When Carrie-Ann and Darren got engaged, Carrie-Ann was eager to begin the wedding preparations. But she knew, as a wheelchair user, she would have to plan things carefully and diligently research options that would work best for her.
5 tips to plan a flawless accessible wedding.
1. Venue: Carrie-Ann and Darren wanted to have their wedding ceremony and reception all in one venue to enhance accessibility. They settled on the Grange Hotel located in Cumbria in the UK. “All the function areas are accessible by lift and wheelchair ramp, and they have bedrooms specifically tailored for guests with limited mobility,” shares Carrie-Ann.
2. The Perfect Dress: Choosing a dress that works well when the bride is seated can be a daunting task. And trying on dresses in a bridal shop can be stressful. So Carrie-Ann and her mum persuaded a local dress shop to allow them to take a few dresses home to try on – that way Carrie-Ann could feel comfortable and relaxed. In the end, Carrie-Ann decided to order a custom made gown to fit her perfectly while seated.
"Don’t rule out a style of dress because you think that it won’t be suitable or accessible until you have tried it on.”
3. Wheelchair Makeover: “Once my dress had arrived, I started thinking about my wheelchair on the wedding day,” shares Carrie-Ann. “I decided that I didn’t want to use the same manual chair that I sit in every day, I wanted something special.” By calling around to local wheelchair shops, Carrie-Ann found a second hand chair that she and her mum painted and decorated to match her dress!
4. A Beautiful Bouquet: Holding or positioning a traditional bouquet well is nearly impossible, and at the very least, awkward. Instead, Carrie-Ann opted for a “wrist corsage of fresh flowers so that I can move around freely and not worry about squashing my flowers.”
5. First Dance: There are many different options for couples when it comes to a first dance. Some choose to choreograph their dance, and others choose to skip the dance altogether. For Carrie-Ann and Darren, they wanted their first dance to be a group affair, so they asked their wedding guests to join them on the dance floor for an upbeat number.
No matter where you plan to get married, Carrie-Ann’s advice can be applied to almost any accessible wedding venture.
“Don’t be afraid to think ‘outside the box’ to make your day accessible. After all, the best weddings are unique!”
Are you planning an accessible wedding? Share your additional tips, and you might be featured on AbleThrive!