Stacey and Chris met at work in a photography studio in Halifax in 2012. Stacey had returned to the area after university, and Chris – originally from a small village outside of Blackpool – joined the post production department Stacey was part of. Stacey took him under her wing and they became good friends and allies in times of need. Although they missed each other when Chris moved on to other ventures, they were both in long term relationships at the time and so thought nothing more of one another.
Then in March 2016, now both single, they ended up on a night out in Leeds together with some mutual friends. And as they say the rest is history! Stacey says “We quickly realised that this was it and were inseparable from the very start.” In September 2017 they bought their house in Manchester. They now work side by side again at a photography studio and couldnʼt be happier! Despite Covid throwing obstacles in their way, and Stacey’s beloved dad becoming unwell before the wedding, this wonderful couple celebrated their love and life together in such a beautiful wedding ceremony. And then had an adventure honeymoon to Scotland in their campervan, with a little help from their family and friends. You are not going to want to miss this one!
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged whilst on holiday in August 2018, on a beautiful day long hike long the Cornish coast! I was sat happily eating my Hula Hoops during a picnic stop whilst looking out to sea. Chris commented on how slowly I was eating (this is not normal and was probably putting him more on edge!) As I started tidying my litter away, Chris was fumbling around in his rucksack and brought out a massive pair of rolled up socks. He fumbled a bit more and a ring box appeared! He asked me to marry him, I said yes, he cried and I just couldnʼt stop laughing with joy! We immediately rang my Dad as he had apparently been pestering Chris about it since he had asked him for his blessing. We then continued our walk and ended up in Bude where we drank cocktails until it went dark! Having managed to get a table at a posh restaurant last minute, we went along in our walking gear, not caring that we stuck out like a sore thumb! We were high on engagement life! (And many mojitos!)
What kind of wedding did you originally plan?
We started planning our wedding in late 2019, our chosen date was 10th April 2021 and the venue the beautiful town hall in Todmorden. By early 2020 we had most things arranged and booked, the invites had been sent, with a total 75 day guests, and an additional 75 for the reception. We were to have the ceremony mid afternoon, a casual yet exquisite pie and mash dinner, speeches, followed by plenty of dancing and laughs! Then the pandemic hit. We lived in hope for most of the year, but by January 2021 we made the difficult decision to downsize the wedding and relocate it to a beautiful, smaller venue just a mile down the road. All along we’d said that we didnʼt want to change the date, and that whatever happened we would go ahead. One of the main reasons being that my Dad was ill and we didnʼt want to delay the big occasion he, and we, so desperately wanted him to be part of.
How did the pandemic change your wedding plans?
It changed the whole dynamic of planning a wedding. For example when it came wedding dress shopping, it was only myself and my Mum who could go. Although it was absolutely lovely, I know my sister and close friends wouldʼve loved to be involved too. The day after I was at the boutique, the rules changed to allow only the bride in to try dresses, so I was very grateful I could have Mum there. Chrisʼs custom suit also got caught up in the postal/shipping delays and we were having to consider reordering it just a week before the big day. That was quite a tense moment! All the joy and excitement held on by a thread every time there was a government announcement. The rules regarding weddings were always so vague and confusing. I felt like I was stuck in the strange head space between ‘oh itʼs only a wedding, there are more important things to worry aboutʼ and ‘this is OUR really important day which weʼve now fought really hard forʼ. It was really tough at times.
For the actual day it was mainly cancelling lots of things we knew we could no longer have. From the catering, the DJ, to accommodation for guests, everything was downsized quite drastically. We thought we would be able to have 15 guests but by the time our date came around it ended up being just 6 including us. Thankfully that meant our parents could attend indoors, whilst immediate family could watch from outside. Luckily our new venue had huge widows for them to peer through! After the ceremony at 2pm, we all gathered in the car park where my sister and her partner had bottles of bubbly on ice! We raised a glass together then had some (socially distanced) family photographs taken. Afterwards, our family all went on their way home, which did feel odd and not at all the ‘normal’ way a wedding works. Our fantastic photographer took us to numerous locations nearby and we shot until 8pm. We didn’t even stop for the snow that fell at one point!
Did you have a first dance?
The first dance is yet to come at our postponed wedding reception, booked at the same venue on our first anniversary! Weʼve planned a very casual ‘food, drinks and dancing’ kind of party so we can finally have all our family and friends together to celebrate and have some fun. On our actual wedding day we did create a playlist to have on in the background after the ceremony. We chose songs ranging from Tame Impala to Prince to Flume to Maya Jane Coles – and our aisle song was Groove Armada’s My Friend.
What was your favourite part of the day?
There were so many stand out parts with it being so unusual and slightly surreal. Walking out after the ceremony and reuniting with our other family members outside was special. We also live streamed the ceremony to our guests who were no longer able to attend due to the rule of 6. Most of them chose to make a day of it at home and had a little party whilst watching us get married! That was such a lovely feeling knowing they were still participating. The whole family were elated that Dad got to walk me down the aisle. Throughout the planning he had worried he wouldnʼt make it, but I never doubted that he would be there. In September, Dad lost his 2 year battle with neuroendocrine cancer, so this part of our day will always be cherished. He also drove me to the wedding in his Skoda Yeti which gave us all a little laugh!
We’re so sorry about your Dad, but so pleased he could be there on your big day.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?
After going through the endless dos and don’ts of how to approach the – sometimes awkward – wedding gift situation, we finally came across Patchwork. From searching for wedding registries, we knew as soon as we saw Patchwork that it was exactly what we had in mind. We loved the structure and ease of use, the aesthetic of it, and the options to put your own touch through photography and snippets of information. The ability to upload all our own photos which were relevant to what we were asking for contributions towards was brilliant.
What did you want to ask guests to contribute towards?
We added a variety of ‘patches’ ranging from £5 for ice-creams, to £150 towards ferries. This was with a view to ensure if guests wanted to contribute a small amount, that they felt comfortable doing so. We were not expecting anything extravagant so kept our funds reasonable. The basis of our Patchwork was to allow people to contribute towards the adventures we would be having in our camper van! We had the van already so asked for contributions towards campsite fees, pit stop meals, camping essentials, and even fuel! Our maiden voyage and honeymoon was originally planned for after the week after the wedding but once again plans changed due to the pandemic. We had planned a two week van trip through the Isle of Skye and over to the Outer Hebrides. The trip was planned for September but when Dad was taken ill we undoubtedly needed to change our plans again. We eventually ended up heading to North Uist, South Uist and Barra in early October, and we will be completing the Isle of Skye part of our trip this coming February.
What where your favourite features of Patchwork gift?
For us the best element about Patchwork is that itʼs so interactive. We believe people enjoyed being able to look through our photographs and read the personal explanations of why we were wishing for these funds – its very tangible. Patchwork was so user friendly and we really enjoyed setting up our page. A member of the Patchwork team helped us straight away when we had a question about payment set up. Also, as our wedding has effectively been split into two events, we will be setting our page to go live again nearer to the time of the party! A great feature rather than setting up a new one.
What did your friends and family think?
They thought it was an ingenious and polite way of collecting any wedding funds. It meant family and friends got a great insight into our lifestyle (if they werenʼt already aware!) and what they would be financing. A picture is worth a thousand words as they say! Some were concerned about any fees we may have to pay to but we reassured them the tiny fees were well worth the fun and practical benefits of the Patchwork service. The fees for using the payment partner were definitely fair and not of any concern for us!
How did it feel when you set off on your honeymoon?
We were, and are so grateful for every single one of our contributions towards our trip, it means so much to us to have our little pot of gold to keep us ticking over on our wonderful trips near and far. Our nearest and dearest know how much we enjoy these moments, and we feel very lucky.
Would you recommend your trip to other couples?
The Outer Hebrides are beyond any doubt one of the most overwhelmingly beautiful and powerfully moving places in the world. Given we went at such a strange time, it was just what we needed to reflect and remember what life is about – and acknowledge that ‘oh wow we got married!ʼ People asked us if this was our ‘alternateʼ honeymoon, thinking we should have been in the Maldives instead, but this had been our plan all along and we definitely made the right choice for us and our passions!
Wow, Stacey and Chris, what a very, very beautiful story and stunning photos you have shared. We are honoured to have played a part in your very special day and wish you so much happiness (and lots more campervan adventures) in the future.
Inspired to start your own campervan adventure fund? Or looking for inspiration on other wedding registry ideas? We’ve got hundreds of readymade templates for all sorts of things from honeymoons to honeybees, so have fun playing around and try a few out!
And finally, here are a few of the amazing wedding suppliers that made Chris and Stacey’s day extra special!
Venue: FieldenHall, Todmorden
Photographer: Jono Symonds Photography
Hair and makeup: Rebecca Anderton Makeup
Flowers: Charlotte Bertenshaw Interior Styling
Bouquet: Hidden Botanics
Dress: Jean Jackson Couture
Suit: Moss Bros.
Our Adventures: @whatstaceyshot
p.s. You can listen to Chris & Stacey’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.