Claudia and Jessie met online at the end of summer 2014 and almost immediately clicked. It was a classic case of when you know, you know' and within a month, they were living together! Two years later, they were married. This is their story...
After spending Christmas with my family, Claudia took me to Rome for my 26th birthday and proposed at sunset on Il Vittoriano, looking up to the Coliseum. That was January 2015. I was not expecting it, It was a birthday surprise from Claudia.
Our colour scheme originally involved much darker purples but became much pinker as we bought bridesmaids dresses and chose the flowers! In the end the light pink worked well with our classic look and we loved it- though it is the girliest wedding!
Having a Quaker wedding was important to both of us, not only because I [Jessie] am a Quaker and was raised in the Society of Friends, but because the ceremony is such a special way of bringing two people together. We were delighted to be able to come together at Frenchay Quaker Meeting House, the place of my childhood Meeting and a beautiful building that reflected the simplicity and warmth of the ceremony. And, in keeping with the atmosphere there, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
There weren't any wedding readings. Quakerism is not only the only religious option open to us as two brides but the keystone of Quakerism, Equality, means that during a Quaker Meeting for Marriage there is no minister to marry the couple and no fathers giving their daughters away- instead we give ourselves to the other and everyone in the room takes part in a ceremony of silent worship that binds us together.
The weather on the day was rainy, which made entrances and exits in long white dresses quite a challenge.
Venue & Reception
Our reception was held at Kings Weston House, an elegant early 18th century country house that I grew up in the grounds of and have loved since childhood. The house retains the charm of a lived-in and loved family home as, whilst the ground floor can be used for weddings and functions, the top two floors are lived in by owner Norman and his family.
Norman and his staff were incredible on the day and in the run up- exceptionally friendly and helpful.
We had a hog roast menu. Having felt the pains of hunger at previous weddings we were determined to over-cater and succeeded if the leftovers were anything to go by! The cake was made by one of my aunts; it was a naked cake decorated with berries and flowers, and the top layer was gluten free and sugar free because I can't have either of those.
We danced to Cheerleaderby Omi for our first dance, because I used to be a cheerleader and Claudia likes to say that I am her cheerleader!
Jessie and Claudia had a separate wedding shoot on and around Brighton Beach.
Our advice to other couples who are planning their wedding? Don't be too worried about decoration being perfect, as we know from attending so many weddings in the past few years that guests often don't even notice!