Halifax couple say ‘I do’ at Square Chapel

Happy couple: Andrew and Jessica Sutcliffe. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.
Happy couple: Andrew and Jessica Sutcliffe. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.

A couple from Halifax have become on of the first to get married at Square Chapel.

Andrew Sutcliffe, 36, and his wife Jessica, 37, approached Square Chapel with the idea of holding their humanist service there 18 months ago, and have been planning the big day ever since.

Guests watch the first dance between Andrew and Jessica. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.

Guests watch the first dance between Andrew and Jessica. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.

The couple, who live in Barkisland, have been together for eight years and got engaged two-and-a-half years ago. They have two children, Beatrix, one, and Emmeline, four.

“I’m from Halifax and it’s always been a beautiful building,” Andrew said of Square Chapel, a Grade II listed building that was built in 1772. It was reopened in 2017 after a £6.6m renovation.

“Over recent years it’s been restored and has a nice art deco roof.

“We go there all the time, we love it. It’s a beautiful place to go.

Happy couple: Andrew and Jessica Sutcliffe. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.

Happy couple: Andrew and Jessica Sutcliffe. Photos: Christian McGowan Photography.

“We approached them with the idea and they said it was great and that it hadn’t been done before.

“They said they would treat it as an event and that we would need to organise it all ourselves.

“It’s been about 18 months in the making.

“A friend of mine who lives in America performed the service for us and Cheryl Blackbond at Pink Blossom set up the room so beautifully.”

There were 160 guests in attendance at the red brick auditorium before it was changed to accommodate tables and chairs for the reception.

“A woman called Jessica Sutcliffe has actually written a book on the history of Square Chapel funnily enough,” said Andrew.

“We knew they did events and parties there and I was aware that some other people had a wedding party booked there, although they’re not registered to do the ceremonies themselves.

“It’s really special to us, with me being a local lad. We can always go back there now and we’ll always be a piece of history there.

“It’s something that really means something to us, and the town.”

The two teachers will jet off to Tuscany on honeymoon next week.

Square Chapel director David McQuillan said: “At Square Chapel we just love it when people come together, it is central to our vision; whether that’s a performer and an audience, sharing food and drink or – like this weekend – two people bringing their friends and family together and entering into a beautiful union.

“We were thrilled that Andrew and Jessica chose us for their spectacular wedding this weekend, we are lucky to have such a fantastic building so it makes a really fitting venue where people can celebrate their day preceded by centuries of history of other unions and celebrations.”