Post # 1
Hi everyone. I’m engaged and will be married in December. My fiancee has a twin sister who recently suffered a spinal cord injury. She was injured in a flag football game and is now a quadriplegic. She is currently in a rehab facility and will be released sometime in November. Right now she is a halo brace and is able to use her arms. The doctors and physical therapists are saying that she will be able to control a power wheelchair. When I first started planning the wedding I didn’t plan on having her be a bridesmaid. But lately with what my fiancee’s family has been going through I feel she needs to be apart of the wedding. So please share any advice or ways to make the process of her being in the wedding go by smoothly.
Post # 3
@JennaT: Just a thought of advice, you don’t necessarily have to have her as a bridesmaid. Your post caught my eye as I have an intellectually disabled sister who will not be a bridesmaid in my wedding. Her disability will make carrying out any duties very difficult. If you wanted to celebrate your families, perhaps have them make a formal entry once your guests are seated before the procession. Or raise a toast to her at the reception. Touch base with her and see what she would like 🙂
Post # 4
In my extensive experience with people with disabilities in both my personal and professional life, I have noticed overwhelmingly that people with congenital disorders are much more “okay” adjusted and…unselfconscious about their condition than those who had to cope with them later in life, so I would be very cognizant of her attititude-she may be very depressed and self-conscious adjusting to her new lifestyle. Therefore, I would be careful about drawing unwanted attention to her-honor her with a message in the program or a song.
I second scribbles’ suggestion to ask her what she would want, and do it. A bit of a word of caution, thoughI know this sounds silly but make sure that you talk to her like an adult, especially if the accident in no way affected her cognition and not like an invalid.
Most importantly, however, go out of your way to make sure it doesn’t seem like you’re doing this out of pity because that might just make her feel worse especially if you had already determined your bridesmaids and are adding her in as an afterthought. If I were you I would approach it with the tone “hey i was thinking about having another bridesmaid, and was wondering if you would be interested.” and the only real problem i see her having is with regard to dress fitting.
But yeah, if she is open to the idea I say go for it! Its a way for her life to feel “normal” again-something I aanticipate she’s really going to need.
Sorry if I come off sounding like a smartypants. I don’t mean to be snobby. I spend most of my time around people with disabilities and spend a lot of time thinking about these things.
Post # 5
First of all, I would discuss it with her. Does she feel emotionally able to be apart of the wedding and be on display with the other bridesmaids? How comfortable is she being actively involved?
Post # 6
Agree x 10 with above posters. Talk to her. She may not want everyone looking at her. My brother, who was a former athlete, went into a wheelchair when he was 26 and it was a very hard transition. If she would like to be a part of the wedding what about maybe making her a reader? That way she wouldn’t have to do the matching dress process down the aisle thing.