Tag: gift ideas

Patchwork Couple: Ange & Steph’s Winter Honeymoon Adventure

Ange and Steph met in 2011 at work in Birmingham, and Ange says it was ‘friendship at first sight’. They both needed flatmates so they moved in together with another work pal. They soon found out they had loads in common and shared a bond only Celts living away from home amongst the English can share! A year later, Ange got a promotion and moved to London, and it was then they realised their true feelings. After 9 months of living apart and getting trains up and down, Steph decided to move to London so they could be together. Fast forward five and a half years and the couple are joined at the hip, still working and living together, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. We asked Ange all about their beautiful wedding day and found out how Patchwork helped give them the honeymoon of their dreams.

How did you two get engaged?

Steph organised a wonderful day of treats to celebrate our anniversary, including a spa day, lunch in our fave cafe, a stroll via ‘Love Lane’ (in London) before heading to a rooftop overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, where Steph popped the question under the stars. It was a very surreal moment and one we will never forget. We took the next hour to ourselves sipping on champagne before we called the family to tell them the good news.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We were very much inspired by our family and friends.  We are both really close to our family and have a tight knit group of pals. We wanted it to be as much about them as it was us. That’s what inspired a lot of the personal touches and the location itself allowed for that, since the barn we chose pretty much comes as an empty shell with all the potential!

We wanted there to be music at all times and every song was chosen by us, from the pre-ceremony playlist right through to the party tunes. Music evokes memories and says a lot about a person. There were Irish jigs interwoven with Scottish tunes throughout the drinks reception and songs from the early days of us, giving our guests a little insight into our life through music.

Did you have a first dance? What was it?

The idea of a first dance had never really appealed to us. Our wedding weekend was very much about bringing our families together so we decided to share our first dance with the whole wedding party and cheekily selected to dance to ‘The Gay Gordons’ to kick off the ceilidh. I’m not sure anyone got the irony in the song choice, but we did so that’s all that mattered.

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?

It’s really hard to choose just one so we are going to be a bit greedy. We often recall when reminiscing about the day the moment we entered the barn together. We decided to walk each other down the aisle, to symbolise the fact that this marriage was equal and we were in it together. This was met with a thunderous round of applause from our guests which actually made us stop in our tracks. We were overwhelmed by this ‘wall’ of love greeting us and it really set the tone for the rest of the day and night.

We can’t not mention that our Our ‘Pals of Honour’ rewrote the lyrics to Beauty and The Beast ‘Something there that wasn’t there before’ as part of their speech and toast, which was incredibly personal, memorable, hilarious and special.

Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?

We knew we didn’t want a traditional gift list so went in search of something we could personalise. We had our dream honeymoon in mind, full of experiences and culinary adventures instead of material gifts. Patchwork made that so easy for us to do.  

We wanted a winter honeymoon full of romance, fairy lights, mulled wine and christmas markets, as well as history and culture to fulfil our inner geeks. Since trains featured quite highly in the early days of our relationship and they’re just so old school and romantic, we decided to ‘winter-rail’ across Western Europe. We left on the 5th December from Edinburgh Airport and travelled across Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Belgium on first class trains before returning home to London just in time for the Fireworks of New Year.  

We spent Christmas in Paris and visited fairytale castles in Bavaria, tasted numerous gluhwein the length and breadth of Western Europe, explored ancient Rome and got lost in the cobbled streets of Brugge.

How did you feel when you set off on your travels knowing all of your loved ones had chipped in?

So grateful! We wouldn’t have been able to do everything on our wish list if it hadn’t have been for our friends and family funding our trip. Things we could only dream of doing like travelling 1st class across Europe, our 7 course christmas dinner in the legendary Le Train Bleu in Paris, sipping coffee from the same cups as poets Keats and Shelley at Caffe Greco in Rome, champagne and macarons at Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, geeking it up on the original Sound of Music tour in Salzburg and a night at the Moulin Rouge. And that’s just scratching the surface.  

Would you recommend your winter adventure to other honeymooners?

Yes we would recommend our honeymoon, especially around Christmas time, just so magical. It was definitely just as much about the journey as it was the destinations and countries we went to. Some of our most treasured memories are whilst getting from one country to another, like the time we almost missed the train because of a very heavy overnight snowfall which meant we had to tobogan our way to the station on our cases. It was a true adventure and a way to discover hidden treasures in big cities and off the beaten track towns and villages.

What was the best bit about using Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Well firstly, it was just so much fun to create! It actually helped us to plan our honeymoon and was really great for us to refer to when planning what to fit in and when. Secondly, it looks really cool and is so user friendly, both to set up and to use even after the Patchwork goes live. There was a couple of times when some of our items sold out and we had to go back in and up the quantity. This was super easy to do.

Our patchwork became such a talking point at our hen dos and the wedding and some of our guests have since got in touch asking for the website, so they could use it too. They seemed just as excited about our honeymoon as we were!


 

Thank you Ange & Steph for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

 

A Q&A with Bloom & Wild – Our Favourite Flower Delivery Service

We think Bloom & Wild’s flower deliveries make the best gifts, for any occasion. So we teamed up with them to create a Bloom & Wild patchwork that makes it super simple to share the cost of one of their subscriptions as a present for a loved one. It’s group gifting made easy. We wanted to know more from them about how they’re changing the flower delivery service and why they think flowers make such a wonderful gift, so we had a chat with Bloom & Wild’s Brand Director, Sara Gordon.

How has Bloom & Wild redefined the flower delivery service?

Bloom & Wild exists to make sending and receiving flowers the joy that it should be. We’ve all had bad flower delivery experiences in the past and our mission is to change that for good. We enable people to turn emotions into action from their phone or computer simply, and recipients to experience quality, fresh, creative flowers from bud to bloom.

What do you think makes receiving flowers so special?

Whether they’re sent as a thank you, an apology or simply just because, receiving flowers is a beautiful symbol that someone is thinking of you. Because our bouquets are sent in bud, the recipient sees their gift go from bud to bloom and enjoys the full life of the flower. We also make the process a true experience, so that our recipients get to become the florist themselves.

Who picks the flowers that go into the bouquets each month?

Our in-house flower team, including our Lead Floral Designers Rowan and Caroline, are the ones behind the designs. We’re always inspired by trends we see around us, whether it’s in the world of fashion, interiors or our own travels and we interpret these with in-season blooms to ensure that the recipient only gets the freshest flowers.

What’s your favourite ever Bloom & Wild bouquet and which flowers did it have in it?

I’ve had quite a few favourites, but currently it’s The Daisy. The blue delphinium flowers also add height and visual interest and are one of my favourite flowers at the moment.

What makes a Bloom & Wild flower delivery such a great group gift?

We often see families coming together to give their mums or grandmothers a year of blooms or friends coming together to gift a three month bundle for new homeowners or newlyweds. It’s great to be able to give someone something they might not necessarily treat themselves to, like a year of flower delivery, and coming together with a group makes it easy for everyone to pitch in on a gift that gives joy all year long.


 

Thank you Sara and Bloom & Wild! If you want to organise a flower delivery for someone you love, just customise our Bloom & Wild patchwork and send it to friends to fund, then your loved one can enjoy the gift of beautiful flowers through their door every month.

Tips for Organising a Group Gift with Patchwork

If you’re planning to use Patchwork to organise a group gift for a loved one check out our top tips before you get started:

Make it obvious

Most people have chipped in towards a gift for a friend, work colleague or family member before, so the principle behind Patchwork won’t be a new concept. Your friends will be grateful for an easy and secure way to contribute towards a present without having to do a bank transfer or dig out some cash to chuck in a hat. All you need to do is show them the gift you’re asking them to contribute towards and tell them who it’s for and why.

It helps if you can summarise the plan in your patchwork title e.g. ‘A cot for the new baby’, ‘Holly’s Christmas Handbag’ or ‘A bee hive for mum’s 60th’.  Then use the patchwork description to explain exactly what it is you want people to do, i.e:

‘There’s really only one thing [insert name] really wants/needs for their [insert occasion] and so instead of buying surprise gifts I thought it’d be nice if we could all chip in towards one. Just click around the patchwork to contribute whatever you can and leave a message with your gift at the end. Love and thanks, [your name].’

patchwork group gift

Make it personal

You’re inviting friends to chip in towards a gift for someone they know and love, so make sure your request feels personal. Use your words to share not just an idea for a group gift but also to say something about the person you all care about.

You can add a banner image, a profile image and include your own photos within your patchwork. So there are lots of opportunities for all those people contributing to see the face of the person you’ll celebrating, remember how much they love them – and then give generously!

Break it down

If you’re looking for inspiration for a group gift we’ve got tons of templates for you to choose from. So whether it’s a new bike, a work of art, a new tattoo, a cookery course, a vegetable patch or a weekend in Paris, you’ll find a readymade patchwork to customise – already broken down into a range of individually priced pieces.

However if we don’t have a template for the gift you want to fund you can do one of two things:

Create your own from scratch:

The easiest and quickest way to do this is to add a single image to your patchwork page and give it an affordable price – say £10. Then people who visit your page can simply press ‘Fund’ and then adjust the item quantity in the basket to increase their contribution i.e. 5 x £10 = £50 total. However breaking down a big ticket item or experience into a patchwork of component parts makes for a much more fun and engaging experience for contributors – allowing them to choose which piece of the gift to fund according to their budget and interest.

Tell us:

Our readymade patchworks are inspired by our users, so if you tell us what you want to fund, and we think it might be popular, we will create a new readymade patchwork for you and others to use made up of copyright-free imagery. Alternatively, if you have a particular image that you’d like us to ‘patchwork’ for you – you can email hello@patchworkit.com and we’ll split it into 2, 4, 6 or 8 pieces for you.

Spread the cost

All of our readymade group gift patchworks contain a number of different priced patches. You can adjust these set prices when you customise one of our templates. But we do recommend that you retain a range of prices across your patchwork, whether you customise or create from scratch, so everyone can afford to contribute something. Each patch can be priced between £1 – £500 and the maximum one person can contribute in one transaction is £1300.

group gift

Don’t limit your guests choice of gifts

You can set a quantity for each item or experience within a patch. So if you’re organising a surprise trip to Paris for your mum and dad’s anniversary you might want to include 2 return Eurostar tickets, 3 nights in a hotel and 1 dinner for two at the Moulin Rouge. To do this just click to answer the question ‘How many do you want?’ after you’ve set the price for each patch, then enter the number you want. Then, once this number of items or experiences have been bought, the patches will say ‘Sold out’.

This makes sense for one-off items or experiences, so that the people who choose to give these gifts know that they have paid for a particular trip or treat. But overall we recommend you leave most patch items ‘unlimited’. Particularly things people will want a lot of – like meals or metro tickets, baguettes or glasses of wine.

And remember you don’t have to be too literal. Creating a patchwork is a fun and practical way to breakdown the cost of a big ticket item. But you don’t need to be too precise. For example, everyone knows a bike has two wheels, one saddle and a bell. But if you want to customise our children’s bike for a birthday present, it makes sense to leave all the patches unlimited. It really doesn’t matter if 10 people contribute towards the basket. Once you’ve collected all the cash gifts, bought the bike and your child is happily riding along with their teddy in the basket, you can take a photo and upload it to your Patchwork account. Then just choose to ‘Thank by patch’ to send the photo along with a message to all of the individuals who bought this gift.

Leaving the majority of your patch items ‘unlimited’ enables you to collect the maximum funds and ensure people don’t arrive at the patchwork to find everything has ‘sold out’.

Gift your patchwork

Once you’re ready, you can present your Patchwork page to the person receiving your group gift so they can see the digital version of their gift or experience, read everyone’s messages and send thanks when they are ready.

All you need to do is ‘Gift’ the patchwork from your account by adding their email address and a message and they’ll be sent a unique login and instructions to see their gift page. A gifted Patchwork page will show your title, description and all the patch images and descriptions – which you can edit if you like. But it wont show prices or give the option to fund anymore as this page is presented to the person receiving the gift. This person will be able to see all the messages from friends at the bottom of the patchwork (along with their happy faces if they choose to upload photos too). And then they can click to ‘Send thanks’ when they’re ready.

Don’t forget to say thank you

You can prepare an automatic thank you before you publish your patchwork so that people contributing can see a message (and a photo of the person you’re celebrating) as soon as they’ve contributed. This is this easiest way to immediately show appreciation to those giving a gift. But with details of contributors’ names and emails (postal addresses are optional) in the Patchwork account, along with a record of what people have bought, how much they’ve spent and the message they left, it’s easy for you and/or the person receiving the gift to thank everyone properly later.

Patchwork creators and those who are gifted a patchwork can thank their friends via their Patchwork account. You can do this individually, by patch or as a group with an image and a message in an email. And if you’d like to post thank you cards you can download a CSV spreadsheet of everyone’s details from your account, then send thank you cards using our 20% discount with our print partner MOO.

Ready to start your patchwork? Browse customisable templates here.

Patchwork x No+mi Indulgence Gift Box Giveaway

No+mi giveaway

We think the gift boxes from our friends at No+mi London make the perfect baby shower and birth gifts. Filled with beautiful, useful products, hand-picked by the No+mi team, they’ll make any new mum feel super special and very loved. And now we’ve made it easy for a group of friends to chip in towards one, so it can be presented from all of you at a baby shower, or posted to a far away friend to show you’re all thinking of her. All you need to do is customise one of our new No+mi patchworks (A Hamper for a Mum-to-be, A New Baby Hamper or an Indulgence Gift Box), send it out to friends to fund, then head to No+mi to order your gift.

To celebrate our partnership we’re giving away TWO Indulgence Essentials gift boxes – one for you and one for a friend. The Indulgence box isn’t just for mums to be – it’s perfect for anyone in need of a treat. Each box contains:

1 x Cashmere blend Sleep Socks by YAWN
1 x Dry Nourishing Oil 100mL by Enfance Paris
1 x Box of Herbals caffeine-free infusions by Paper & Tea
1 x Soy Wax Scented Candle 100mL by Earl of East
1 x Luxury Raw Chocolate 45g
1 x 1 Month Unlimited Magazine access with Readly Gift Card

To enter for your chance to win head to either our Facebook page or our Instagram:
1. Follow both @patchwork_it and @nomi.ldn on instagram OR like both Patchwork and No+mi on Facebook.
2. TAG someone in the comment of either this post on Facebook or this post on instagram who deserves a treat
*1 entry per user. 1 winner. UK Only. Ends 06/04/17. Full Ts&Cs below.

COMPETITION T&C’S
Terms & Conditions
The Patchwork x No+mi Collaboration Instagram & Facebook Competition is open to residents of the UK aged 18 or over, excluding employees of the Promoter: Patchwork or their affiliate companies, their families, cohabitants, agents and anyone connected with the promotion.
No purchase necessary.
To enter, you must TAG your friend on the competition posts and FOLLOW @patchwork_it and @nomi.ldn on Instagram or LIKE Patchwork and No+mi London on Facebook so we can see your entry to the competition. Entering on both Facebook and Instagram equals two entries.
The start date of the promotion is 30/03/2017 5.45pm. The closing date by which entries must be received is 06/04/2017 23.59pm. This competition will run for 7 days from the start date ONLY.
Prize
There will be 1 winner ONLY. The winner and their friend will receive 1 x Indulgence Essentials box from No+mi each.
The prize is as stated, is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
Should the original prize, or any part of it, become unavailable for any reason whatsoever, Patchwork may substitute a prize of comparable or greater value.
Winner Selection
The Free Prize Draw will be carried out on 07/04/2017. The prize-winners will be picked at random.
The prize-winners will be announced on the @patchwork_it Instagram and Patchwork Facebook page on 08/04/2017. The winners will also be notified via direct message on Instagram and email within 7 days of the Free Prize Draw.
Should the prize-winner not respond to the email within 14 days, Patchwork reserves the right to allocate the prize to another entrant.
The result of the Free Prize Draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
General
If Patchwork is unable to satisfy certain terms and conditions of this promotion due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control, they may modify such terms accordingly or, if necessary, suspend or discontinue the promotion. By entering the Free Prize Draw, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and that their names and counties of residence may be released if they win the prize. Entrants agree that Patchwork shall be entitled to use the entrants’ quotes in any publicity material.
Promoter: Patchwork, 7b Harefield Road, Brockley, London, SE4 1LW

Bloom & Wild Flower Delivery – The Perfect Gift for Far Away Friends.

Flower delivery gift

Since Tammy left London for the countryside her friends miss her. Badly. 

No more spontaneous sunny days in the park, afternoon visits to cuddle babies, or late nights out on the town. 

There are upsides – weekends in the country for long walks, roaring fires, red wine evenings and late mornings drinking tea on the sofa. But these trips need organising in advance and don’t happen as often as everyone would like. 

And then there’s birthdays. Even worse, weekday-birthdays. 

With no chance of popping around with cake and bubbles the girls wanted to make sure Tammy still felt loved from far away. So they used Patchwork to chip in towards a flower delivery and chose a lovely big bouquet to be delivered to her door. 

Tammy says: “What a beautiful, gorgeous treat to receive from my lovely friends. I was gutted not to be able to see them on my birthday so it was such a special way to feel loved and an amazing surprise. The flowers were so beautiful.”

With Bloom & Wild delivering flowers across the UK by post you only need to order 24 hours in advance to ensure your seasonal blooms are delivered through the letter box without a hitch. Just customise this flower delivery Patchwork so friends can chip in towards a beautiful bunch. Then gift the patchwork to your friend on the same day as the flower delivery, so they can see everyone’s messages and send their love and thanks.

8 Unique Group Gift Ideas for a 40th Birthday

Let’s face it, 40 can be a difficult age to buy for. Your loved one is hopefully pretty satisfied with their lot, and if they want something small they’ll tend to buy it for themselves. Chances are there is something they really want, but it’s so far out of your price range you hadn’t given it much thought. That’s where we come in – set up a patchwork on their behalf and ask friends and family to chip in towards that one special gift or experience. Then you can surprise your unsuspecting partner/sister/best mate with the one thing they really want, but never thought they’d get.

Of course, you can use patchwork to organise and fund anything, so if you’re reading this and you already know what that one thing is, what are you waiting for? Get started. Create a patchwork to show everyone what it is you’re asking them to contribute towards. Collect cash gifts direct to your PayPal. Then buy the gift when and where you like.

But if you do need some gift ideas we’ve collected some of our favourite presents below for people turning the big 4-0.

buy-a-bike-patchwork

Buy a bike

Does the excitement of getting a shiny new bike ever wear off? No. It doesn’t. If you know this is the one present that will put a big birthday smile on your loved one’s face, all you need to do is customise this patchwork. Then friends can choose whether to spend a fiver on the bell, or shell out £50 for a wheel. Soon enough you’ll have enough to buy a beautiful new (or vintage) bike from your chosen shop ready to tie up in a giant comedy bow. You can write everyone’s names on tag so the birthday boy/girl will know it’s from all the people who love them. Then they can cycle off into the sunset. Or around the block.

sky diving patchwork

Send them on a sky-dive

Is your loved one an adrenaline junkie? Do they have all the trinkets, tablets and household things they could ever want? Forget stuff and give them an experience they’ll never forget. Just have a think about whether it’s going to be the best day of their life, or the very worst. Now’s not the time to force your partner into conquering their fear of heights. If you know they’ll love this, just customise our sky-diving patchwork and send it out for everyone to contribute towards. Then invite them all to come and watch.

wellness-retreat-patchwork

A week on a wellness retreat

From one extreme to the other. Maybe your mate could do with total relaxation in a blissfully calm environment. Get friends and family to club together and whisk them away for a few days on a wellness retreat, where they won’t have to think about anything except when their next massage is booked in and whether to have mint or green tea.

photography-course-patchwork

Sign them up to a photography course

Now’s the time to pursue those creative endeavours that may have been pushed aside in favour of careers and kids and food shopping and all that other grown-up stuff. Send your loved one off on a photography course where they can pick up all the skills they need to get going with their hobby. Then they can bring out their camera with confidence at every special occasion. Or just walks in the park and drinks in the pub. Everyone who chips in will get to see the lovely photos and know they helped bring them to life.

fund-a-tattoo-patchwork

Chip in for a tattoo

What do you give the person who has everything? A permanent drawing on their skin. Of course. What better way to mark this momentous occasion than with a needle full of ink? Show friends and family this patchwork and get them to each buy a piece – whether it’s £100 for ‘an hour of pain’ or a fiver for the ink. Obviously, you’ll need to leave the actual design up to your loved one – all you need to do is present them with the cash or voucher for their favourite tattoo artist and get them booked in. Then throw a party so everyone can see the new tat they helped paid for.

handbag-patchwork

Give them *that* handbag

We all know how it feels to fall in love with a special pair of shoes, a certain coat, or a beautiful handbag. And how it feels to turn the tag over and see the price. If you know someone who’s fallen deeply in lust with a bag that’s way out of their price range, surprise them by getting all of their friends and family to chip in and then present them with it on their birthday. The bond between a woman and her bag will last a lifetime. And she’ll be pretty happy with you lot too. Customise our handbag patchwork here. 

karaoke-party-patchwork

Plan a party

If your loved one has insisted on no fuss this year, just go behind their back and organise a party. Simple. They don’t really mean no fuss. Maybe they mean no socks, toiletries or flannel shirts, which is fair enough. But they don’t mean no getting everyone they love together in one room. What kind of party you throw is up to you, but we’ve created a Karaoke Party patchwork that could be perfect. Get everyone to chip in for the karaoke machine, then just ask people to bring a bottle, make a dish, help decorate. And before you know it you’ll have a great party on your hands. Just make sure you have all the birthday girl/boy’s favourite songs lined up and champagne at the ready.

Send them flowers, every week

What could be more special than receiving a bunch of beautiful flowers every week for a whole year? If you have someone in your life who’s deserving of an incredible treat, this is it. Just customise this patchwork, send it out to friends and family to chip in, then let the flowers roll in. Your loved one will be reminded of the people who love them every single week, and their house will smell blooming lovely.

Sophie’s Handbag – Funded by Friends

Sophie-Rose is a musician and songwriter in the band Paradisia, and has just turned 27. In the months leading up to her birthday she fell in love. With a bag. So she decided to patchwork it, asking her friends to chip in and make her handbag dreams a reality. Sophie tells us all about the new love of her life and why Patchwork worked for her.

Tell us about this dream handbag..

I decided to fund a Céline trio zip bag, the most practical, beautifully constructed handbag a girl could ask for! I’m not into labels in a big way. I like to mix high street pieces with vintage finds but when it comes to coats, bags and shoes I like to invest. These are the things you wear everyday. So it’s important they are made of quality materials, well crafted and made to last. The Céline bag is all of these things. It’s not too blingy, it’s not an obvious statement or too fashion-y. It’s a classic. So it’ll last me through the seasons and as trends come and go. 

sophies-crowdfunded-handbag-gift

Why did you decide to fund one big gift rather than ask for lots of little ones?

I’ve got all the little things I need. If I want a new book, t-shirt or mascara I can go and buy myself one. But on an artist’s income it’s not so easy to afford those investment pieces that I daydream about. I’d been saving up, but my birthday meant I could use Patchwork to ask family and friends to help me reach my target. I think as you get older you fixate on those long lasting, timeless possessions you can keep forever and then eventually hand over to your children. This is very much the case with my Céline!

What did your family and friends think of your request?

They loved the idea! My sister actually made the Patchwork and collected the cash so I didn’t know until my birthday who had contributed and whether I’d really be able to get the bag. It was the best thing when she turned up on my doorstep on the morning of my birthday. She’d been to Céline to buy the bag and had wrapped it up with a card and everyone’s messages. And I was (and still am) just so happy with it. Every time I look down at my bag I am reminded of my lovely friends and family and their generous offering, I made sure the patchwork ranged from £10 – £200 so all my friends could afford to give something. Then I sent everyone photos of me and my bag to say thanks for the BEST GIFT EVER. And a few of my friends are now making their own patchworks for Christmas!

Thank you for chatting to us about your beautiful bag Sophie! And a big belated happy birthday from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to fund a bag for a loved one, you can customise our template handbag patchwork here, or browse our birthday gift ideas. Or create a patchwork from scratch now.

6 Unconventional Wedding Gift Ideas

If you don’t fancy going down the route of the traditional department store gift list, there are plenty of other options when it comes to wedding presents. So if you’ve lived together for a while, and already have all of the household items you could ever need, don’t worry. You are not obliged to spend hours deliberating over which toaster or towel set to choose.

However, your wedding guests will absolutely want to give you something, because they’re kind and generous and want to celebrate your marriage. So all you need to do is decide what it is that you really want or need, and find a way to ask them for it.

If all of the online gift registries you’ve seen leave you feeling cold and you really want to ask for a gift that represents you more as a couple, read on for six unconventional wedding present ideas. You might find one that inspires you.

kitchen-dts-copy

Doing Up the Kitchen

If you’ve been saving for years and finally have a home of your own, but the kitchen is stuck in the 80s, think about asking your wedding guests to help you pay for a home renovation project. Why use a traditional wedding gift list to ask for saucepans and utensils if what you really need is a place to put them? The average cost of fitting a new kitchen is between £1000-£5000, and the average amount collected on a cash wedding registry is £3,500, so you may find that you collect exactly the amount you need to start your kitchen project. Your guests will be over the moon to contribute towards finishing off your space, and you can invite them all around for a cup of tea when it’s done. Everyone knows the kitchen is the heart of the home, after all.

hands-1031131_1280

Matching Tattoos

Cake slices and teapots just not your thing? If you want a gift that’s really unique, and will truly last forever, how about asking your guests to fund your matching tattoos? This is the perfect wedding present for an unconventional couple, looking for a meaningful solution to the wedding gift dilemma. Ask wedding guests to chip in for the artist’s time, the bespoke design, and even the ink. If you want a large piece designed by a top artist, this could easily cost upwards of £500, so why not ask guests to chip in? Your friends will be so excited to see what their gift money goes towards, and you can’t say that about new bed sheets. Fair warning on this one, Great Aunt Nora may not be quite so keen.

house-deposit-wedding-gift

A House Deposit

We all know how difficult it is to get on the property ladder in the current climate, and if you’ve been saving since you were old enough to have a bank account, it may seem wasteful to put money towards anything else, especially after shelling out thousands for your wedding day. With the average cost of a house or flat deposit rising to dizzying heights, unless you’re friends with some incredibly generous people, you aren’t likely to raise the full amount needed. This gift is about topping up the money you’ve already worked so hard to save. Ask your wedding guests to chip in towards your dream home, and bit by bit you’ll get closer to your goal of being home-owners.

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A Honeymoon

The honeymoon fund is gaining popularity, and the reason is that most couples getting married these days have lived together for years, and have all of the household items they need. However, with people leading increasingly busy lives, they are taking less and less holidays together. So while it doesn’t make sense to ask for a new set of teaspoons, it makes total sense to ask for the gift of time together as newlyweds. Your guests can pay for your flights, hotels, meals, and all of the exciting honeymoon experiences you want to get up to, whether that’s £150 to go skydiving, or £30 for a boat trip. And while household items may break, your friends and family’s contributions towards your honeymoon will give you memories to treasure forever.

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A Piece of Art

An original artwork is the perfect wedding gift for the couple who have everything. And as art is so subjective, the best way to guarantee you get something that you both like is to use our online cash gift registry to ask for donations to put towards the art of your choice. For a really unique wedding gift, you could even have a couple’s portrait painted, or commission an artwork of a special place that you both love. Or you can invest in a piece of art that you’ve been eyeing up, but could never normally afford. Set up a cash gift list and show your wedding guests the piece of art you want, then they can contribute towards it. And once you’ve collected the funds, you can buy the piece and have it hanging on your wall in no time.

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The Wedding Photographer

Why not ask wedding guests to help pay for your wedding photographer? With an online cash gift list you can invite your wedding guests to chip in towards one of the most important (and expensive) parts of your day, and you’ll be left with beautiful photographs to treasure forever. Ask your guests to contribute gift money towards the ‘confetti shot’, the all important photo of the first dance, the getting ready photos, the photographer’s travel expenses, etc. With wedding photographers costing anywhere from £1000-£3500, any contributions towards this cost can be very helpful. So if beautiful photos are high on your list of wedding day must-haves but your budget just wont stretch, use our cash gift list to ask for money to put towards the photography bill. One thing you’ll never regret is having too many photos of your big day – so splash out, with a little help from your friends.

To fund all of these gifts and more, just set up an online registry at patchworkit.com. You’ll be able to show your guests the unconventional wedding gift of your dreams, and they’ll be able to contribute towards it in a way that’s personal, easy and fun.

Browse more wedding gift ideas here, or create your gift list from scratch now – no need to register.

Wedding Gift Idea: Commission a Portrait

If you’re getting married but don’t want a traditional department store gift list, and a honeymoon fund isn’t for you, how about asking your guests to contribute towards something truly timeless instead? Why not ask your friends and family to help you pay to have a portrait painted? It’s a gift you’ll be able to enjoy forever – a memento of a really special time in your lives.

If you love the idea but feel you wouldn’t know where to start, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters can help. They have a range of artists to choose from, working in a variety of styles, and they will take you through the process to guide you in making the right choice.

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We’ve created a ‘Commission a Portrait’ patchwork, so if you love this idea, it couldn’t be easier to steal it. Just customise the patchwork, send it out to friends and family to fund, then head to the RP to start your enquiries. Then all that’s left to do is strike a pose.

Kahleen & Steven: A Home of Their Own

It took Steven and Kahleen ten whole years to even start dating, but thankfully, with a little help from their cat, they got it together. Now they’re newly married and Kahleen’s here to tell us all about their big day, and why they decided to forgo traditional wedding gifts.

How long have you two been together?

We have been together for around 2 and a half years. We met through work around a decade ago, but never got to know each other as more than passing acquaintances. We had a meeting at the end of 2013 which was work for around 25 mins, but ended up going on for about 2 hours! Anyway, a couple of months later Steven plucked up the courage to ask if he could take me out.

How did you get engaged?

Fair warning here – the proposal story either makes people go ‘awwwwww!’ or roll their eyes! We have an indoor cat that I got from the Cat’s Protection League about 4 and a half years ago, and because she doesn’t go out, she doesn’t wear a collar. Steven bought her one and hung the ring from it, and when I got home from work he kept going on at me to look at this collar. I thought he had completely lost his marbles! Eventually, he persuaded to me to look (which I only did to stop him banging on about it!), and I found the ring. I was so surprised I couldn’t stop laughing, and when I turned around, Steven was on one knee. Then all he had to do then had to get the ring back from Hushpuppy!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We knew we wanted a relaxed atmosphere, good food, good drinks, good music, and as many of our friends and family as humanly possible! We couldn’t have hoped for a more incredible day – our friends and family were on wonderful form, and we laughed (and cried!) our way through the entire day.

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What was your first dance?

We don’t have ‘a song’, but for our first dance we had ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. We loved that it was a duet, and the lyrics fit how we feel perfectly. We learned a dance, but I can’t tell you how wrong it went – it was a farce! But no one cared!

What was your favourite part of the day?

It’s hard to choose a favourite part, but probably the massive cheer that went up when our Humanist Celebrant, Jen, announced we were husband and wife. It was hooligan-like, and kept going for ages!

Also, and this isn’t a specific part of the day, but both of us loved seeing friends and family mixing. It blew my mind seeing all these totally separate parts of my life coming together. People made such an effort to get to know each other, and it was very special.

Why did you choose Patchwork as your gift registry?

We struggled to work out what to do about a wedding list. For a time we weren’t going to have one, but as soon as we got engaged, people started asking our parents about gifts. We quickly realised it’s important to a lot of people that they give you something to help you on your way. As we are both in our mid-30s and have so much stuff already, we became a bit worried about getting boxed gifts we didn’t need or wouldn’t use. Also, given our flat in London is tiny, we actually just can’t fit any more in! We knew that what we truly needed was help buying our first place, and that meant asking for money. But how on earth do you do that politely?

We looked at quite a few sites, and signed up for more than one, but when I read an article in a newspaper about Patchwork, I thought it sounded perfect. When I went onto the site I knew I’d cracked it, and I thought it would be best to show Steven the site in action. I spent an hour or so creating a patchwork for us and showed it to him that night – he absolutely loved it. We then showed our parents – they are from a generation when things were done differently, and it can be sensitive when you’re asking family and friends for monetary gifts, so we wanted their advice – and they thought it was wonderful.

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What was the best bit about using Patchwork?

Patchwork takes the stress out of organising, has the security of online gifting, and frankly, gives you a classy and personal way to ask for help.

We were utterly stunned by how generous our friends and family have been – it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. I can’t even express how grateful we feel (there have been tears!). The amazing thing about Patchwork is the detail you can go into, the control you have over the elements such as what you ask for and how much it costs – it was really important to us to have gifts from £2, and we went no higher than £75 for an individual item – and also how much fun people can have personalising their own gift to you. Some people would spend a certain amount on “white goods”, and others would spend the same amount, but choose to go for “10 bricks”, “a patch of grass”, “a window”. It was totally up to them, and people told us they really enjoyed putting their gift together.

Our friends and family loved Patchwork too! We got some lovely messages, and various compliments about what a lovely idea it was, and how much people enjoyed using the site.

How will you feel when you put your deposit down on your home, knowing everyone has chipped in?

Amazing. We’ve been married for 6 weeks now and we are going to see some specific areas this weekend. We know it might take a while to find something, but we can’t wait until we can finally tell everyone that we’ve done it. Then all that will be left will be to invite them all round.. That’ll be a full house!

Thank you Kahleen & Steven, and a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork. If this has inspired you, just customise our new home patchwork, or create your own from scratch.

Photography by Craig & Eva Sanders.

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