'We even made the rings'
Karen and Yvette had a civil partnership but later married in 2018, after same-sex marriage was legalised. Here they describe their wedding and how it felt to be involved in making their wedding rings.
TRANSCRIPTYL: And on a happy note, now because of all the laws that have been passed and we have rights and stuff, I’ve been happily married to Karen, my partner, and we’ve been together now for 14 years. We had a civil partnership when they first came out – that was, was it eight years ago?
YL: Ten, ten years we’ve done the civil partnership, and this year we actually changed the civil partnership to marriage, so – cos at the time the marriage wasn’t on offer, y’know when civil partnerships, so yes, so even though my life can be y’know, I am happily married to a nice, lovely woman.
RL: Where did you have your civil partnership?
YL: The first one we had it at Park Plaza in the town centre, and we were one of the first ones they actually held there. We actually had the ceremony there and everything: the meal and stuff, and it was the first one they ever did, so they were quite pleased about that. And then when we got married it was Haley’s Hotel in Headingley, and we got a – what would you-?
Karen: Well it was a complete wedding package, so we had the whole of the hotel.
YL: Yes, but the person that done it –
Karen: The wedding coordinator?
YL: No the one that done the ceremony.
Karen: Oh, the celebrant! Louisa!
YL: The celebrant, yeah – we didn’t get – we could’ve had them at Town Hall to come, but it was too expensive, so we decided to go down the route that we felt comfortable, and we had a celebrant came, and it was like a hand fasting kind of blessing that we had, wasn’t it? I mean, we still changed, had to go to the registry office and get our certificates changed from civil partnership to marriage, and we got them both, but it’s nice to say, ‘ah, we’ve done both!’ Not many people can say that, that they’ve done both, y’know, it was a nice ceremony, wasn’t it – not many people know about y’know this option that you can have, y’know everybody thinks that it’s gotta be kind of religious or y’know you’ve got to have, somebody from Town Hall to do it, y’know, but no there is other options out there y’know, it was quite good, wasn’t it?
Karen: Everybody enjoyed it.
YL: Everybody enjoyed it. And they said it was a beautiful service and they wished that they knew, when they got married, that cos they woulda done it, y’know, and this couple of people said that if they were thinking of getting married, they probably woulda done as well, y’know – it’s not just marriages she does, it’s christenings and name ceremonies she does, funerals as well. Louise Star.
Karen: Louisa Star.
YL: Yeah, that’s her name.
Karen: We even, we put it live on Facebook, cos we got family in Australia who couldn’t make it, so they watched it in Australia. And then family in Wales were watching it on Facebook, as well.
YL: And the rest of Facebook, that were our friends.
Karen: Our friends and everybody watched it, so it was quite an event, wasn’t it?
RL: What did you wear?
YL: I wore a suit, a grey suit, and we had a – one of the friends, one of our friends made our shirts – we designed our own purple shirts. So it was like in a silky –
Karen: It was satin.
YL: Satin, silky thing, it were gorgeous.
Karen: And I was in an ivory trouser suit. With the same shirt, but a different design.
YL: We even made the rings. We actually went to a jewellers that made the rings and we helped the beginning process of melting the gold and then stretching it out, twisting it together, cos there’s three different types of gold in the rings, and flattening it out.
Karen: They were rings that we’d inherited, weren’t they? That we recycled.
YL: Yeah, from Karen’s parents, mum, and my mum. So it’s kinda like they’re quite incentive to us really aren’t they. You’ve got the history there, y’know – our mums used to wear the rings and now they’ve been melted down and made into two beautiful wedding bands, y’know, and a lot of people love ‘em, y’know they can’t believe, y’know – and it’s nice to know that we actually did some work for it, y’know, we melted the gold down and done all the bits that we had to do, y’know, it just made you feel better and part of it, y’know – special, yeah, made it feel like it’s last forever. So, and they’re worth quite a lot of money [laughs].