By Luke Kenton
This heartwarming moment left not a dry eye in the room, when a loving bride stunned her deaf husband-to-be, by signing her wedding song.
Since meeting one another two years ago, Elizabeth and Scott Shoesmith’s romance has been something of a fairytale, they said, but before tying the knot, the 41-year-old bride had a very special serenade in store for her deaf husband-to-be.
Learning sign language shortly after she began dating Scott, Liz was worried the meaning of her emotive wedding song – Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ – would be lost through lip reading.
Instead, the non-profit CEO taught herself the lyrics and gestures in the months leading up to her big day at Zest Waterfront at The Spit, in Sydney, Australia.
Elizabeth said: “Scott just burst into tears when he saw me.
“He has watched the video back at least 100 times now.
“I wanted to surprise him and he had no idea I was going to sign during the ceremony.”
The happy couple met on Tinder two years ago, and Elizabeth started learning sign language as soon as they began dating.
Scott began losing his hearing at the age of five and was profoundly deaf by the age of eight.
After extensive speech therapy, Scott can speak extremely well; however, Elizabeth was concerned the meaning of her song choice would be lost via lip reading.
She said: “I did some research and found that on average deaf people only comprehend about 60% of what is being said via lip reading.
“So, learning Auslan has been really important.
“I started learning the song three months out from the wedding.
“Shortly before the wedding I sent a video of myself practicing to one of Scott’s friends who is an interpreter, and he checked it for me.
“Every time I had practised it leading up to the day I would make mistakes or go blank.
“But when I was left at the top of the aisle and locked eyes with Scott, I didn’t look away.
“It honestly felt like we were the only ones in the room.”
The doting mum-of-two is the CEO of The Inclusive Foundation, a not-for-profit with the mission of creating a world where everyone is included through organisational assessment, government and agency partnership, social change, and advocacy and empowerment of others.
Elizabeth said: “In simple terms, I want to be rid of all the labels and lift the conversation and social change up a level.
“It should not be a solo fight for disability, LGBTI, gender, age, ethnicity, or religion inclusion.
“We need to simply create a world where everyone is included.
“So as a professional business transformation consultant I plan to transfer those skills to social transformation.
“I am currently seeking corporate partnerships.”