James and Lynsey swiped right to each other on Bumble in 2018, arranging to meet shortly after in a pub in between their homes in South West London. Lynsey says their first date lasted THREE DAYS (!), with a few pubs, brunch, jazz clubs, a lot of wine and a visit to Kew Gardens thrown in. “We clicked from day one with a lot of similarities including our love of tennis and travel. Shortly after we were booking tickets to Wimbledon and then our first holiday to France together. The rest, as they say, is history.” We’re honoured that James and Lynsey chose to share their story with us on our blog. Read on to hear about their romantic engagement, weekend wedding extravaganza on Italy’s Amalfi Coast and dream honeymoon to the Caribbean.
How did you get engaged?
In October 2019 we visited the Almalfi Coast in Italy and based ourselves at a boutique hotel in a small town, Massa Lubrense. It was the most beautiful location and it was on this holiday I asked James to move in with me. We vowed to return to the hotel the year after. Fast-forward a year, with a pandemic thrown in, which meant moving in together had really meant living together 24/7 (and having the best time doing so). We were so happy when travel bans were lifted and we could journey back to Relais Blu for a long awaited holiday. Little did I know that James had been having secret zoom calls with a diamond specialist from Hatton Garden and was completely shocked when on the first night of our holiday he got down on one knee on a terrace overlooking Capri at sunset and asked me to be his wife. It was an instant “yes”!
That IS very romantic. Full marks to James! And what kind of wedding did you plan?
As soon as we got engaged, we knew we wanted to get married in Italy too. Once we were home, we started planning an October 2021 wedding back at Relais Blu. We had our venue and date secured but quickly realised that we knew nothing about planning to legally marry in another country, neither of us spoke Italian so trying to search for suppliers was impossible. We were so lucky to secure the most amazing wedding planner. Victoria was based in Italy, fluent in both English and Italian and had so much experience with suppliers, the legalities, logistics, the venue and the area. She helped us make our Italian villa wedding dream a reality. We persevered through planning every last detail, despite a lot of uncertainty about whether we’d even be able to travel to Italy. We were only given the green light 6 weeks before the wedding that Italy was accepting travel from the UK, and from that moment it was all systems go!
Because we were marrying abroad, and asking friends and family to travel, and during such a challenging time, we wanted to make sure their trips were worth it. We arranged welcome drinks on the Thursday at a chic rooftop bar in Sorrento, followed by the wedding on the Saturday and a chilled pool party BBQ both at Relais Blu. I’m so happy we were able to extend the celebrations and every single part was even better than we could have imagined.
And did you have a first dance?
Yes, we danced to “Born to be yours” by Kygo and Imagine Dragons. We had dance lessons in the run up to the wedding which was a nice break from wedding planning, and a great excuse to do something fun together!
What was your favourite part of the day?
The whole day was magical, but I loved the cocktail straight after the ceremony. It was then that we were able to properly greet all our guests for the first time, and could relax and enjoy the sax, canapés and a glass of wine. Plus we snuck off for sunset photos, which was really nice to get some time just the two of us together.
Why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding gift list?
A friend of ours used Patchwork previously for their wedding and we loved what we saw. It worked great for us as we were getting married abroad, we didn’t have a huge luggage limit to bring back physical gifts. We loved that it allowed us to specify certain activities we were hoping to do on our honeymoon that our guests could contribute to, rather than just asking for money.
What did you invite guests to contribute towards?
We used Patchwork to give guests the option to contribute towards activities and restaurants we were hoping to visit on our honeymoon to the Caribbean to make the trip even more magical. It was so simple to use, and we could add a variety of different items / activities at different price points so guests could contribute as much or as little as they wanted. It also allowed us to give guests an insight into our honeymoon plans.
What did your friends and family think?
They loved it, a couple of them have asked how we did it so they can use it for their own wedding gift list.
What have you done with the wedding gift money you received via your patchwork?
We had the best honeymoon, made even better by the contributions from our wonderful guests. We spent 17 days in the Caribbean exploring Barbados and then St Vincent and the Grenadines. The highlight was visiting the Tobago Cays, a selection of uninhabited islands (where pirates of the Caribbean was filmed) that were out of this world stunning. It was only thanks to the contributions we received via Patchwork we were able to have this once in a life time experience.
How did it feel knowing your friends and family had helped make it happen?
We were and still are so grateful for our friends and families generous contributions and the huge efforts they made to attend the wedding. It was the most special day because of them, and they all went the extra mile to make our honeymoon the most memorable trip as well. We are very lucky.
And finally…..What’s your no.1 wedding planning tip?
Don’t forget what and why you’re doing it. My husband and I tried to keep all our wedding planning to one or two evenings a week max. The rest of our time together was strictly for us to spend time with each other and we had a ‘zero wedding chat’ policy. Also I couldn’t have lived without our wedding planner Victoria, especially as we were getting married abroad. She made sure everything ran smoothly and like clockwork on the day itself and provided us with a wealth of knowledge of local suppliers. As we couldn’t speak any Italian, Victoria communicated with them all on our behalf; we could not have done it without her.
Thank you so much Lynsey and James for sharing your magical Amalfi Coast wedding with us. We’re so pleased that using Patchwork enabled you to enjoy a really memorable honeymoon and we all wish you many happy years ahead together.
If you’ve been inspired to create your own honeymoon registry to the Caribbean, check out our honeymoon templates for Dominican Republic, Antigua and the BVI, or if you’re not quite decided yet, have a look at our Beautiful Island of Somewhere template!
Here are some of the suppliers who helped make Lynsey &
James’ day extra amazing:
Wedding Planner: Victoria at Sophisticated Weddings Italy
Photographer: Nakutis Photography
Flowers: Armando Malafronte
Dress: Suzanne Neville
Suit: Cad & The Dandy
Venue: Relais Blu, Massa Lubrense, Italy
MUA: Jimena Puy
Celebrant: Carmela Cesarano
Stationery: Lilac and White
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Bridesmaid dresses: Ghost Fashion
Band: Bright Lights Band
p.s. You can listen to Lynsey and James’ first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.