Phil and Eliza are both from Yorkshire but Phil was working in Birmingham when they first met through Tinder. Eliza says “we always joke that we both must have been desperate to find someone as odd as the other as we were hundreds of miles apart when we matched.” They spent the first few months having weekend holiday dates around the UK. “We had to travel so far to see each other we thought we may as well just go on holiday.” After a drunken night in the pub Eliza’s mum suggested Phil quit his job and come work with Eliza and her mum in their family run deli. Just three months later that became reality! Although Covid meant their wedding plans had to change, Phil and Eliza had a small but perfect wedding for 23 guests. Their friends and family all helped fund a Year of Dates wedding registry and they say they wouldn’t change a thing about their day.
How did you get engaged?
Eliza: Phil booked us a night’s stay in a shepherd’s hut with a hot tub a few weeks before Christmas. He sent me flowers on the Wednesday before, with a list of things to pack along with a note saying he would pick me up from work on the Saturday afternoon. As we work together it was a miracle he managed to keep it a secret from me. Especially as he had to tell my mum and dad so they could help make it happen.
What kind of wedding did you plan?
We originally planned an outdoor wedding in Glencoe, Scotland, in December 2020. Our idea was based around a relaxed weekend with our close family and friends; celebrating together with good food and beautiful scenery. We started planning a few weeks before the pandemic started and ended up moving our plans multiple times with different venues and suppliers. In the end we just wanted to get married so we decided to do it locally and have a garden party at home.
It was one of the hottest days of the year so couldn’t have been further from the winter wonderland wedding we had planned but we loved it. We saw penguins at the zoo, went on a train, ate ice cream, made pizzas, drank and danced the night away in our garden. Later on, we watched videos of our loved ones that couldn’t be there on the day. We even had a video from all of Eliza’s Scottish family dancing and singing to “All you need is love” to add to the madness. Everything about our wedding day was bonkers from start to finish and we wouldn’t change a bit of it looking back. It ended up being more “us” than we could ever have imagined thanks to Covid.
What impact did Covid regulations have on your wedding day?
We always wanted a smaller wedding but never imagined it would be just 23 of us. There are some friends and family that we wished could have been there, but it felt so special being such an intimate wedding. Our ceremony was probably the biggest affected aspect of the day as all the guests had to be in face masks. We were only allowed a super short ceremony – four minutes in total! It made all the worry and fuss seem daft as we were married so quickly in the end.
What was your favourite part of the day?
It finally happening! It was nothing like we ever expected but that made every second even more special (and bonkers). With all the changes and restrictions due to Covid, we didn’t have a first dance. We really just wanted to go straight into a celebration so just let our band go for it and get everyone together. Neither of us can even remember what the first dance song was but it certainly worked! Everyone was boogieing around for hours. It was an epic party, so unexpected but felt like we all just had a year of celebrations exploding in one day.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?
We found Patchwork through Instagram and just loved the idea. We knew early on in our wedding planning that Covid was going to restrict what we could do, so thought the idea of a Year of Dates would be perfect. It’s so easy to use and everything looks great. And Patchwork even let us ask our guests for treats for our little puppy, Aggie.
What did you invite guests to contribute towards?
All the restrictions meant that we wouldn’t be able to go away on a traditional honey moon so we loved the idea of a Year of Dates. Our Patchwork was a mix of some of our favourite activities and things we have always wanted to do, or places we wanted to stay. We never thought so many people would get involved so think it might turn into a few years of dates!
What were your favourite Patchwork features?
It was really fun coming up with ideas and designing our page together. We launched our Patchwork a month or so before the wedding so it added to all the excitement for the big (small) day, seeing our messages and gifts from our loved ones. The interaction with people was definitely a big bonus for us. We’ve been able to send our friends and family all around the world photos from the day. It’s made it more inclusive even though we couldn’t have many of our loved ones there with us.
What did your friends and family think?
Everyone loved it, so much so we’ve already had 4 friends ask if they could pinch it for their wedding. We had a few people that still wanted to get us traditional gifts but it meant we got the best of both worlds.
What are you most looking forward to in your “Year of Dates?”
After a year or so of being locked away we are just so excited to get out and have adventures together again. It’s really exciting to be able to carry our wedding on for so long with our Year of Dates.
Thank you so much Eliza and Phil for chatting to us about your (beautifully) small wedding and Year of Dates patchwork. We hope you enjoy lots of fun dates together thanks to your generous friends and family!
If you’ve been inspired to set up your own Year of Dates gift registry, why not start yours now? If you’d like to see what other fabulous gift ideas our couples have inspired, check out our other wedding gift registry templates and have fun playing around!
Here are the amazing wedding suppliers who made Phil & Eliza’s day extra special:
Groom suit: @cockofthewalkbespoke
Bridesmaid Dress: @asos
Bouquet and Flower crown: @wildgorse
Venue flowers: @binningtonblooms
Door wreaths: @flowers.rosebud
Favour Flowers: @elkandwolf_
Hair Stylist: + Makeup Artist @khmakeupartistry