A New York Camp Wedding with an ASL Friendly Ceremony

With super cute pink heels and sleeping bags (AKA #glamping)

Diane, College english instructor & Andrew, High school teacher’s Aide

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: A weekend away at summer camp!

SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: “Woody Allen” by Allo Darlin’

coreytorpie - dianeandrew-54


Having all the people from all the different spheres of our lives together in one place. No matter what traditions you keep, what you reject, or how many bugs you find in your cabin, it’s the people who are there with you who shape the experience. And if there can be a bonfire, that doesn’t hurt, either.

Other Cool Stuff We Should KNow ABOUT

Because our guests were split in terms of language (American Sign Language for Andrew’s side, English for mine) it was important to us that everyone had equal access to everything that was going on; our wedding was conducted in both languages simultaneously, from beginning to end. We also decided early on that we wanted to have two officiants: a close friend of his and a close friend of mine. She spoke her portions and he signed his, and with the assistance of two wonderful interpreters, they put together a ceremony that was as sweet and salty as they are.

We eighty-sixed a lot of traditions because we were weary of those whose origins were steeped in inequality. My parents still walked me down the aisle because it was really important to my mom. We tweaked things a little by having both sets of Andrew’s parents stand up with him, so it was more a coming-together of families than “giving away the bride.” Another tradition we held onto was the maid of honor’s toast, and we’re really glad that we did because my sister’s speech is one of my favorite moments from the wedding. Unbeknownst to us, she enlisted a friend of ours to teach her how to sign so that she could address Andrew directly in his first language. The effort, respect, and love that went into that undertaking are something we will never forget.

ANything Else

In a weird way, we have Hurricane Sandy to thank for leading us to Baker Camp. Our friends were planning to have their wedding at the camp, but the grounds sustained a good deal of damage during the storm, and so they ended up changing their plans. By the time we were venue hunting, the camp had mostly recovered. The grounds and our ceremony site overlooking Lake Sebago were really pretty, and we later realized that my mother and uncle had gone to sleep-away camp around that same lake in the ’60s. The current caretaker of Baker Camp had been friendly with my great uncle! In addition to the natural beauty of the place, we loved the fact that our guests would have the option of staying in the on-site cabins all weekend long. We stayed in the cabins, too! It’s not everyone who can say they spent their wedding night in a sleeping bag.


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