Nicola Pettit married Tania Ward at Brighton Town Hall on Saturday

Nicola Pettit married Tania Ward at Brighton Town Hall on Saturday

One of the first gay couples to marry in Britain this week reflected on the “overwhelming” experience of tying the knot within hours of the new law coming into effect.

Nicola Pettit, 29 married Tania Ward at Brighton Town Hall on Saturday and the couple received a blessing from South London Liberal Synagogue’s Rabbi Janet Darley later in the day.

Pettit told the Jewish News from her honeymoon: “Saturday was amazing, the sun was shining and all our friends and family were there to share our special day.

“All media on the day was positive. It was overwhelming and a surreal experience to be making history on that day. We wanted to wait to get married as having a civil partnership only accentuates the fact that you are ‘different’.”

Though her spouse is not Jewish, the childcare worker added: “There was significant importance to me to have a Jewish blessing as part of the day and I am grateful to be recognised in marriage and still be able to follow my religion.”

Both the Reform and Liberal movements had campaigned in support of the law change. Rabbi Darley said this week said she and her husband had spilled part of the wine under the chuppah when they married several years ago as “we couldn’t drink a full cup of joy until all our friends can marry”.

Saying it was an “honour, a privilege and a wonderful experience” to conduct the blessing on Saturday evening, she added: “They’re a lovely couple and their families were all really excited.

“This is another step on the road to a time when all those who love each other can have that love celebrated and respected. I’ve had so many friends fight for this over the years.”