Nicole Cortez knew her father loved her but she never dreamt he would find such a moving way to express his feelings after she had walked down the aisle with her new husband.
When all the guests were assembled at the wedding reception, her father took to the stage for a performance of I Loved Her First, by Heartland. The song is all about a father’s love for his daughter and his mixed feelings as he watches her start a new life with her husband.
That in itself would have been enough to bring a tear to all the assembled but there was more.
Nicole works as a sign language interpreter for the deaf. To make sure he got his message across, her father spent a year learning how to sign the words of the song so Nicole would be in no doubt about his feelings and the effort he had put in for her.
It reduced the bride and groom, and most of the wedding guests, to unashamed tears of happiness.
At the end of the song, the father sends a light-hearted message to the groom saying, “I’m watching you”.
As a finale, he draws an imaginary circle around the bride and groom and makes a connected sign, signifying that the two are now joined, and perhaps also meaning that the groom is now part of the wider family.
Nicole said the song was a complete surprise and meant the world to her.
The video of the bitter-sweet performance is now taking YouTube by storm.
Watch the video here.