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Planning an Accessible Wedding

Mar 9, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

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When her boyfriend proposed, writer Carrie-Ann Fleming was ecstatic. But a headache loomed: as someone who requires a wheelchair, Fleming knew the wedding planning process would be exhausting. “Everything from the hen night and the dress, to the venue and the honeymoon, needs some serious creative thinking,” wrote Fleming in an article for The Guardian. “As a wheelchair user, I didn’t know where to start with all the preparations.” Fleming, who seeks to improve government standards of vacation destinations through her work with Tourism For All UK, knew the task would be daunting.

Since disabled brides and grooms are a growing minority often underrepresented in bridal magazines, Fleming found herself searching blogs and online forums for advice on planning her ceremony. She found solace in the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers, where brides-to-be vented their frustration with wedding planning. It’s becoming increasingly popular for brides to share their experience online; Disability and I Do is a blog created by Melissa, a newlywed with cerebral palsy. Melissa documented the entire process leading to the altar, and her blog now exists as an educational resource for accessible wedding planners.

Even if you do not require a wheelchair for the trip down the aisle, a vast majority of wedding planners must consider and accommodate a guest with impaired mobility. “There is so much to think about when planning a wedding, without considering access requirements,” says Fleming. “But so many suppliers and venues are open to suggestions about how they can help you, particularly small, independent companies.” Carrie-Ann Fleming is one of many brides who offer advice on creating an accessible wedding. What follows are the most common tips offered from accessible wedding planners. Above all, don’t let a physical impairment impede your wedding plans; there are plenty of approaches to creating an accessible ceremony for all.

Consider a venue where the ceremony and reception can be held in the same place.
Typically, wedding ceremonies are held in one location and the reception in another. But shuffling the bridal party from a church to an event hall can be incredibly taxing on the impaired. Fleming relates the experience of one bride-to-be when the wedding planners suggested how to accommodate her disabled grandmother: “They had planned the wedding breakfast to be upstairs, and said that four strong men would carry her and the wheelchair. The wedding coordinator could not understand my shock at this suggestion! When I asked that the wedding breakfast and reception take place in the marquee outside, they simply refused.”

Even if a venue promises to supply ramps and elevators, it’s always best to tour the facility ahead of time. Many venues create separate entrances for wheelchairs, which can be a problem if the bride’s grand entrance would be compromised. “I think that the hospitality industry are now realising that disabled guests are a loyal, growing market and that investing in accessibility makes business sense,” remarks Fleming. When checking out venues for the ceremony, ensure that all of your wedding guests and participants, even those with wheelchairs, will receive top priority. Fleming advises, “Any bride that has wedding guests with access requirements should take that person to the venue with her if possible. Just like no two brides want the same wedding, everyone’s access requirements are different.”

Consider customizing your wedding dress.
If you are a bride-to-be who will be using a wheelchair on your wedding day, trying on dresses can be difficult. Fleming recommends finding a bridal store that will allow you to take the dresses home to try, avoiding the nightmare of getting caught in a zipper while an impatient salesperson waits outside the dressing room.

Even so, finding a dream dress that won’t get caught in your wheels might seem impossible. In fact, you may be told by dress vendors that you can only wear a knee-length bridesmaids dress. Don’t listen to them! Search locally or online for a dressmaker who can create something for your needs. If you already have a dress in mind, work with a tailor to alter the dress for a more tapered fit that will keep it out of the way. Tailors are often more affordable than you think and are usually eager to take on challenges.

At the ceremony, request that everyone remains seated.
For many wheelchair users, it becomes tiring to be the only seated person in a packed room — no one wants their view to be disrupted by a row of derrières. If you want to make sure that the wheelchair users at your wedding will be comfortable and have a great view of the ceremony, tell your wedding officiant to instruct guests to remain seated, even when the bride comes down the aisle.

Just because it’s a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.
For blogger Melissa of Disability and I Do, decorating her wheelchair was a must. “After paying so much… I didn’t want the black chair taking away from the dress,” she wrote. Melissa and her mother worked with a local florist to cover the chair, using the same types of flowers she chose for her ceremony. The result was beautiful and playful; Melissa proved that a wheelchair shouldn’t be hidden.

Remember, the Internet is your friend.
Whether you are concerned about your own disability or that of a guest, you are not alone. Every day, hundreds of brides write about their experiences, many of which involve wheelchairs, walking sticks, or other assisting devices. Offbeat Bride, for example, showcases plenty of alternative weddings, including Andy and Jeff, a couple who had no problem creating a beautiful wedding that just so happened to include a wheelchair. Have fun and be creative — a wheelchair doesn’t have to slow down any aspect of your life.

To read more about Carrie-Ann Fleming’s life and travels, visit her blog. Also follow Melissa’s newlywed adventures in her blog, Disability and I Do.

Handmade Weddings Weddings Category

3 Featured Comments

  • BluJeanBeads

    Theresa Kimball from BluJeanBeads said 8 years ago Featured

    Powerful story and a great testimony to love and a "can do" spirit. As an abled bodied adult it is up to me to make sure all venues are accessible to all of us....everywhere. As a disabled friend said, "Disability is a equal opportunity club." We can all be in it....at anytime.

  • TheresACharm4That

    Kelley H from TheresACharm4That said 8 years ago Featured

    What a fabulous article! So nice to see these type of issues brought to the forefront and not simply dismissed. ALL brides deserve a beautiful wedding - a disability should not even be a part of the equation. I am disabled with MD, but I do not let that define me. Thanks for a well thought out and presented article! <3

  • restorationharbor

    Laura and Blakeley Harbor from RestorationHarbor said 8 years ago Featured

    What a beautiful article! As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I have worked with inspiring people with disabilities who are determined to make their special days everything they dreamed of. Whether it's saying "I love you" to that special person, or safely swallowing a piece of cake, they (more often than not) meet their goal or exceed it. In my experience, love is the best motivator :) Laura "Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live." - Neil Marcus

147 comments

  • mikiheather

    Heather Butler from MikiandHeather said 8 years ago

    Wonderfull!

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 8 years ago

    Nothing can outshine a bride on her wedding day :) Beautifully written, informative post..

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla said 8 years ago

    Beautiful brides, they look lovely!

  • MishaGirl

    Michelle from MishaGirl said 8 years ago

    Where there's a will there's a way! Very inspirational and VERY beautiful ensembles ladies!!!! Congratulations on wedding bliss :-)

  • rumbalsa1

    Christina said 8 years ago

    Beautiful!!!!

  • nomadcraftsetc

    Janelle and Jason Ethridge from NomadCraftsEtc said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful bride! This is a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

  • cindylouwho2

    Cindy from cindylouwho2 said 8 years ago

    Etsy needs more fabulous articles like this!

  • lilinspirations

    Sandra Kircher from LiLinspirations said 8 years ago

    ♥ ♥ LOVE IT ♥ ♥

  • eversolovely

    Ever So Lovely from EverSoLovely said 8 years ago

    This is a beautiful story and I totally agree with Kathleen..Nothing can outshine a bride! Thanks for sharing!

  • KristinaOBrienDesign

    Kristina from KristinaOBrienDesign said 8 years ago

    Fantastic!! Thank you so much for this!

  • JasminBlancBoutique

    Erika Iozsa from JasminBlancBoutique said 8 years ago

    Amazing, I love it all!

  • Rebcasd

    Rebecca Sarah from PaperHeartGreetings said 8 years ago

    Wow, Melissa's chair seriously did look amazing! And, from what I can tell, matched the theme of her wedding perfectly. I really enjoyed this blog post, it brought a big smile to my face :)

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 8 years ago

    Great to have a minority like people in wheelchairs recognized. A weddings is one of the most important days in a person's life, and a bride or groom should not have to feel inhibited by a wheelchair. Thank you for providing helpful tips to the people who are not normally addressed when it comes to wedding planning help.

  • BarnesJo

    Jo Beth Wilkerson said 8 years ago

    Wow...this is amazing! Beautiful, beautiful brides!

  • megk8199

    Megan Morris from MadebyMegShop said 8 years ago

    Great post, inspiring and beautiful. Everyone deserves to look great and be happy on their big day!

  • DreamsByRosy

    Rosy from DreamsByRosy said 8 years ago

    Beautiful story. Cheers!!

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural from SewnNatural said 8 years ago

    great piece, full of lots of fabulous tips ... thank you

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 8 years ago

    Great photos. Love the story!

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 8 years ago

    Interesting.

  • andreealofgren

    Andreea Lofgren from CTbyCoutureTime said 8 years ago

    Beautiful...

  • BeautyJewelryGifts

    Beauty Jewelry Gifts from BeautyJewelryGifts said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for this!...

  • sonyarasi

    Sonya Rasi from sonyarasi said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article!

  • TheEverlastingPosy

    TheEverlastingPosy from TheEverlastingPosy said 8 years ago

    Great ideas! The bouquet and material on the back of the wheelchair look so nice.

  • GeeZees

    Stephanie Morris from GeezeesCustomCanvas said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful story!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 8 years ago

    A really worthwhile wedding article, & with so many fab pics of beautiful brides (and grooms!)

  • expressyourself

    Natalia Snemis from expressyourself said 8 years ago

    Amazing story!

  • Railin

    Mel from Cuteling said 8 years ago

    so touching and inspirational, and beautiful solutions!

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 8 years ago

    Your comment, "a wheelchair doesn’t have to slow down any aspect of your life" is oh, so true! I used to take people with disabilities backpacking. There's no reason having a disability has to keep you from experiencing whatever you love. We all had so much fun. Accommodations can be made and creative thinking sure helps. How awesome that Melissa is helping others who may not have the ideas yet to make someone's dreams come true, whatever their abilities. Not everyone understands the needs or limitations that can be worked around to make something work or feel better. It's so helpful that she can offer suggestions to help brides, grooms and wedding planners deliver the best day possible for everyone involved in such a special occasion as a wedding!

  • celestetoutai

    celestetoutai said 8 years ago

    i love this article! my husband is quadriplegic and we planned our wedding ourselves. we did what we felt comfortable with and no one complained :) my brothers even wanted to hold my husband up during our first dance but i told them we were fine just as we were :)

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry from jammerjewelry said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article thanks for sharing.

  • livfortoday

    Liv Gabel from MansionHouseRoad said 8 years ago

    Wow. What an amazing story and perspective. Thank you for this.

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop said 8 years ago

    I don't have time now to say what I think, this is one of the best blogs ever.I have to get back to this.

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 8 years ago

    Fabulous !!!

  • HansHolzkopf

    Natalie from HansHolzkopf said 8 years ago

    WOOOOOW!! Great story!!

  • PaintedHorse

    susi from PaintedHorse said 8 years ago

    What a lovely, thoughtful, post. These brides (and grooms) are just wonderful!

  • ElainaLouiseStudios

    Lisa Steiner from ElainaLouiseStudios said 8 years ago

    Awesome!

  • GoddessOfJewelry

    GoddessOfJewelry from GoddessOfJewelry said 8 years ago

    So sweet! Everyone deserves their dream wedding!

  • BijouxOdalisque

    Bijoux d'Odalisque from BijouxOdalisque said 8 years ago

    One of the most touching articles I have ever read on Etsy. Thank you so much for this!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Great post, its nice to see special days being for everyone : )

  • barby303

    barby303 from barby303 said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous brides (and grooms!) in lovely settings. The photos really make me smile. Thank you for this wonderful story and post.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm from baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    Beautiful day, congrats to both of you.

  • loralyn1

    Laura King from LoralynDesigns said 8 years ago

    What a great article. Thank you!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    Congratulations you made a beautiful bride and you both did it your way.

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 8 years ago

    This is great, I've never thought that much about it. I have a good friend dating a friend of mine in a wheelchair, and I think they may get married someday. This makes me want to start planning her wedding now.

  • zzzareena

    Zareena from zzzareena said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for a post like this. Being a person with a disability as well, it's awesome to see brides in wheelchairs. Just to show that not everybody who get's married all looks the same. Thank You!

  • fantasygarden

    Anna Kikute from fantasygarden said 8 years ago

    Very good article it relay sweet ....and gives a good thought

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle from ACupOfSparkle said 8 years ago

    This is really a great article. Beautiful brides!

  • nicolerisinger

    Nicole Risinger from SoSewOrganized said 8 years ago

    What a sweet story and touching post! It is important that a disability or handicap not take away from such a special day. Well written and thought out!

  • BluJeanBeads

    Theresa Kimball from BluJeanBeads said 8 years ago Featured

    Powerful story and a great testimony to love and a "can do" spirit. As an abled bodied adult it is up to me to make sure all venues are accessible to all of us....everywhere. As a disabled friend said, "Disability is a equal opportunity club." We can all be in it....at anytime.

  • WeThreeTrees

    Jenna Callahan from WeThreeTrees said 8 years ago

    What a sweet sweet article and pictures, I love this! :)

  • ChristinaRomeo

    Christina from ChristinaRomeo said 8 years ago

    So amazing!!!! L O V E

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 8 years ago

    Beautiful!!! Love :)

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 8 years ago

    Lovely!

  • ajbcreations

    AmyJo from AJBcreations said 8 years ago

    Fantastic!

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana said 8 years ago

    Nicely done. Challenges are meant to be overcome.

  • PeaceofMind

    Shannon Schoon from PeaceofMind said 8 years ago

    Love this article!

  • tantancharms

    Lisset Verde-Sungur from tantancharms said 8 years ago

    Great article! Love it!

  • PeriniDesigns

    Vanessa Perini from PeriniDesigns said 8 years ago

    Love this article! Congratulations!

  • monikamonroe

    Monika Monroe from MomoRadRose said 8 years ago

    beautiful !

  • TheRabbitHole

    Emma from TheRabbitHole said 8 years ago

    I have a form of Muscular Dystrophy and use an electric wheelchair to get around. I'm not a big wedding person, but I love that this article takes a peek at some of the little things that walkers don't necessarily think about (even with events that are given as much thought as weddings are). I love that Melissa flowered her chair up - looks lovely!

  • rivahside

    rivahside said 8 years ago

    I absolutely LOVE this article! My son has multiple handicaps and I am keenly aware of what's lacking in public places for those who are mentally or physically challenged. Just the other day, while washing my hands in a public restroom I noticed that the soap dispenser was placed too high on the wall for a person in a wheelchair to reach. I told the manager about it. I hope this blog post raises awareness. Bravo!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from KarmaCodeOne said 8 years ago

    beautiful brides ~ every one looks like they are having a great time !

  • starstanford

    Star Stanford from Gypsydazzle said 8 years ago

    How sweet are those pictures?

  • chucklingchickadee

    Kathryn said 8 years ago

    My son,who is still young,is in a wheelchair and he has the best personality & outlook of any person-young or old,disabled or not-that I know.It really is great to see an article that brings attention to a common but very special event that most of us encounter in our lives & hasn't quite kept up with all abilitities accesability-weddings!This article means something else too-some how in this cruel world,certain ways of thinking have bocome kinder,gentler,more understanding and accepting-more & more people with disabilities find loving relationships that lead to beautiful weddings that become wonderful marriages-and that is a great thing for a mom like me.

  • KKSimpleRegalJewelry

    Krista from TheBeadtriss said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful post! It was fun reading this.

  • juliehuynh1

    Julie Huynh said 8 years ago

    This was a beautiful article. Thank you. I am planning my wedding and completely understand the difficulties of finding wedding venues that are accessible to people who are physically disabled. I was sad by the amount of vendors that suggested they carry my wheelchair bound guest up and down stairs to reach their bathrooms. I felt my guest was entitled to the same dignity and the same right to move freely around the wedding as much as myself or any other of my guests. It took a while, but we found a venue that could accomodate this need. I am all for wedding vendors being able to cater for everyone including people who have disabilities. :)

  • trunkfullofmonkeys

    trunkfullofmonkeys from trunkfullofmonkeys said 8 years ago

    What a great article. =)

  • Aboli

    Aboli from FolkStroke said 8 years ago

    Very true Kathleen, nothing can outshine a bride on her wedding day! Look at those beautiful smiles!!! :) Thank you for the post.

  • ShelleAnne

    Rachelle from ShelleAnne said 8 years ago

    This is a great article! Thanks for posting it.

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 8 years ago

    Very interesting, inspiring and beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this Wonderful article!

  • aporcelainmenagerie

    Jaqualine Crabtree from ArtbyJaq said 8 years ago

    Such a cute and inspiring article, very beautifully written : )

  • shopfancyfree

    Esther L from shopfancyfree said 8 years ago

    gorgeous!

  • goodbeads

    goodbeads from goodbeads said 8 years ago

    So cool,very perfect...

  • HelloMountains

    Audrey from HelloMountains said 8 years ago

    beautiful!!!

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 8 years ago

    Good advice in this article. Venues should always work to accommodate guests in wheelchairs. It makes good business sense, plus it makes it easier for other people to use the building as well. Moms with strollers, for example. The more customers a business can serve, the better.

  • AmandaFolga

    Amanda Folga said 8 years ago

    Amazing!

  • whatemilymakes

    Emily E. from ZiggyAndZoop said 8 years ago

    Inspiring!

  • elleestpetite

    Donna Thai from PetiteCuisine said 8 years ago

    This is wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  • eileenheneghan

    Eileen from EileenHeneghanStout said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful story and lovely photos.

  • artdecadence

    Chrisy McConnell from ARTDECADENCE said 8 years ago

    Interesting story...so uplifting and positive...and beautiful images...ta...

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • georgine2

    georgine2 said 8 years ago

    Dojemný, inspirativní,pozitivní článek.Díky .

  • zeialedesma

    Zeia Ledesma said 8 years ago

    awesone, you also check http://www.onlinecheapshoppingcart.com/ the home of dresses collection.

  • BizzieLizzie

    Bizzie from BizzieLizzieHandmade said 8 years ago

    What a fantastic story! One of the best yet, on Etsy! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  • franstradingpost

    Frances Royal from franstradingpost said 8 years ago

    Right On! My beloved daughter in law has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. I have learned so much from her, Her wedding (along with my son's) was in a lovely outdoor setting adjacent to a the reception room where all the persons with disabilities found easy access to everything! Wonderful memories!!!

  • jerseygirlindc

    JML said 8 years ago

    What a great article! Would love to see more like this. Thanks for posting this!

  • FunFatale

    FunFatale from FunFatale said 8 years ago

    Fantastiiiccc

  • volcanogirlcreations

    Connie Haskell from volcanogirlcreations said 8 years ago

    Sweet! Great post....thank you!

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 8 years ago

    Wonderful post....thanks for the insightful thoughts!!

  • VidaDoce

    Allegra Pelletier from VidaDoce said 8 years ago

    So sweet. :)

  • victoriabutterbean

    Victoria Tkachuk-Owen from thebutterbeanshop said 8 years ago

    Very good ideas for brides or guests in wheelchairs, but the photographer who suggested everyone BUT the bride jump up in the air needs a lesson in sensitivity!

  • kadydesigns

    Denise Vining from kadydesigns said 8 years ago

    Great article! So informing and creative.Every Bride deserves to feel Beautiful on her wedding day! Thanks for posting.

  • ruchla

    racheli varulker from purplefeatherdesign said 8 years ago

    beautiful!!

  • ResaArtDesign

    Resa Wilkinson from ResaWilkinson said 8 years ago

    Wonderful and considerate post!

  • AlisaDesign

    Alisa from AlisaDesign said 8 years ago

    Amazing!

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly said 8 years ago

    What an informative article, thank-you for sharing this, very beautiful brides!

  • AkimaBotanicals

    Akima Morgan from AkimaBotanicals said 8 years ago

    My last position was working for a non-profit for people with disabilities (I helped people get the equipment/accessible modifications they needed through state & federal waiver funds). I saw my disabled coworker "wheel" down the aisle, then stand with forearm crutches for her first dance with her new husband. It was a lovely moment! Thanks so much for posting this article and bringing awareness to accessibility in all aspects of life. :D

  • peacesofindigo

    Dawanna Young from peacesofindigo said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful article~

  • aleacook

    Alea Cook said 8 years ago

    WOW!

  • hoolehua

    hoolehua said 8 years ago

    Thank you for posting this article! As a disabled person who does her best in the (often very un-accessible) 'mainstream', I often find that I am an ambassador of disability, as many people I come across have never met someone like me before (a married grad student who lives independently ... i. e. without carers and not in an institution). These brides are beautiful women and beautiful examples to us all. Everyone deserves a special day. :)

  • PomLove

    Kirsten Hadley from PomLove said 8 years ago

    what a great article!

  • amusebeads

    amusebeads from amusebeads said 8 years ago

    A cousin had her wedding on the beach, even though her dad was in a wheelchair. The town had special "sand" wheelchairs with large, inflated tires that made them easier to use on the sand, available for a small rental fee. She was able to have her dream wedding, and her dad was there to "walk" her down the aisle.

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 8 years ago

    Love, love, love!!

  • artsyclay

    Judy from ArtsyClay said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article! I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and has taught me how important it is to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele from StudioCybele said 8 years ago

    beautiful !

  • TinySheep

    Ari Mason from TinySheep said 8 years ago

    Beautiful ladies! Thanks so much!

  • ClosetGothic

    Janne Perry from ClosetGothic said 8 years ago

    Good reading, great topic - thank you.

  • thisthatotherthings

    Judy from NimblesNook said 8 years ago

    Sweet!!!!! My heart has melted....

  • TheresACharm4That

    Kelley H from TheresACharm4That said 8 years ago Featured

    What a fabulous article! So nice to see these type of issues brought to the forefront and not simply dismissed. ALL brides deserve a beautiful wedding - a disability should not even be a part of the equation. I am disabled with MD, but I do not let that define me. Thanks for a well thought out and presented article! <3

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 8 years ago

    So inspiring, thanks for shedding some light on a dim area.. ♥♥♥

  • needleandfelt

    Amy from needleandfelt said 8 years ago

    Great article and beautiful brides!

  • fiddums

    Christine Soto said 8 years ago

    This article gives me so much joy! And some comments share helpful infirmation as well!

  • snugglyugly

    Indira Villalobos from snugglyugly said 8 years ago

    beautiful

  • soranagallery

    Jena C from BedQuilts said 8 years ago

    They are all individuals and that makes them precious. There's is nothing wrong with being in a wheelchair no matter what your disability is.

  • LittleLotusChildren

    Ann Arnette from LittleLotusChildren said 8 years ago

    Awesome article. Navigating special events and traveling with a wheelchair really takes a lot of creativity!

  • PyxusPassionProject

    Michelle Maynard from SimonesRoseBoutique said 8 years ago

    Love this article - every couple deserves to have the wedding day of their dreams.. no matter what!

  • sarahgartman

    sarah said 8 years ago

    So beautiful.

  • erinzam

    Erin Zamrzla from erinzam said 8 years ago

    This is really inspiring. I appreciate the creativity of these brides and wedding planners!

  • dolcesweetjewels

    Melissa from lolaandcompany said 8 years ago

    I have worked for a major comporation that provides mobility equipment for people with limited mobility...this story holds a special place in my heart, I am deeply inspired by it and I am passionate in making a difference in people's lives in every way. What a beautiful story, many blessings!

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 8 years ago

    Wow. Amazing. Nothing like a big ol reminder to be thankful for what I have. But I am so impressed with these girls. They didn't let anything get in their way. That is so awesome!

  • HarleyDavidsonFan

    HarleyDavidsonFan said 8 years ago

    An article worth reading, finally!

  • bazketmakr

    bazketmakr from bazketmakr said 8 years ago

    that wheelchair bouquet is gorgeous! great ideas.

  • secretalice

    tera from secretalice said 8 years ago

    How wonderful to share such lovely ideas!

  • SomsStudio

    Som from SomsStudio said 8 years ago

    Incredible article and some beautiful brides!!

  • perebags

    Sarah from perebags said 8 years ago

    This is a FANTASTIC article! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  • restorationharbor

    Laura and Blakeley Harbor from RestorationHarbor said 8 years ago Featured

    What a beautiful article! As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I have worked with inspiring people with disabilities who are determined to make their special days everything they dreamed of. Whether it's saying "I love you" to that special person, or safely swallowing a piece of cake, they (more often than not) meet their goal or exceed it. In my experience, love is the best motivator :) Laura "Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live." - Neil Marcus

  • pippa89

    Philippa Leddra from pippa89 said 8 years ago

    Hi I'm doing a masters in Disability Studies and would just like to point people in the direction of some very interesting disability theory, in which disability is a social creation rather than something physical (social model of disability). In other words people are 'disabled' because of the way our society is structured and the attitudes it holds. In this case the reason weddings for people who use wheelchairs are so hard to plan in because our society does not accommodate difference and often does not even think of it not because the bride or groom uses a wheelchair! You are a fantastic minority for not letting society and its limitations stop you having your perfect day!!! Congratulations.

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 8 years ago

    Everything about this post is beautiful! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

  • MyMaine

    Adrienne LaVallee from MyMainePaintings said 8 years ago

    Fantastic. This isn't an easy task but an important one. I took my father to a wedding, he in a wheel chair, and it was almost IMPOSSIBLE. Kudos to all who plan well whether it is for their needs or the needs of their guests. LOVE IT and thank you for sharing.

  • LCooperDesigns

    LC Cooper from LeMaisonBelle said 8 years ago

    How inspirational! Thanks for sharing this story - and Congrats!!

  • MarieLauresFancies

    MarieLauresFancies said 8 years ago

    I came across this blog by chance and I wanted to congratulate all these beautiful brides for their courage. I am able bodied myself but having got married last July, I know how much work goes into it if you are so inclined or want to save money. Well done girls from the bottom of my heart!!!

  • jiangxueli188

    Jiang XueLi from jiangxueli188 said 8 years ago

    beautiful....

  • AdornmentsbyDebbie

    AdornmentsbyDebbie from AdornmentsbyDebbie said 8 years ago

    Beautiful brides--I love weddings! The bouquet for your chair turned out gorgeous.

  • Abrefi

    Abrefi from Abrefi said 8 years ago

    Amazing.....

  • megancutter

    Megan Cutter said 8 years ago

    My husband and I were married in 2005, and we were lucky that we were able to implement our style into our wedding. We made many adjustments to have a wedding that was truly our own. Our friends built a ramp from the altar to the aisle so that my husband could use his wheelchair, and also a walker- so he could walk me out of the church (also the first time he walked publicly)! But more than anything, we used our own unique style of putting rings on fingers, giving each other pieces of the cake, the garter belt had velcro on it, and more than anything, we included friends and family from the many different communities we were a part of. It was the most beautiful ceremony and such a blessing! Megan Cutter www.loverollson.com

  • MonkeyShineArtGlass

    Jody from MonkeyShineArtGlass said 8 years ago

    What a fantastic article & very practical advise! I have some understanding of this, as my daughter's wedding is soon -- and she has severe autoimmune arthritis. She does not "appear" to have a disability, but her condition has dictated every choice. We have decided on a very small, but beautiful wedding and are keeping things simple to counteract pain/fatigue. This is NOT a compromise wedding, just one with smart planning! Right down to the lightweight bridal bouquet......the florist will alter the size of the handhold for comfort, and suggested that the bride carry the more lightweight flowers, and let the bridesmaids bouquets include the heavier weight foliage. Keep up the great articles, Etsy!

  • JeanRameyArt

    Jean Ramey from JeanRameyArt said 8 years ago

    What a great article!

  • noradaily

    Norajuku from NORAJUKU said 8 years ago

    What an awesome article! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • babybarista

    babybarista from babybarista said 8 years ago

    <3

  • LiseVintageLighting

    Susan from LiseVintageLighting said 8 years ago

    As a long-time special educator before embarking on my creative business, this article brought joy to my heart! My job was not complete until my students were able to see themselves as "differently-abled" rather than disabled and could advocate for themselves and their needs without apology. As a person who recently spent nine, long months crutches- and wheelchair-dependent after a bad leg break, my eyes were opened still further by the countless, unexpected obstacles I faced each time I ventured out. During that time, quick rather than thoughtful planning became necessary for my mother-in-law's funeral and the large luncheon that followed. Not having had the chance to plan for the logistical challenges, it became an exhausting, logistical nightmare for which I was completely unprepared! Unapologetic trail-blazers like Carrie-Ann and Melissa leave such positive ripples for the benefit of so many people! Some of my nearly-grown students may soon be their beneficiaries. That they thoughtfully approach a logistical challenge rather than giving in to the pressure to avoid, and then go on to generously share what they have learned with others, is advocacy at its finest because it teaches others. Sorry to be so wordy, but sincere thanks Chappell! Hats off ot you, Carrie-Ann and Melissa!

  • metalicious

    Stephanie Maslow Blackman from metalicious said 8 years ago

    Awesome post! Love it!

  • MixedMediaMuseum

    Melanie Torres from MixedMediaMuseum said 8 years ago

    You do amazing work as a speech pathologist! Making a difference in other peoples lives is truly noble ; )! Thank you for sharing such a lovely article!

  • ionesAttic

    Barbara from ionesAttic said 8 years ago

    thank you for sharing this inspiring story...

  • bvsg

    bvsg said 8 years ago

    I really appreciate the remarks made by Restoration Harbor!

  • EastThomasLee

    Lee Thomas from EastThomasLee said 8 years ago

    great article!

  • JuicySoulja

    Juicy Soulja from JuicySoulja said 8 years ago

    Inspiring story! Almost made me cry because it is just such a very beautiful story!

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