Cait Phillips and Becca Hewitt
As Paul and I start planning our (ethical) wedding later this year, I thought it would be helpful to chat to my sister, Cait, and her partner, Rebecca, about their wedding.
Cait: I never thought I’d get married, partly because the option wasn’t always available. Also Becca and I were in a committed relationship anyway, so we didn’t feel any particular need to get married.
Becca: But then new laws came in recognising same sex marriage. And they signified such a milestone shift in attitudes, there was an element of feeling that we should get married because now we could. However, by far the most important aspect of getting married was celebrating our relationship with family and friends.
Cait: We both love the area where we live in North Yorkshire, so we wanted everything possible to be sourced locally (food, drink, accommodation . . .). We chose the house at Hazel Brow Farm in Low Row, Swaledale for the wedding party (and for our families to stay); partly because Cathy, the owner, couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly.
Becca: Importantly it was also dog friendly! And Swaledale is a stunning part of the Dales where we’ve both spent many happy times.
Becca: We chose tweed as a theme for both our wedding outfits because we love the look of it, and also because it’s such an important industry in the Yorkshire Dales. And Yorkshire has such stunning landscapes we wanted the colour theme to reflect the colours of the dales: the purples, mauve and greens of heather and moss.
Cait: Cost was a bit of an issue – we didn’t want to spend lots of money but, obviously, we wanted special outfits for such a celebratory occasion. Though we were also looking for ‘smart casual’ clothes that we could wear afterwards, not just for one day. We didn’t mind if the clothes were new or not. In fact, Becca’s whole outfit was sourced from eBay.
Becca: I bought the cord waistcoat a long time ago. The rest of my outfit was built around the waistcoat.
Cait: Becca’s white shirt was a secondhand eBay purchase which I bought for myself; but it looked better on Becca so I gave it to her. I bought her cufflinks on eBay a while ago; and they just happened to match her outfit.
Cait – I wanted to wear a smart tweed suit. And, because I wanted to acknowledge a Jewish family heritage (on my father’s side), I managed to find a Jewish family-run tailors near Leeds. I commissioned a trouser and waistcoat combo. Unfortunately, it turned out they didn’t have much experience with tailoring for women, so it was challenging to agree on a suitable design and fabric. In the end I had to adjust the trousers myself and discard the waistcoat.
With hindsight, I’d have talked to the Barefoot Shepherdess. Alison O’ Neill is a shepherdess, walkers’ guide, farmer, writer and fashion designer who believes in ‘working with the landscape and not against it’. Her clothes aren’t cheap but they’re beautiful.
Cait: I wore second-hand Alice Temperley boots, again from eBay. They were described online as ‘clotted cream’ colour which sold it to me. They’re beautifully made, in soft Italian leather.
Becca: Neither of us are particularly interested in designer clothes, but we love the craftsmanship of a good pair of brogues.
Cait: I think these boots might have been worn for a wedding before, so I might put them back on eBay. I like the idea that they could be used over and over again for different weddings.