Tag: gift inspiration

Patchwork Story: Lucy’s 40th Birthday Trip to Sweden

Lucy was about to celebrate her 40th birthday and wanted to mark the occasion by doing something super special. Her husband asked her about the one gift she would appreciate the most, and she decided it would be a trip to Sweden. So Simon set up a patchwork and asked her friends to crowdfund her adventure. We asked Lucy all about it.

So why did you decide on a trip to Sweden?

Last year one of my best friends recently moved back home to Sweden to be nearer her family. We only met four years ago through work but we instantly got on and she became like a sister to me! We got really used to seeing each other regularly so it was weird and sad when she moved away. It was nice to have such a great pen pal (she sends the best parcels in the world) and I was glad she was nearer her family but I missed seeing her terribly. I don’t have a very big income and don’t often travel abroad so when my husband asked me what I really wanted, I dropped a very big hint that I’d love to go to Stockholm to have some proper time with her!

Did you peek at your patchwork before the trip?

I mentioned a few of the places Lina was planning to take me but my husband kept it all a surprise. Every so often in the lead up to my birthday I saw Simon check his emails and make the sort of noise that can only mean ‘wow your friends are being really generous!’ – but I was very disciplined and didn’t let him show me!

How did Simon show you your birthday patchwork?

On the morning of my actual birthday in cold rainy January we went for a bracing walk along my favourite pier. Afterwards we stopped in a cosy cafe for a hot chocolate and he presented the finished patchwork to me as we sat getting warm. I was absolutely overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity and lovely messages, plus the sweet activities and day trips my friends had chosen to treat me to. I just burst into tears, I was so touched! There’s no way I would be able to afford such a fun trip with proper spending money. I was so excited.

So how was the trip?

It was AMAZING! Five whole days with my lovely Lina in a beautiful city, loads of delicious food, museums, galleries and lovely sunny days out. It was such a treat to have money to spend without worrying if I could afford it. I really can’t think of a better 40th birthday present. The trouble is, now I am desperate to go back again!


 

Hooray! Thanks so much for sharing your Patchwork story with us Lucy.

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

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.

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.

Crowdfund a New Handbag

As presents go, handbags are right up there with the best. They’re the ever-loyal accessory that will always fit and always make you look smart, even when you’re in your scruffiest clothes. Really special ones can be a bit expensive – but don’t worry – you don’t need to take out a loan to afford one. You can patchwork it.

If you have a fashion-loving friend who would love a new handbag, why not club together to buy them the object of their affection? A well made, good quality handbag will last for years and years, so you know your gift will be loved and appreciated for a long time to come. And if you share the cost with friends and family, it’ll become much more manageable.

hanbag

We’ve made a template handbag patchwork that you can easily customise and share with friends to fund. Then once you’ve collected all the money you can go and buy the bag, wrap it up, and present your lucky friend with it. What a lovely treat.

The beautiful bag in our patchwork is from Mhulot – head to their site to see more. Or, if you have a specific handbag that you would like to make a patchwork of and need some help, just email us at hello@patchworkit.com.

Anna & Her Patchwork Puppy

When Anna was diagnosed with a serious brain virus, her friends rallied around her. They wanted to help her in any way they could. So her friend Catherine decided to make her a patchwork.

Hi Anna. Tell us about what Catherine organised for you..

My friends knew that I had always wanted a British Bulldog and I suppose it seemed like the perfect timing as I wasn’t sure if I would be able to work again in the near future and would be spending a lot of time rehabilitating, learning to walk again and trying to increase my stamina levels.

group-gift-crowdfunded-puppy-2

How did you feel when your friends told you what they’d done?

It was such an incredible surprise and completely unexpected. I remember arranging to meet my friends in a pub one evening, I thought maybe there was a quiz or something.

Catherine presented me with an envelope with a card inside with pictures of my friends on it and inside was the message that they had all donated to getting Quincy (my Bulldog) I cried (obviously) It was definitely one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done for me.

How did Quincy help your recovery?

Through having Quincy, I would get up and out everyday, walking in the park and also, as silly as it may sound, having constant company during the day would keep my mind occupied, I’m sure without him, my rehab would have taken longer.

He’s my best bud and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank my friends enough for giving him to me.

group-gift-crowdfunded-puppy-3

Catherine says:

“Anna is massively loved by everyone in our friendship group and it was very scary for us when she suddenly became so ill. Clubbing together to get Quince was a way for us to express our love and relief that Anna had recovered and to give her a new pal to encourage her in getting even better.”

 

Thank you so much Anna & Catherine for sharing your lovely patchwork story with us. It had the whole of Team Patchwork in tears. Hooray for friends, and hooray for Quincy. We’re so pleased to be a small part of this story.

If you want to create a patchwork of your own, go here. Or browse our readymade patchworks for inspiration.

Jessica & Claudia’s Quaker Wedding, Venetian Honeymoon (and Patchwork Puppy!)

Jessica and Claudia met two years ago on a social app for lesbians and were together for just 4 months before they got engaged. Jessica is a deaf and disabled blogger, and says that when she met Claudia she’d just graduated from university and was feeling a little bit uncertain about her future. Then Claudia came along and not only gave her confidence in her abilities, but became her partner in crime. We asked Jessica lots of super-nosy questions about their beautiful wedding and unconventional wedding registry.

Tell us more about how you met..

When we met, Claudia had recently lost her mother so she, like me, had a greater appreciation of grabbing happiness as soon as it comes along. Getting engaged quickly seemed like the most natural thing to do! Together we face quite a few challenges, but happiness and fun can be found even at 2am in A&E as long as we are together. For years I never thought it would be possible for anyone to love me, even though it was my greatest hope (mushy but true!).

jessica-and-claudia-quaker-lesbian-wedding-patchwork

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged in Rome, after Claudia proposed to me as as surprise for my 26th birthday. She carried a massive box with her all day, which I thought was my birthday present, when I unwrapped it, it was a box in the shape of a book and the card read “Although this book may not have pages, inside is the start of our story”.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

Having a Quaker wedding was important to both of us, not only because I’m a Quaker and was raised in the Society of Friends, but because the ceremony is such a special way of bringing two people together. Not only is it the only religious option open to us as two brides but the keystone of Quakerism – equality – means that during a Quaker Meeting for Marriage there is no minister to marry the couple and no fathers giving their daughters away – instead we give ourselves to the other and everyone in the room takes part in a ceremony of silent worship that binds us together. We were delighted to be able to come together at Frenchay Quaker Meeting House, my childhood Meeting and a beautiful building that reflected the simplicity and warmth of the ceremony. In keeping with there not being a dry eye in the house, it rained heavily – making entrances and exits in long white dresses quite a challenge!

Jessica & Claudia by hollybobbins.com

Jessica & Claudia by hollybobbins.com

Where did you have your reception?

Our reception was held at Kings Weston House, an elegant early 18th century country house that I grew up in the grounds of and have loved since childhood. The house retains the charm of a lived-in and loved family home as, whilst the ground floor can be used for weddings and functions, the top two floors are lived in by owner Norman and his family. Norman and his staff were incredible on the day and in the run up – exceptionally friendly and helpful.

One of the best parts of using Kings Weston House as our wedding venue was that it is already so beautiful we didn’t need to add much other than the beautiful table decorations.

Since we live in Brighton and weren’t able to travel to Bristol much before the big day it was vital to have help putting everything together. Kings Weston House put us in contact with Liz Wong at Elizabeth Weddings, a venue styler and designer who was invaluable in the run up to the big day, liaised with suppliers, amazingly put everything together in record time on the morning AND took everything down. We also had a great time with our friends DIYing various little bits for the tables but didn’t get too worried about things being perfect as we know from attending so many weddings in the past few years that guests often don’t even notice!

Jessica & Claudia by hollybobbins.com

Jessica & Claudia by hollybobbins.com

Did you have a colour scheme?

Our scheme originally involved much darker purples but became much pinker as we bought bridesmaids dresses and chose the flowers! In the end the light pink worked well with our classic look and we loved it – though it is the girliest wedding!

What was your first dance?

Our first dance was a slow rendition of Cheerleader by OMI, because Claudia always says that I am her cheerleader.

Jessica and Claudia at the Frenchay Quaker Meeting House by hollybobbins.com

Jessica and Claudia at the Frenchay Quaker Meeting House by hollybobbins.com

What was your favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the day was in the actual ceremony, when we both said our vows to each other. Since we have no priest at Quaker weddings, we had to memorise them, and we nailed it!

Why did you choose Patchwork as your wedding registry?

We saw Patchwork at the National Wedding Show in London and we were really excited, because not only do I love putting together Pinterest boards (and it’s very similar) but we have enough stuff in our house already.

claudia-and-jessicas-wedding-registry-patchwork

Jessica & Claudia’s Patchwork registry, which included everything the couple wanted to do in Venice, a few household treats for their return, and of course their new puppy.

What did you decide to fund?

We wanted to fund our Honeymoon in Venice – it felt wonderful being there knowing everyone was part of it. We also asked for contributions towards our new puppy Matilda. We call her Tilly, she is a Pomapoo and she is the most wonderful adorable thing. We thought Patchwork was so easy to use. Our friends and family agreed, and they loved the idea of funding our honeymoon (and Tilly!).

Jessica & Claudia's new puppy Matilda

Jessica & Claudia’s new puppy Matilda

Would you recommend Venice to other honeymooners?

There are no words to describe the beauty. It’s a city you can do loads of things in, but at the same time, it’s so easy to sit and relax with your newly-wife. The best way I can convince you to go to Venice is to visit my instagram.

Claudia & Jessica on honeymoon in Venice

Claudia & Jessica on honeymoon in Venice

Thank you so much Jessica & Claudia for telling us all about your gorgeous wedding day and honeymoon, and a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to start your own patchwork registry, check out our honeymoon ideas here, and our wedding gift ideas here. Or create your own from scratch.

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