Weddings and Wheelchairs (AKA It Ain’t No Big Deal, Y’all)

***Today's post is part of a week long series here at Kiss My Tulle to help y'all plan your wedding and accommodate any special needs that your wedding party or guests might have. Be sure to check out yesterday's post from Katie Farrin of Lovebird Productions on planning your wedding while working with the special medical needs of your guests.***

Wheelchairs. They are the official symbol of medical needs and disabilities in America. But to many, they are something else – a way of life and a life that includes being a part of a wedding. If you or someone you love will be attending your wedding in a wheelchair, no worries. It HAS been done, it CAN be done, and it WILL be done – with ease and awesomeness! Here's a few ways to make it work:

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Image Courtesy of: L'amour

If you or a member of your wedding party is in a wheelchair – decorate that sucker match the look of your wedding day! Add a garland along the back, twist some flowers around the handles, or add ribbons to the wheels (done with monochromatic colors it will come off as less "Fourth of July parade" and more fancy schmancy chic decor). Or, have some fabulous fun with it and decorate the wheelchair as the away transportation – add cans, ribbons, and a "Just Married" sign!

Wheelchair-portland-wedding
Image Courtesy of: You Look Nice Today Photography

A special note for the bride: The bride could add a train to the back of her chair (don't attach it directly to yourself as it could become a hazard by becoming caught on something) – it can be detached (or bustled) for the reception so that it doesn’t get snagged in the wheels during the par-tay! Also, choose your wedding dress carefully – the best option is a long or tea-length skirt that is not too full or too tight. If you really want a full skirt then have the extra layers of tulle in the back adhered on the front of the skirt (basically, remove any of the material that will not seen). This will help to create a slimming effect and keep extra material from bunching up in the seat area. Be sure to have your hemline altered to hang smoothly and not drag under your wheels.

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Image Courtesy of: Leah Rae Photography

Special note for the groom: Be comfortable. Your suit or tuxedo should be shortened so they don't catching in your wheels. Find a shirt (or have one tailored) that is longer in the back so you don’t have to worry about re-tucking every time you move (or remove your jacket). Be sure that the heels of your shoes fit securely and won't accidentally come off. Check to be sure that your pants don't have bulky back pockets or weird seams (or get them replace with "fake" pockets) because those could become very uncomfortable after a long day in them.

Jess
Image Courtesy of: E. Broderick Photography

Last, make sure that your venues can handle the needs of a wheelchair. Is there a ramp? A wheelchair accessible bathroom (and do you need someone assigned to help you use the bathroom)? Is the ceremony aisle wide enough? Are the doorways wide enough? If there are stairs – can you go around them (or is there an alternative work-around)? If the bride or the groom is in a wheelchair, will there be another chair available for their partner to sit in during the ceremony (so you can be at eye level). If you are the bride, do you want people to stand (as is the tradition) or remain seated during the processional (so you can be at eye level)? How will you handle the First Dance or other reception traditions?

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Image Courtesy of: Eric Hegwer

Planning a wedding that involves a wheelchair is not impossible – in fact, it's no more complicated than trying to deal with recently divorced parents or a hungover Maid-of-Honor. It just takes a bit more thinking and preplanning. But it can be done and it WILL be fabulous!

What of it, Tulle Nation? Have any of you been in or at a wedding with someone in a wheelchair? Are you in a wheelchair and think I missed something? Share away!

 

 

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