Laurie Alternative Wedding Photographer smashed it! It was like hanging out with a mate all day and she chatted to all our guests.
Three Choirs Vineyard were a beautiful dream come true venue.
And our caterers Wild Gastro made a completely bespoke menu to suit us to our budget which was just the best food I have ever eaten!
P.s. listen to Katherine and Steve’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.