So a few weeks ago in Bristol I got to attend my first Quaker wedding.
Jessica and Claudia first contacted me last year. New years eve whilst I was in New Zealand. Jessica sent me such a lovely email telling me of their story. I do so love the story and I knew straight away this was going to be an amazing wedding with inspiring people.
Both Jessica and Claudia have faced some pretty big challenges in life already, but they channel it to make them, and those around them, stronger. They are truly soul mates. After their third date, dinner at Jessica’s, Claudia never left, a few weeks later they began house hunting and then Claudia proposed in Rome on Jessica’s birthday, four months to the day after they first met. This is almost seen as a slow start as Jessica’s maternal grandparents married 3 weeks after they met and were together for over 60 years. Jessica and Claudia are practically dragging their feet!
This was my first Quaker wedding held at Frenchay Meeting house, Bristol. Jessica had attended this meeting house from the time she was 8 every Sunday whilst she was growing up near by.
At a Quaker meeting house no photos can be taken at all during the meeting. So I got to sit back and soak it all in. They has an artist friend of theirs come and sketch the ceremony as it happened. It is often called the silent ceremony. There is no officiant. No giving away of the brides. After a period of silence the couple stand and say their vows to each other, exchange rings. There is a then a period of silent worship. If anyone wants to stand and share their thoughts with the room they can. After about 40 minutes everyone shakes hands and all that attended have to also sign their marriage certificate.
When you are not used to sitting in a large group of people in silence, at first it can be a little over whelming and almost uncomfortable. But you settle into the quiet and the contemplation, and it gives you time and space to focus on the union you are sharing in. It really was an honour to witness.
After a dash in the wind and the rain we headed to Kings Weston House in Bristol. This grand old house was a stunning backdrop to the rest of their wedding day. After a quick change into dress number 2 for Jessica ( well why wouldn’t you go for a two dress day !!), the party started in this quirky venue. And whilst the rain DID not stop all day it did nothing to dampen the love and laughter.
Thank you for sharing your day with me.
I wish you both love and happiness for all your days.
Jessica is a tv presenter and vlogger .. check out her youtube channel here.
And their wedding was featured on the wonderful Rock My Wedding blog.