- 2 years ago
- Wedding: Banquet hall
Hey Bees! Long time lurker, first time poster coming out of the shadows to ask an important question.
My fiance and his best friend had always agreed they would be best men in each other’s weddings. They’ve known each other since pre-school, and I’ve known both of them since we were all young teens. Two years ago, his best friend sustained a traumatic neck injury and, although he is gaining significant strength through the help of very dedicated therapists, he still remains wheel chair-bound. With the wedding just about a year out, we’re beginning to work on the logistics of this arrangement.
We come from a rural area, and since nearly all of our family and friends are local, we decided to choose a local venue. Since neither my FI or I are of strict faith, we decided to choose a venue which could also serve as a ceremony location. This narrowed our options to four venues. Horresendously poor past experiences with one venue ruled it out, the second venue had a terribly steep hill between the dining room and the ceremony space making it inaccessible for grandparents as well as the Best Man, the third had a reputation for poor food and service, as well as hilly terrain (golf course), and so we decided on the fourth venue: a Tudor-style manor turned conference center which also had an inn on the premises. We asked about accessibility initially, but in reviewing photos and layouts we are now questioning the accesibility for the patio where the wedding party is to stand.
The ceremony is to take place in a long, hedge-trimmed lawn adjacent to the manor. To get to the seats, there is a small path from the parking lot. However, to get to the platform there are three, long stone steps. Generally, the venue recommends one GM/BM per step ascending to an arch placed on the patio. There is a door from the patio to the bar inside, but this has stone steps as well. There is a hill of grass that extends to the side and becomes level with the deck. Thus, it is possible, but not direct, to get the powerchair to the top deck.
So, bees, my question is this: Is it acceptable practice to have the Best Man arrive at the alter with the groom before the ceremony (both on top step, moving the arch back to accomodate), and have them remain there as the bridal party comes in? This would cause an uneven party procession, but I know my best friend (one of four bridesmaids) would be willing to walk in solo to make this accomodation. (Already inquired.) I spoke with FI, and we agreed that if the girls have problems with their heels sticking in the lawn, and the solo bridesmaid decides she needs the support of an escort, that I would ask my cousin, who is serving as an usher, to walk her in and then take a seat with my mother who is already slightly uncomfortable sitting solo. (She will have to wait for my father to walk me in and my grandmother has politely declined to attend any more out of state functions. [She has retired south and is now widowed.] My sister will be serving as MOH; we don’t have much family left otherwise.)
Is this a terrible plan? We want to do everything we can to accomodate the Best Man, and we want him included. What do you think bees? Is it acceptable to have the best man already at the alter with the groom? If not, what would your alternative be? It could be possible to rotate the ceremony so that the patio is not used, but I would need to inquire about the effect this will have on microphones/electricity, as well as the angle of the July sun at the time of the ceremony.