aHs
Devoted August 2016

ASL Interpreter

aHs, on April 2, 2015 at 11:21 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 2 17
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My FH's aunt is deaf, so we're looking into hiring a sign language interpreter. We have lots of resources locally, but we're having a destination wedding. We're hoping one of her friends is able to travel with her, but will need to hire an interpreter otherwise.

I'm wondering if anyone else has used an interpreter at their wedding events and if you have any advice? We're planning to hire someone for at least the ceremony and start of the reception (~3 hours). Ideally, we'd have someone for the entire evening, but the expense may make that difficult.

Our wedding will be on Jekyll Island, Georgia should anyone happen to know an ASL interpreter in the area.

17 Comments

Latest activity by Tracie, on July 30, 2021 at 3:53 PM
  • Katy
    Master September 2015
    Katy ·
    • Flag

    Try Purple Communications:

    https://www.purple.us/

    I've used them several times and I think they can accommodate a range of needs.

    • Reply
  • M
    Master August 2015
    Mrs Cheapskate ·
    • Flag

    I would suggest going on the local Georgia board, as well as the local Georgia FB wedding site and ask there. Thats how I found my amazing seamstress in my area.

    • Reply
  • MS4
    Super September 2015
    MS4 ·
    • Flag

    It's wonderful that you're being so accommodating! It might be worth doing the math and offering to supplement your aunt's travel plans by the amount you would budget for an interpreter, so a friend of hers would be more likely to be able to attend. She'd probably enjoy spending the event with someone she knows and likes rather than a random interpreter.

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  • Katy
    Master September 2015
    Katy ·
    • Flag

    Just FYI - It's not the best to use a friend as an interpreter. I mean, you CAN ask your aunt if she has ideas or a preferred service provider though.

    It's approximately $50 an hour to hire an interpreter and I think it's a nice thing to do for the entire evening, even if your aunt does have other people to talk to.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I can't help you in GA, but if anyone needs one in NJ/NY, I have a bride who does this.

    • Reply
  • aHs
    Devoted August 2016
    aHs ·
    • Flag

    Thanks all for the great suggestions! I didn't realize there were location-specific board, so that really helps!

    I hear ya @MS4, we're hoping someone from her local deaf club will be able to travel to the wedding, so she will be comfortable.

    I'm finding rates more at the $100+/hour mark @Katy. She's still welcome to bring a guest, but we'd also like to have an interpreter so she can interact with everyone and not just her guest or the few people that know sign language. We had someone come for her father's funeral and it was the most amazing experience for me - to finally hear her "voice" more than the few words we can usually manage.

    • Reply
  • Angie
    VIP August 2015
    Angie ·
    • Flag

    You should check with local (where your wedding is) colleges. I took ASL in college and my professor interpreted on the side.

    • Reply
  • Jamgirl
    VIP July 2015
    Jamgirl ·
    • Flag

    Try HLAA (Hearing loss association of America), they are nationwide and will have a lot of resources for you there, you might be able to find an interpreter. Also they might be able to help you co-ordinate with a company that provides TTY services, where the words shows up on a screen as you speak. I think that's great that you're providing this service for your FH's aunt.

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  • Dr. & Mrs. R
    Devoted June 2015
    Dr. & Mrs. R ·
    • Flag

    You could reach out to the local hospitals. I work around Chicago and all the hospitals I've been to have language services. Maybe they could refer you to someone.

    • Reply
  • aHs
    Devoted August 2016
    aHs ·
    • Flag

    Thanks, @Angie and @Jamgirl! Those are great ideas! I'm seeing a lot of remote interpreting through video, but can't imagine how that would work in a social setting. We communicate a lot through text, so we were also going to bring a couple iPods so she could interact with guests that way too - hoping they're small and light enough that it won't be obtrusive or awkward.

    • Reply
  • Katy
    Master September 2015
    Katy ·
    • Flag

    Interpreters in the DC area have been far more expensive than the ones we've hired before. The one we hired for my wedding was $75 an hour (a pretty good rate for this area) through Purple. When we hired an interpreter in Florida and Texarkana, it was much cheaper though. We were able to hire through a local company. I hope you find something! Just use Google ("deaf services") and ask around. I know for my sister it's priceless to her to have someone professional with her so she can have a good time and no one in the family ends up having to interpret for her.

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  • aHs
    Devoted August 2016
    aHs ·
    • Flag

    @Katy, thanks for the tips and I'm so glad to hear it worked so well for your family. Do you mind me asking when you had the interpreter come? We're thinking the ceremony and reception, but aren't sure about having someone for the rehearsal and the afternoon while we're all getting ready. The cost will end up dictating how much we can do, but I'm wondering if there were any specific times that you wished you had someone/were thankful that you did have the interpreter.

    • Reply
  • P
    Just Said Yes July 2015
    Private User ·
    • Flag

    Hi aHs

    I want to first thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing an interpreter for your friend! I experienced my first wedding last year. It was in my family. I thought everything was good but they ended up not paying for the interpreter and making me do so disregarding my explanations about deaf wedding equitte. It was all very sad that I failed somehow and that they took that view on it.

    I'm so glad you are viewing it as a way for guests & you to interact with her and vice versa! Interpreters are there for both sides Smiley smile

    I wanted to reply to your last question about the rehearsal or specific times. Ceremony and the beginning of the reception are great to have interperts ( if you had to pick beg or end of reception for interpreter, pick whichever time you're planning to do the toasts. ). I assume she, like I was, in the wedding party. So YES definitely will need an interpreter for the wedding rehearsal. That is when lots of talking is going on, instructions, figuring out when to do things and it's nice to be able to contribute to solutions! It's also good for the interpreter because they'll know beforehand what's being said, (if you have pre-written text the pastor will be saying please give a copy to interpreter to study beforehand) and the set up of the wedding.

    Also when Jamgirl says TTY service she is actually referring to CART service. It's a live physically present person that types what's being said. It is used in courts a lot. Interpreter is better if you can get that because you move around a lot in weddings. The reception might work though, but make sure it's okay with the deaf person, she may understand ASL better than text.

    Anyhow, good luck and a big thank you for your thoughtfulness! You warmed my heart today.

    • Reply
  • P
    Just Said Yes July 2015
    Private User ·
    • Flag

    As for times when I didn't need an interpreter;

    --During dressing prep. I thought there would be lots of talking but really it was every women for herself in getting ready on time. The talking related to getting ready was between the girls helping each other so it was one on one. I was fortunate in that the girls were fairly easy to lip read. (the interpreter floated in and out but mostly I didn't need her.)

    --During the reception *after* the toasts. It didn't really work out having an interpreter **for the social interaction part.** It was too loud for her to interpret social things. Also when I was at the head table and she was at the nearest table, I couldn't talk with the other bridesmaids because of course the interp didn't have super powers hearing from that far away! Smiley smile Still she did her best. I just wish we had planned the logistics of where the interpreter would be instead of just winging it.

    • Reply
  • B
    Just Said Yes March 2017
    Brooke ·
    • Flag

    My future mother in law teaches the deaf and hard of hearing in Glynn County where Jekyll Island is located. She and her team of interpreters would be glad to assist you.

    • Reply
  • E
    Just Said Yes June 2019
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Hi! I know this is late, but I am looking for an ASL interpreter for my sister (MOH) for my wedding June 1, in Hackettstown NJ.
    • Reply
  • T
    Just Said Yes March 2022
    Tracie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I'm looking for an interpreter for my son and future daughter in law's wedding. Both of my future DIL's parents are deaf and this is one of our gifts to them. We don't want her parents to miss out on anything. I'm on Long Island. Can I please have that contact information?

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