Wheelchair Wedding: How to Make your Wedding Accessible

Planning a wheelchair accessible wedding

You’re in love and planning a wedding. You’re just like so many other couples. So much to consider. There is a significant population of disabled brides and grooms out here. There are some extra things they need to consider when planning a wedding. These people are of all ages and economic situations. Disabled veterans, men and women, for instance.The chances that someone in your wedding party or on your guest list has some sort of a disability may be higher than you think.

Making your wedding comfortable and accessible to them will make it comfortable for everyone. A barrier-free wedding is a favor to everyone. Surprisingly few wedding books cover this situation.

Consider not just the bride, groom and wedding party but families and guests as well. Can you hold — or throw — a bouquet? Would a corsage of some kind be better for you or a bridesmaid? A basket of flowers?

The resources in this lens and those I hope to add, thanks in part to those of you reading sending in suggestions, should help a lot. There are several good sources out there and I’d like to have this lens serve not only as information in itself but as a portal to the other great resources already online.

Is the wedding outdoors? Is the reception in a location that may be difficult to get to in some way? How is the lighting? Think about everyone who’s been invited. If people are coming to stay in a hotel, particularly check out how accessible those facilities are. Some web sites for hotels or wedding venues are slow to list how accessible they are or could be if needed.

From what I’ve read, people tend to be concerned about dances, brides with their disabled dads for instance. Things have a way of working themselves out and sometimes being the most dear and memorable parts of the entire ceremony. See the video, for instance, on this lens of a bride whose disabled dad is walking her down the aisle. Very sweet. And so many disabled couples, whether just one of the partners or both are (in the case of this lens) in wheelchairs, are doing their traditional dances. Many of these are clever, touching, funny choreographed dances.

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Maurice Smith