When 41-year-old Elizabeth Shoesmith walked down the aisle on her wedding day, she had a beautiful surprise in store for her husband-to-be who is deaf. As "1000 Years" by Christina Perri filled the room, Elizabeth signed the lyrics in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) to Scott Shoesmith, 38.
Elizabeth began to teach herself Auslan after meeting Scott, who has been deaf since he was 8 years old, on Tinder two years ago. During the ceremony, Scott was moved to tears by the touching gesture.
"Every time I had practiced it leading up to the day I would make mistakes or go blank — but when my son left me at the top of the aisle, I locked eyes with Scott and didn't look away. I honestly felt like we were the only ones in the room," Elizabeth told news.com.au. "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."
Watch the beautiful moment in the video below.
Elizabeth shared a video of the touching tribute to her husband on their wedding day on Facebook about a week ago. In that time, it's been viewed nearly 2 million times and has over 24,000 likes and almost 20,000 shares. "This is how I chose to honour my deaf husband at our wedding ceremony yesterday," she captioned in the video. "It was a magical moment and one neither of us will ever forget."
The newlywed couple didn't know their emotional moment would go viral, but they're happy to see how positive the response has been. Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of the Inclusive Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation aimed at creating a more inclusive world by prompting social change, advocacy, and empowerment. According to the foundation's website, she was inspired to start the organization after witnessing the discrimination and exclusion Scott faced as a deaf man. She hopes people moved by their wedding video will be motivated to do their part in making the world more inclusive for all.
"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 told Love What Matters. "He has re-watched the video a hundred times since and he still cries every time!"
Cover image via Unsplash