Charlie and Liam have a modern day love story – they met online and realised that they both lived in the same area and hung out in the same pubs but had never actually met ‘irl’. That was five years ago and they’ve been together ever since, marrying in an East London pub last year. We asked Charlie all about their wedding and the honeymoon their friends helped fund (and then joined them on!).
Tell us about how you got engaged, what happened?
We got engaged NYE 2016 on a trip to Nicaragua for a friend’s wedding. This trip didn’t start well due to complications with Liam’s visa, I had to fly ahead on my own. Liam finally made at 11pm on New Years Eve, we went straight out onto the streets ready for the countdown at which point he proposed. We spent the next few days on a small island off the mainland just the two of us before joining our friends for the wedding.
What kind of wedding did you want to have?
We wanted to have a relaxed wedding as neither of us enjoyed the formal fussy elements of a traditional day so we were keen to create something simple and elegant. We got married at a church with a local gospel choir followed by the reception in The Leytonstone Ballroom above The Red Lion, an East London pub.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
I loved arriving at the venue before everyone else and being behind the bar ready to hand out everyone’s first drink. It was a relief to have the service done and a lovely way to greet all of the guests.
Did you have a first dance? What was it?
Our first dance was Lucky Man by the Verve. We don’t really have ‘a song’ but this song means a lot to Liam.
Why was Patchwork the best honeymoon fund for you?
We wanted to fund our honeymoon as we put all of our budget into the wedding day. For the honeymoon we took a trip to Portugal for 2 weeks. The first week we spend on the Algarve and in Lisbon and then for the second week we met a huge group of friends and rented a couple of villas down the coast.
Patchwork was such an easy platform to use and visually we were able to communicate exactly what we hoped to raise money for. We didn’t feel comfortable with a gift registry and this was much more personal. The ease of sharing a link to the patchwork page ahead of the wedding was great – we knew before the trip what we had in the fund. And after the wedding day anything we received later was a bonus/extra cocktail by the sea.
We felt so grateful and excited leaving for our honeymoon. It felt like a real celebration with everyone’s generosity sending us on our way. And our friends and family were happy to be able to contribute and enjoyed knowing what we had planned, so they could look forward to seeing the honeymoon pictures on our return. I think it was also good for friends with a limited budget as we were able to give a full range of gift price options.
Having your friends meet you for a ‘buddymoon’ must’ve been fun! How did that come about?
Our friends had all travelled together the summer before for a wedding and had a great holiday out of it. We decided we could use our honeymoon as a focus for this years trip as well as a friend’s 40th that also took place during the holiday.
We also did a joint STEN (stag and hen) in which we rented a bit of woodland in Sussex and everyone camped and partied for 2 nights. We had a friend who’s a great cook on Catering and a couple of DJ friends provide the music and set up a projector in the woods for a Mrs and Mrs. Everyone has such busy lives it’s great to use every event as an opportunity to get everyone together.
Would you recommend a buddymoon to others?
Yes, we had a brilliant trip. I would say it was important to us to have the first week just the two of us so we felt like we had both a honeymoon and a holiday with friends. We also made sure we found time during the week with friends to take time ourselves to go for dinner or to the beach so it still felt like a honeymoon.
We loved the trip, Portugal is amazing. I would really recommend the first hotel we stayed in Lagos called Casa Mae. It was a beautiful small hotel, very close to the beach, amazing food. It was definitely our highlight.
Thank you so much Charlie & Liam for sharing your patchwork story with us! And a big congratulations from Team Patchwork.
Dress and suit designed by the couple’s talented friends.
P.s Listen to Charlie & Liam’s first dance song in our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couple’s first dances.