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Deaf bride asks if she's wrong to have ceremony in ASL instead of English.

Deaf bride asks if she's wrong to have ceremony in ASL instead of English.


While weddings start off as beautiful, flower-filled, open bar-fueled ceremonies to celebrate a couple's commitment to each other with their closest family and friends, sometimes the planning process can bring out the worst in everyone...

Finding out how your family really feels about your style, taste, or your relationship with your partner can be difficult when you've already mailed out your 'will you be my bridesmaid' care packages or put a deposit on a destination bachelorette party Airbnb.

So, when a bride decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole?' about her decision to have her wedding ceremony in ASL, people were there to help parse out a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for Having my Wedding Ceremony in Sign Language?

I'm (24F) deaf and growing up my parents got me bilateral cochlear implants and forced me into mainstream school, never taught me sign language and never immersed me into my culture as a deaf person. They were actually pretty against me using ASL at all. Well I took ASL in high school against my parents wishes and then got into a deaf university.

Although I couldn't sign fluently when I started, I finally felt accepted and understood, the deaf community was nothing but welcoming. I became fluent in ASL after a few months and stopped wearing my processors completely as there was no need for them any more. I honestly didn't realize how alone I had felt until I didn't feel that way anymore.

I also met my fiance at college, he is from a very large family of deaf people. Everyone he knows even in his far extended family is deaf, HOH, CODA or SODA and everyone is fluent in sign. I love his family so much.

We've been together for 4 years now, he proposed last may. We've been planning the wedding and decided to have it fully in ASL, the pastor at our churches deaf program agreed to do the ceremony. My extended family of hearing people is very small, just my mom, my dad, my sister, my brothers, my aunt, my uncle and my cousin (my cousin is learning sign). Whereas my fiancé's huge extended family who are all deaf or sign fluently will be there and most of our friends are deaf or know sign.

We decided to get an interpreter for the hearing people, though, so they'd know what was going on. Our wedding is in August so we just sent the invites. The invite mentions that it will be in ASL but will have an interpreter for those who are 'Signing impaired' which is kinda just a joke.

But my mom started texting me and tried to convince me that it should be in English and have an ASL interpreter. I feel like it's our wedding so we should have it in our first language, but my mom thinks that we are in America so English should be the first language and anyone who doesn't choose to 'get cured' (Get an implant) should get an interpreter.

She also said it was disrespectful to say 'Signing impaired' I don't think she realizes the irony as she always refers to me as hearing impaired. During the entire conversation she kept repeating that 'I should have never let you go to that school.'

My mom also says that the deaf people should be used to having interpreters whereas she's never had one before so it will make it harder to understand. AITA here? Should I just have the ceremony in English because I guess that's the more normal way of communication even though we consider sign our primary language?

Later, she edited the post to include:

Edit to clarify some things:

I can't cut off my parents as I'm currently helping pay for my little brother to go to a school for autistic kids. We can't sign and speak at the same time. The pastor and my fiancé can't speak, I can but choose not to unless I absolutely have to.

My parents didn't only not learn ASL, but they explicitly prevented me from it growing up. We lived in Austin, Texas my whole childhood and there was a school for the deaf 10 minutes from our house but they specifically said they would never let me go there.

(Adding this later) Exact words from the invite 'Reception will be held in ASL, English interpreters will be provided for the 'signing impaired'.' I literally put it in quotations.

The deaf community didn't indoctrinate me into not wearing my processors, I just started using ASL more and more and then I needed a surgery to adjust the implant but I decided to just not get the surgery and stop wearing them, there was no real point in it and I didn't feel like getting an unnecessary surgery.

To those of you questioning and even mad at me for not wanting to wear implants, you don't hear normally. Like a lot of people say things like 'Don't you want to hear music? or Birds chirping?' Music through CI's suck at least for me, even when I used to wear CI's all the time I would take them off to listen to music. And no, background noise like birds chirping makes it harder for the microphone to pickup other noises like people talking.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say:

NTA (Not the As*hole)! Not even close! Why should the couple getting married need a translator to understand their own ceremony to appease a few of the attendees?!? That is ridiculous. It would be like having a bride and groom who are hearing (LOVE the 'sign impaired' joke!) that speak English have their ceremony done in French, which they don't speak, because a handful of attendees don't speak English.

When you take ASL out of the mix, it sounds ridiculous. Why is ASL any different? IMHO your mom has issues with you being deaf and bigger issues now that you have found your community to which she does not belong. That is toxic and I would not cater to it. - WineOrDeath

Hard to understand? The interpreter is literally going to be speaking a language she understands so she can understand it. She’s already an A for how she treated you growing up and not even learning any sign when her kid is Deaf and now this? NTA - salukiqueen

Oh my gosh. I can't even. NTA obviously. 'I can hear fine so you should get an interpreter because I feel like it would be an inconvenience to me to have to listen to translation at your wedding.' - roselle3316

NTA. Your wedding, your choice. I think it sounds great. Your family were never accommodating of your needs yet you're still being accommodating to them by providing an interpreter. I'd be tempted to veto the interpreter completely and force them to learn some basic ASL if they want to be included, much like you were forced to fend for yourself in an ASL impaired school and household, but hey that's just the petty as*hole in me talking. - Dont-trust-it

As a fellow deaf person I am deeply offended by your mum. NTA. It's your day to do as you wish. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to come - Krysenti

NTA...Firstly it's your day to have however you want. More importantly, it makes total sense to have your ceremony in your language. Your parents are looking down on your culture and community as a deaf person after making you feel foreign for a good portion of your life. Hopefully they will come out of this more educated and enlightened people. - RoyallyOakie

NTA. Now your mom gets to know what it's like to be you. Deaf people deal with this every day of their lives. Every single day deaf people attend functions where they feel left out because nobody thought to get an interpreter for them because 99% of the guests are hearing. Well, your wedding is the opposite and you have chosen to cater to the majority of your guests, who are all deaf.

At least you're kind enough to get them an interpreter. Your mom had your entire life to learn ASL. Instead, she chose to try and force her child into being 'normal'. This is entirely on her. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for your family. - SevsMumma

So, there you have it!

Everyone agreed across the board that this bride wouldn't be wrong at all to have her entire ceremony be in ASL with an interpreter for the 'signing impaired,' although she should probably have a discussion with her mom about her hurtful thoughts regarding the school she met her future husband and the deaf community in general. Good luck, everyone!

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