It seems no-one wants to celebrate their love and marriage with saucepans and spoons anymore. In the last few years couples have started to shun traditional department store gift lists, instead asking for cash gifts to put towards things they really want and need. We talk to Olivia Knight, founder of alternative gift list Patchwork, about the shift in wedding gifts and explore the latest trends.

First there was the direct approach with people putting bank details on their wedding invites. Then came the ‘money poem’, a personal touch that let couples explain what the cash would be used for. Then we saw the rise of the honeymoon fund, a way for wedding guests to donate money specifically towards a planned trip. And then came Patchwork. A cash gift list that let friends and family get together to fund any gift or experience – from a honeymoon to a work of art, a vintage campervan to a new kitchen.


kitchen patchwork

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And now we’re noticing a new trend – couples asking guests to contribute towards the wedding itself.

Perhaps because getting married can be so costly, and maybe as part of a broader cultural trend towards DIY weddings, couples are now asking guests to contribute, not just money, but also time and skills to help make the wedding happen.

Olivia at Patchwork, confirms it’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly common amongst her audience. “Our couples tend to be creative types and so DIY and festival weddings are very popular. And yes we’re definitely seeing more couples asking their friends and family to get involved.”

table patchwork

Until now Patchwork has only allowed people to chip in cash to help fund things. But in response to user feedback, the site has just launched a new feature that now lets people pledge to Make & Do things too.

Whether you’re planning an engagement party, a hen do or your wedding itself, you can now create a patchwork of images to show friends all the things you’ll need help to fund, make and do. Then they can click around and choose whether to buy a few beers, make a cake, do the decorations or promise to DJ.

Olivia says, “Although we’re seeing a new trend in terms of gifts and wedding planning, friends have always got together to share ideas, swap skills and help each other out. So it made sense for us to develop our site to support what we all naturally do. It’s creative and collaborative but it’s also just common sense.”

We love this new Make & Do trend. And if you do decide to use Patchwork to organise your wedding, then we’ve got your first dance sorted.

The Beatles – “Get by with a little help from my friends”.


To use Patchwork to fund a honeymoon, organise a group gift or plan a party go to