Anyone who’s ever planned a wedding will tell you that there is a lot to think about. From who to invite to the colour of the table runners, every decision takes time and consideration. Now imagine you need to think about staff training, the width of doors and safe places to put strong medication too. Planning a wedding with a disability has its challenges, but today we want to give some advice on how the process can be made easier for everyone.
Listen & Be Kind
This should go without saying. Whether you’re wedding planning or a wedding supplier, listening and being kind is the key to creating the perfect day.
Most wedding suppliers will do their best to give you an amazing service. Not only is it their job, but also their passion. Not every supplier will have had experience with every disability, but by taking the time to explain your situation you can work together to create your dream day. This may include working in a slightly different way, offering longer appointment times or making sure that an interpreter is present.
Write It Down
Explaining your situation to each and every supplier you contact can become tedious, especially when making your initial enquiries. We suggest typing/writing out your needs and saving it somewhere you or your partner can easily access it. From there it’s a simple copy and paste job whenever you speak to a new supplier.
In Person Meetings
If there are questions you must ask your suppliers at in person meetings, write them down! This goes for any couple; it’s very easy to forget the most important questions when you’re being given a lot of information. Having a notebook to jot down all the relevant information will also make it much simpler when it comes to choosing your final suppliers.
If writing isn’t your strong point, don’t panic. Having a voice recorder to hand, or taking someone with you who can help make notes will ensure nothing is missed.
Check The Information
Some venues will say they are accessible, but this can mean different things. There may be ramps instead of steps, but the door may not be wide enough for a wheelchair. It may be that there’s a lift to the accessible toilets, but it takes a few minutes to get there. The accessible routes may take longer to use, or be on the outside of the building.
On the other hand, a venue with 20 steps to the front door may be completely accessible – it just isn’t obvious. Check the information your suppliers provide before you visit in person. (This goes for any buildings you may need to use, from florist appointments to your final clothing fittings.) When you do visit a venue in person, use the space to be sure it’s practical for you.
Okay, so this one may be easier said than done, but we think it’s worth mentioning. Try to relax, and enjoy the planning process. You’ll feel much more positive about each interaction, and have fewer worries on the day itself too. Depending on the disability, it may even prevent a flare up!
Share Your Story (and look for others)
There are very limited articles online about planning a wedding with a disability. (This is a fact – we tried to read as many as possible before writing this post!) However, the ones that are out there have some practical and useful advice. We also know that there are plenty of charities who offer support groups on social media, where you can talk to other people with the same condition as you.
No matter what stages of wedding planning you’re at, or where in the world you live, there will be someone out there who has been in your situation and can give you some top tips. We’re not going to pretend for a second that we know the best way to shop for a wedding dress with a wheelchair (you can find tips on that here) or how to manage IBS symptoms on the day itself (that information is here) but what we can tell you is that if you’d like pointing in the right direction, we can help. And, if you have any tips to share with newly engaged couples form your own experiences, we’d love to hear them. Get in touch here.
Sharing your experience, good and bad, might just help to create the perfect wedding planning experience for another couple too.