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Disabled wedding considerations

by | 2 July 2016 | Planning

Whether you are disabled yourself or you have disabled guests to consider, the challenges of a wheelchair-friendly wedding are not insurmountable. They just require a little bit of… creativity. And speaking generally, a little bit of creativity never hurts when it comes to a wedding.

Disabled equality is about creating environments and experiences that are seamlessly and unobtrusively accessible in a way that both disabled and non-disabled persons can appreciate. A wedding with a disabled groom or bride should be, as you’d expect, all about reducing any difficulties that they, as a disabled person, would usually confront. Meanwhile a wedding that invites guests using wheelchairs should seek to accommodate as best as is possible.

Obstacles

The most obvious of obstacles in terms of creating a wheelchair friendly wedding or hen/stag party, is accessibility. Can the disabled person in question get in and around the building easily? Are there ramps or lifts put in place to make moving around effortless?

The thing is, this sounds simple, but if it is any trouble at all getting in or around the building, it’s not good enough. Especially if the disabled person is the bride or groom. This is their day. You can’t be sitting in an accessibility lift for two minutes just to get up a small flight of stairs. That isn’t special.

Visiting the venue is a must. See first-hand how easy it is to get around each venue, make sure the people that own the venue really understand you and what you need, whether that is extra space between tables at the reception or a slightly larger aisle.

If you’re using a wheelchair and it’s your wedding, it may be worth trying to locate a venue that can host both your ceremony and reception just to limit the amount of moving you actually need to do during the day. Keep things close together and keep it nice and open.
bridal bouquet on wheelchair

On the Town

Stag or Hen parties for disabled couples or guests are tricky. Despite vast improvements in disabled access over the past couple of decades, a lot of improvements still remain to be made. Going out to pubs and clubs when you’re movement is restricted limits the amount of fun you can have too. Whilst it doesn’t seem right to concede defeat, sometimes it is better to put your money towards establishments who understand your condition. Eventually other places will catch on and realise that they are missing out on an important demographic of soon-to-be-weds.

Still, there are a number of activities that hens and stags can indulge in no-matter what their disabilities are. From specifically disabled access sailing trips and adventure camps with archery to cocktail mixology classes and a variety of chocolate-based goodness, the options available are far less restrictive than you might first imagine.

Most events coordinators at stag and hen party planners will be able to give you information on wheelchair access and the kind of activities you can get involved with. Some are definitely more helpful than others – it’s down to you to carve out activities that are best suited for your needs.
Wheelchair ramp sign

A Show of Character

Disabilities are huge barriers to overcome. Frankly, if you’re disabled, you don’t need me to tell you just how awesome and strong you are in order to go from day to day facing the obstacles that you face. You probably don’t really need me to tell you how to deal with accessibility. I’d be teaching you to suck eggs. However, I do feel I’m qualified to tell you not to settle. You will find a number of different options that bend to accommodate you, but is that good enough? Find somewhere that is made for you. This is your big day. You should get it made to fit.

If you know anyone who’s had a wheelchair-friendly or wheelchair-centric wedding, it’d be great to learn more about their experiences in putting together their wedding. You know what to do.

About the author

Paul Macklin

Paul is your friendly neighbourhood poet/cynic. He believes in story-telling, curiosity and peanut-butter sandwiches and he spends the vast majority of his time writing stuff. Paul learnt how to write stuff at Portsmouth University where he earned himself a Masters degree in writing stuff. Neat huh? Paul also hates writing in third person.

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Planning Disabled wedding considerations