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Deaf bride with BSL interpreter headache

Hi there- I'm a deaf bride and have a bit of trouble with sorting a BSL interpreter for my wedding and wonder if anyone out there knows more about these things or been in a similar situation??

Initially I started to make enquiries into costs and booking BSL interpreter. It won't just be for me but also my deaf friends who will be attending the wedding. I will want the interpreter for the ceremony in the church and then a few hours later for the speeches after the meal.

Some of the quoted prices have come out so expensive but an interpreter said that the church should pay for this as part of the DDA and making reasonable adjustments. I don't like asking for finacial help with anything but of there is money to cover this sort of thing then it would be a massive help. I spoke to a reverend who pretty much told there isn't any money anywhere for these sort of things- and started to make suggestions for other ways to make service accessable and alluding the fact that I don't need an interpreter just because I am able to communicate with a hearing person 1:1 well without BSL. I also feel a bit disheartened as I have emailed my vicar and not heard back from him at all. I havn't been demanding money for the interpreter just asking if I can chat about how to make the ceremony accessable for me & my deaf friends and mentioned having a BSL interpreter.

I just feel really sad and uncomfortable about the whole thing now. I just want to be able to follow of all things my own wedding ceremony and really worried about making a hash of my vows and spoiling the moment because I can't follow the vicar. But now I feel like there is no help for me and been made to feel like I am possibly being too demanding and need to set my sights to alternatives other than BSL inetrpreter. I attend the church I am getting married in regularly so don't want to sour relations withe vicar but still feel strongly that a a BSL interpreter in the only way I will understand everything being said at the ceremony. image I will end up paying what ever bill it ends up being for the interpreter but feel sad that I don't feel like I'm getting much useful help form the church with this.

Anyone going through or has been through similar prob and what did you do?


  • MrsPLMrsPL Posts: 417

    I am in a similar situation but I am hearing and my h2b is Deaf. I am a trainee interpreter myself and a lot of our friends are interpreters so we are lucky and have 2 lovely friends doing the service and speeches etc as a wedding gift. We are just paying for their hotel rooms so that they don't have any expenses to pay. I completely agree that the church should organise something - we had similar issue with the registry office who said asked if I could interpret the ceremony myself (!!!!) or ask a family member to fill H2B in on what was happening!!! Although it's wrong sometimes it's less stressful to try and sort something out yourself - do you have any interpreter friends who would help you out?

    If not why don't you advertise on Deaf jobs UK and try find someone who is registered but would like wedding experience - maybe you could just pay expenses for them? I know a few people who would probably be happy to help you out and in fact I would be happy to help myself as long as you would be happy with a trainee?

    message me on here and I can email you xxxxxxx
  • AlibuzzAlibuzz Posts: 27
    Wow thanks so much - I would definatly be interested talking some more about possibilities you/people you know helping out. (You can email me on [email protected]) Of course I am happy to pay expenses etc. What part of the country are you in? I am base in Oxfordshire, also where the wedding will be.

    I will have a look at Deaf jobs. I friend of mine is also going to ask her work interpreter if she may be able to help with a 'mates rate' sort of thing but I am not sure what will come of that??

    It's shocking the suggestions the regestry office made for you to interpret for your partner- it's your wedding too!! I am forever frustrated with people making poor suggestions when we are in the best position to say what is needed and will work.
  • mhaslbmhaslb Posts: 48
    I went to a wedding where there was a BSL interpreter who came with the registrar. If you have a civil ceremony they have to provide you with that service if you require it. I don't know about religious ceremonies.

    Do you have a friend that you could involve in the wedding in this way? A good friend would most likely be happy to be asked and cost you nothing.
  • AlibuzzAlibuzz Posts: 27
    Thanks but all my friends who know BSL are deaf themselves so not in a position to interpret the wedding.

    Im still not getting much luck getting to the church to help me out here so I am taking matters into my own hands...Currently waiting out to hear if a deaf friend of mines interpreter from work happy to do it for me.

    I'm just annoyed the church have no clear guidlines son these kind of things, that would save me a lot of walking on egg shells and awkwardness asking if there is money & support for this sort of thing.
  • mhaslbmhaslb Posts: 48
    I'm guessing that they have never been asked before and don't really know what to do.

    I'm sure that they should provide you with the service for free, they have to provide reasonable access to people with disabilities and I would have thought that this comes under that bracket.

    What type of church is it? CofE, Catholic etc?
  • You may wish to look at a disabled friendly hotel who are used to dealing with a wide range of issues such as this e.g Windermere Manor Hotel Lake District.
  • Hello,


    I am an RSLI (registered sign language interpreter) and I have interpreted many weddings, some for free for close friends and some paid for by the family or another source where I don't know the couple.  Registry Offices are part of the council and they would supply an interpreter for any other service that the public needed to access.  Churches are a bit different though - they do come under the Equality Act as responsible for making areasonable adjustment - after all they provide loop systems for hearing aid wearers - they just always seem to refuse to accept their obligation.


    I'm not sure how much you have been quoted for an interpreter - if you go via an agency then that is always much more expensive because there will be a booking fee and usually VAT.  Go to interpreters directly, they are always cheaper and most don't earn enough to be VAT registered so no VAT.  For a qualified interpreter you should expect to pay around £35 per hour.  The interpreter will also need to prep your special day to make sure that all you guests have access and they may charge to prep.  They will charge mileage but the more local you go for then the cheaper that is.

    Hope that helps you


  • I wanted interpreter for my wedding because only seven months time this year! I can't found any special BSL interpreter and some vicar who can sign too. Please give email to me. My email is [email protected] or phone number give to my further mother in law want to help for me. Many thanks 

    Julie Sloane-Bulger's mobile number- 07787 175227 or [email protected]

  • LoveShoesLoveShoes Posts: 67

    If you're interested in getting married in Italy.  Lisa is a sign language interpreter and a wedding planner.  She's interested in helping Deaf couples get married abroad


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