Most brides want their wedding days to be memorable and will go to great lengths to find a one-of-a-kind dress, provide never-before-seen favors or memorize epic dance routines.
Bride Kelsey Kulick was no different. She wanted to provide an extra-special moment during the ceremony, a nod to her new in-laws.
Groom Michael Kulick’s parents, Paul and Gina, are deaf, as are several other family members. They communicate primarily through American Sign Language, and Kelsey quickly saw what a crucial part of their lives it was.
When Kelsey and Michael got engaged, she briefly mentioned the idea of signing her vows in ASL, just to see how Michael thought his family would feel about it.
He said they’d love it, and then promptly forgot about it.
But Kelsey didn’t. She didn’t bring it up again, either, hoping to keep it as much a surprise as possible — but she reached out to Michael’s Aunt Christy, who uses ASL to communicate with her deaf husband, and asked her to send her a video of herself signing the vows.
Christy was happy to help, and for months Kelsey memorized the signs.
When the wedding day came around on Nov. 13 at Gore Creek Wedding Venue in Boaz, Alabama, only a select handful knew about what Kelsey had planned.
It took Michael a moment to realize what was happening when she started to sign, but then it dawned on him and he teared up.
“This was important to me because this is their family’s way of communicating,” Kelsey later said, according to Daily Mail.
“Though I’m not fluent, I wanted to do it out of respect for them and to show them all that I love them and I’m so thankful that I get to be a part of their family,” she said.
“I was very nervous going into the vows portion of the ceremony because I wanted it to be perfect. But I had practiced so much and had even practiced multiple times only seconds before walking down the aisle.
“Once I began signing, it all just came naturally. Then seeing Michael’s reaction just made the moment even more special than I had ever imagined. Michael says he was very emotional and that it was a very special moment for him.
“I did get to ask my in-laws and they were happy about it. They still talk about how they loved that moment and they’re thankful that I made an effort.”
Kelsey told Southern Living that she plans to continue her education in ASL so that there are no barriers between her and her new family. She also wants to ensure that any future children learn ASL so they can communicate with their grandparents.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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