Signing up to share our lives together

A marriage ceremony with a difference took place at Hutton Cranswick on Saturday when a couple exchanged their vows in sign language.

Peter and Claire Beatty (nee Johnston) were married at St Peter’s Church where a professional sign language interpreter was present.

Deaf couple Peter Beatty and Claire Johnston who got married at St Peter's Church Hutton, The Service was conducted by the Rev'd Brian Lees - Picures By Mike Barnard of Images Photographers, Bridlington.

Deaf couple Peter Beatty and Claire Johnston who got married at St Peter's Church Hutton, The Service was conducted by the Rev'd Brian Lees - Picures By Mike Barnard of Images Photographers, Bridlington.

The church service saw the interpreter translating everything Rev Brian Lees said into sign language for Claire and Peter, as well as guests who were also deaf.

Claire’s mother, Francis Johnston, of Reynard Close, who also signs for the newlyweds, said: “It was a really, really nice service.

“Because a marriage certificate is a legal document, we needed to have an authorised sign language interpreter present to oversee the service.

“We had to find an appropriate person to make sure the service was legal.”

Claire and Peter, who were born deaf, first met each other at Doncaster College for the Deaf in 1999 where they remained friends before going their separate ways from one another after finishing their courses.

Paul, who is originally from Leek in Staffordshire,said: “I was doing a bricklaying course and Claire was completing her sport qualification.

“We were friends at college but after that we finished our courses lost contact for a few years.”

But through the power of social media, the pair were reunited once again and started to see each other as friends before their relationship progressed to something more special.

Claire said; “We met again as friends in 2007 and got together as a couple three years ago and Paul eventually proposed to me!”

Despite their condition, the couple said they live a completely normal life, but it has been made substantially better by social media and improving technology,

Claire said: “We only ever need help from other family members for things like doctors appointments and newspaper interviews!

“Other than that we live lives like any other couple would.

Francis added: “The people of Hutton Cranswick have been so good to Claire and Paul for accepting them into the community.

“They really have been amazing and we are very grateful to them. “

For their honeymoon the newlyweds are headed for America to spend three nights in New York followed by four nights in Las Vegas.