In their own words, Hana and Tom are “not your traditional couple”! They met initially in a friends’ garden in 2012, and were in the same social circles for a while before they got to know each other well. It can be said that Hana found Tom a little annoying, and he thought she was much, much too much! After a few years of pub quizzing and gigs, a deepening friendship, and a “will-they-won’t-they” few weeks, they decided to just be friends. However, with the pandemic in March 2020 came a total change of speed, and Tom moved into Hana’s house to help his parents to shield. “It’ll only be a couple of weeks” turned into months, and they slipped into a fun and easy relationship. In August Tom attempted to move home, but Hana says “I just missed him too much.” The rest is history as they say and today they share their epic rainbow-infused two part wedding and amazing friend funded Mexican honeymoon adventure!
How did you get engaged?
We had talked about getting married, once we knew we were willing to risk the friendship! As a wedding photographer myself though, my time gets booked out a long time in advance, especially weekends. We talked about when in the year we’d hypothetically want to have an anniversary, and realised that Friday 12th November 2021 was a palindromic date. We sent an email, and Tom popped out to buy lunch… while he was out I got caught off guard by the registrar phoning me (millennial, bad at phones!) and booked the ceremony…oops! Months later, knowing we had the ceremony already booked, and we’d picked a beautiful rough garnet ring out together, Tom anxiously paced around our living room while we tried to watch a Billie Eilish documentary… eventually he said “I think you should have this now” as he couldn’t get any other words out…!
I had (funnily enough) anticipated that we’d get engaged, so had bought Tom a present too – a bright pink neon sign which reads “How unexpected” – a tongue in cheek reference to our engagement, but also a nod to the fact that everyone else seemed to know we’d be together before we did.
What kind of wedding did you plan?
A wedding of two halves! We both wanted a private, intimate ceremony – me so that it didn’t feel like work, and Tom because he gets a bit nervous sometimes. On our legal marriage day we walked to the register office with the dogs via a quick stop in our local. We were relaxed and joyful that day, and went to the pub for a slap up meal afterwards before spending the night alone in a shepherds hut with a hot tub.
Both of us were absolutely up for a mad party too, though, and the next day we threw an epic reception; we’ve got very specific aesthetic style together and went for black/pink and iridescent rainbow vibes. We love our rock/metal and pop music and wanted to put on a complete circus for all our family and friends. We chose to use an incredible celebrant to bring the second ceremony to life, and had temporary tattoos, no sit down meal, an ice cream cart and a silent disco.
Did you have a first dance?
Our first dance was Arcane Roots, Slow Dance because it RIFFS. For our legal ceremony we walked in together to C’est La Vie by B*Witched and out to Jamie Lenman, If You Have To Ask You’ll Never Know. For the second day we walked in to McFly, Happiness and out to the theme from Death In Paradise.
Now that’s a playlist. What was your favourite part of the day?
The reception day second ceremony was the best. We asked a Glaswegian friend of ours to stand up and pretend to conduct our ceremony, but to do it in the thickest Scots he could manage. It was an absolute hoot, and we were both in tears trying to make sense of it, and the joke had our guests roaring too. It was wonderful to include our pal, and then Hazel the Rainbow Celebrant kicked him off the mic for being “rubbish” and we got on with a personalised and funny service from her. It was personal, and that’s why it was awesome.
Why did you choose Patchwork?
I shot a wedding before the pandemic of a couple who’d used Patchwork, and I was really impressed with the whole thing. It makes so much sense to me to be able to personalise your registry for things you actually want and need, while also being able to control the budget.
What did you want to invite guests to contribute towards?
I’d had my house for 5 years at this point, so we didn’t need bath towels or cutlery, and instead asked for photo frames for the wedding photos we’d receive and experiences for our honeymoon. Thanks to our guests knowing what they were contributing towards, we were able to thank them directly for frames, beers, a posh lunch, a day out at XCaret in Cancun, Mexico and so many more experiences.
What was the best bit about using Patchwork?
The freedom to design and upload your own gift ideas was amazing. We uploaded photos of the accommodation we wanted to book, the restaurants/cuisine we might want to go to, the actual items we were asking for etc. It made it much more real, and much more personal – and when we then thanked those people they could see we really did do what we said we would! It was lush, and we didn’t get a single thing we weren’t super happy with!
What did your friends and family think?
Our friends and family were glad it was so easy to use, and to see what they were getting for us. I think they also appreciated that we were able to be so specific in our gratitude afterwards.
Do you have a top wedding planning tip?
Absolutely. The best weddings are personal. Don’t get suckered into doing stuff ‘cause you’ve seen it at the venue or you’ve been sold a package – actually think about you and your partner and the things you like. What’re your favourite things, colours, activities, sounds and tastes? Make sure they’re all present at your wedding. It really should be a celebration of you as individuals, and everyone you’re inviting knows and loves at least one of you (!!), so they’ll love it too! Don’t be afraid to sign the legal paperwork on another day (we don’t panic about this for births and deaths, so why marriages?), and don’t be afraid to miss out traditional things if they don’t fit with your interests or principles.
Thank you so much Hana and Tom, for sharing with us this joyous, personal and wonderful celebration! We are honoured to have played a small part, and happy that you had such a fantastic honeymoon thanks to all your family and friends!
Here is the – very impressive – directory of Hana and Tom’s awesome suppliers who all added extra sparkle on the day:
Photos on the ceremony day (my hair down): Rowan Williams, Parrot and Pineapple
Photos of the main wedding day (hair up!): Ruth Merrington and Debbie Stevens
Red Door Photography
Celebrant: Hazel the Rainbow
Venue: The Joneses Studio
Invites and Signage: Satin and Tat Design
Food: Miles at Bark ‘n’ Render
Hana’s Outfit: Skirt: Etsy; Top Material: Amazon; Sewing Help Erica, Real Green Dress
Hana’s evening jumpsuit: Rosa Bloom
Hana’s earrings: Neon Cacti
Hana’s headdress and buttonholes: Folky Dokey
Hana’s Hair and Makeup: Amy at Dolly’s Beauty Parlour
Tom’s shirt, waistcoat and jacket: Graeme at Healy and Son
Flowers: Best Friend Natalie Miller
Neon sign: You Turn Neon
Dog Outfits: Bella and Barns
Collars and leads: Hounds of Eden
Cake: Lily and Fig Cakes
Ice cream: Vicki at Victoria’s Ice Cream Cart
Temporary Tattoos: Emma and Dom at Doris Loves
Silent Disco: Naren at Silent Disco Bristol
p.s. you can listen to Hana and Tom’s first dance song on our Spotify playlist, made up of lots of our Patchwork Couples’ first dances.