A Queens’ College wedding in Cambridge for Julie and Ben on Saturday. Founded in the fifteenth century, Queens’ is Julie’s old college. (When I say Queens’, it’s not bad grammar. Initially founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou – Henry VI’s queen, it was refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville, queen of Edward IV – hence Queens’ college and not Queen’s college.) You can’t talk about Cambridge colleges without a bit of a history lesson!
Julie and Ben are from the ‘New World’ – the USA and Australia. Organizing this wedding from their home in New York wasn’t easy, especially given the number of double bookings they encountered in Cambridge. Another wedding had been booked at Queens’ so Julie and Ben held their wedding reception/meal, further down the river Cam, at the only other college that straddles both riverbanks, St John’s. As it was that other wedding got cancelled, but still, it gave everyone the chance to punt down the river to the reception. You can’t go to Cambridge and not go in a punt!
A tale of two colleges and two bridges. First off, the ‘Mathematical bridge’ at Queens’ where they embarked. One of Cambridge’s landmarks. One with lots of myths attached. No, it wasn’t built in 1749 by Sir Isaac Newton out of oak with no nuts or bolts, he was already dead by then. What you see now anyhow is actually a 1905 rebuild and it did have nuts and bolts. The other bridge, another landmark, is known as the “Bridge of Sighs ” (after the real one in Venice) at St John’s. It’s where we did many of the images of Julie and Ben.
The morning saw drizzle, falling on a town not only gearing up for Julie and Ben’s wedding, but also the Tour de France riders coming through a couple of days later. This rain stopped Julie’s plan to arrive at her Queens’ college wedding by punt, but it did disappear, along with some humidity and the rest of the day was, if not sunny, pleasant weather wise. It allowed for drinks on the Backs – the grassy bit in the shadow of New Court, before dinner in the sixteenth century dining hall.
( On a personal note, I know two people who went to St John’s. They are friends of my wife, from her days at Cambridge Uni. So what were the mathematical odds that I should bump into one of them as I walked between the college courts on Saturday? They were showing their daughter’s French exchange student around their old college. )
Another Cambridge quirk – no loud music late in the night. So with the guests seated in the Hall, Julie and Ben then had their first dance before the meal, accompanied by the jazz trio. We’ll skip over the bit where Ben managed to finish the dance too early! Speeches followed the meal with Ben’s brother, Chris, as best man and Bryan as Julie’s “Gentleman of Honour ( as opposed to maid, although maybe I should say ‘honor’?) After bubbles, instead of confetti, as they left the chapel, it was now an avenue of sparklers for Julie and Ben as they led the way after the meal, across Second Court to the bar.
A lovely wedding for a lovely couple. A Queens’ college wedding, a St John’s college wedding, Cambridge at it’s best.Here are a few images from the day…