Kristin and Donald got married last Saturday at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca and what a wonderful day it was. It would have been nice had the weather cooperated and been as warm as it was earlier in the week but alas, we live in Chicago.

Despite the chill in the air and a little rain the reception was a great party. A few things were different from a typical MDM wedding reception though. The first thing was that when the bride and groom were introduced there was very little cheering and hand clapping. This wasn’t because the couple’s friends and family weren’t enthusiastic, quite the contrary actually, but because the couple was deaf. Instead of clapping your hands together for applause, deaf people throw their hands up in the air and shake them. There were definitely a lot of hands up in the air shaking vigorously as Kristin and Donald entered the room!

At first having a DJ for a deaf wedding may seem a bit of a contradiction. I can assure you that is far from the case. I have had the pleasure of entertaining for several weddings in the Chicago area where the bride and groom have been deaf and they have always turned out to be great parties with packed dance floors.

For the most part the reception follows the same format with all of the standard wedding traditions. Organizing and coordinating a normal wedding reception can be challenging to say the least, it becomes even more so when many of the guests and wedding party cannot hear. It is nothing an experienced wedding DJ can’t handle though.

The major addition to a deaf wedding would be the incorporation of sign language interpreters to aid the DJ in making announcements and introductions and to assist those guests who do not know sign language.

Another addition is the use of lighting to make the wedding visually stunning. The lighting for Kristin and Donald’s reception included fuscia uplighting around the tent and a custom monogram of the bride and groom’s name on the dance floor. To get everyone’s attention we had our intelligent lights programmed to flash on the dance floor to draw attention to the interpreter who we would then spotlight.

The interpreters were stationed around the room so that they could see the people speaking and most of the crowd. They would then interpret both ways so that everyone understood the toasts, prayer and any announcements.

During dinner when the crowd wanted to see the bride and groom kiss instead of clinking their glasses they would twirl their napkins in the air. This was a lot of fun and I caught myself doing it several times. I hate clinking glasses at a reception!

When it came time for the Bride and Groom’s first dance the interpreter was standing by to sign the lyrics of the song to the Kristin and Donald. This was a really nice gesture and you could see it meant a lot to them. The interpreters did the same for the parent’s dances. It was really touching to see how the lyrics meant so much to the parents as well.

Then we got everyone out on the dance floor and started the party. It was incredible to see such a packed dance floor all night. It is a common misconception that deaf people don’t dance! For the dancing portion of the reception the only thing different we did was to bring out extra subwoofers so there was more bass to feel.

It was a wonderful evening and I have to thank the interpreters Rita and Gail and the wonderful staff at the Eaglewood Resort (especially Maureen the Catering Manager and Alan the Banquet Captain) for helping make such a great event for Donald and Kristin.

I also have to mention how great the photographers Bobbi and Mike were to work with. I am not sure how Kristin and Donald found them but they drove all the way from Indianapolis for the wedding.

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