An American couple who studied together at the University of St Andrews have made history by getting married in Scotland’s first legal Jewish same-sex wedding.
The wedding of Jennifer Andreacchi and her partner Han Smith, both originally from New Jersey, took place at Lower College Hall in St Andrews.
It was officiated by leading Liberal Jewish rabbi Mark Solomon.
Falling in love
Jennifer, 25, who is publicity and marketing officer at Edinburgh-based independent publisher Birlinn Ltd, and Han, 26, who is a doctoral student in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Edinburgh, met aged 18 while studying at the College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
It was when they studied abroad together at the University of St Andrews in 2018, however, that they fell in love with Scotland and dreamed of calling it home permanently one day.
“Something so special about our relationship is how we grew up together,” explained Jennifer, who completed an English literature postgraduate MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender at the University of St Andrews in September 2021.
“We faced the challenges of new adulthood as well as specific issues as an LGBT+ couple in the world, and through it all, we always chose each other.
“We even studied abroad together at the University of St Andrews in 2018, and that was when we fell in love with Scotland and dreamed of calling it home permanently one day.
“That’s one of the reasons why having the first LGBT+ Jewish wedding in Scotland is so incredible.
“I feel like being a part of Scotland’s history is a way to give back to this amazing place we now call home.
“Our wedding felt like the culmination of so many dreams coming true, and I feel so lucky that it all worked out the way it did.
“At 18, I don’t think Han or I could’ve fully imagined the beautiful Jewish wedding and life we built together here in Scotland.”
Han, who immigrated to Scotland with Jennifer in August 2020, reiterated what Jennifer said.
“The first four years of our relationship were largely spent in Williamsburg, Virginia,” they said.
“However, the semester we spent in St Andrews changed the course of our relationship and lives.
“We discovered what it feels like to fall in love with not just a person but also a place.
“St Andrews has been this contemplative, expansive, romantic location for us in which we were able to explore our hopes and dreams as people and a couple.
“As a patrilineal Jew – a person with Jewish ancestry through my father – and the child of a mother with Scottish ancestry, it was powerful and significant to me that I could be part of the first queer, Jewish wedding in Scotland.
“Sharing this experience with my now-wife, best friend and favourite person, Jen, has been an adventure for which I’m incredibly grateful.”
Jennifer and Han belong to the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish community of Sukkat Shalom.