Aimee-Louise Harris didn’t know that the song she choose for her mother-daughter dance on her wedding day was also picked by her mom, as a special gift for her deaf daughter.
With a little planning, and a lot of practice, her mom shared a special sign language wedding message with her daughter to the lyrics of the song, “I Loved her First.”
The video, shared widely on Facebook, captures the emotional moment.
“I think she decided to sign a song to me as she knows its combines two of my favorite things, music and sign language.” says Aimee-Louise. “My mum raised me as a single parent and has always been there for me and put me first, so even the lyrics to this song meant a lot.”
The new bride is profoundly deaf and use a Phonak hearing aid alongside a cochlear implant.
“I normally communicate orally, but learned sign language before being implanted,” she says. “I had normal hearing up until I was 15, when I started losing my hearing due to a virus. By 17 I was profoundly deaf and I had a cochlear implant at 18.
“After my hearing loss, I started learning sign language to help with every day communication, but now I only tend to use it when I’m ill, as in my job as a secondary music school teacher I rely on using my hearing devices, and personal listening devices, such as the Phonak Inspiro and Phonak Roger Pen, in order to communicate effectively. I also used these devices to help me get my music degree from Cardiff University.”
Her husband, who can be seen sitting beside her in the video, has normal hearing, but works in the field, training teachers of the deaf. The two met on a hearing-loss community on Facebook, when they were both admins on the Facebook page, “Pimp My Hearing Aids,” where ideas are shared for decorating hearing aids.
And of course, she used her wedding day to show off her hearing technology.
“I love decorating my hearing aid and implant, so one of the first things that sprung to mind when planning the wedding was how I would decorate my aids to make them a feature on the day.”
The special adaptions, for both the bride and her several guests with a hearing loss, proved that with a few personal adaptions can make a big difference on a special day.
“Just little things like making sure the registrar was to my left, as I hear speech better out of that ear,” she says. “I also brought my own speakers and edited the music myself that I walked down the aisle to. This was incredibly important to me as after receiving my cochlear implant my aim was to be able to listen to Pachelbel’s Cannon. I was finally able to do this without reading a score, just by listening a year and a half ago.”