“Even though Scott is deaf, I have never felt more heard in my life. For every joy he has brought into my life over the last two years, I wanted to surprise him with my entrance”—Elizabeth Shoesmith.
Elizabeth was “terrified” before she was about to walk down the aisle to meet her groom, Scott Shoesmith, on Jan. 26, 2018, she wrote of her experience, which was published by Love What Matters. The reason was that she had a surprise for him—to use sign language to convey the lyrics from the love song “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.
“It was a complete surprise for him and everyone else in the room,” Elizabeth told news.com.au.
Scott has been deaf since childhood, and Elizabeth started learning Australian Sign Language (Auslan) after meeting him two years prior to their wedding on a dating app.
“Every time I had practiced it leading up to the day I would make mistakes or go blank,” she said. However, on the wedding day, “I locked eyes with Scott and didn’t look away.”
“I honestly felt like we were the only ones in the room. The moment I began signing the words to the song he burst into tears—apparently the rest of the guests did too, but because I was focused on Scott I had no idea.”
Bride signs wedding song to her deaf husband 💖
Posted by Storytrender on Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Hundreds of thousands of people have since watched Elizabeth’s touching tribute, and the couple has been receiving lots of messages of gratitude.
“I have received so many private messages from people around the world telling me how the video impacted them,” Elizabeth said. “My favorites have been from parents of children with disabilities, saying I have given them hope that one day they will find love.”
“They are even sending me photos of their beautiful children.”
Elizabeth said that she learned the Auslan alphabet— the sign language of the Australian Deaf community—when she was 7 years old from the kids program Cartoon Connection but never had a chance to put it to use.
“But I knew nothing more—so I am completely self-taught since meeting Scott,” she said.
She said that learning Auslan is important.
“I did some research and found that on average (most deaf people) only comprehend about 60 per cent of what is being said with lip reading, so learning Auslan has been really important,” she explained.
“Not enough people know it—we should be teaching Auslan as a language in all schools … it’s an Australian language.”
Elizabeth also shared that if we look at things without discrimination, we might “see beauty in everything and everyone.”