Post # 1
I am not yet engaged (but it’s coming) I thought I would start a thread for brides who use wheelchairs or have another type of impairment, though I can only speak from the wheelchair perspective. We will be able to enjoy the experience however; it will probably be slightly different for us because there are so many other things we need to take into account. That’s probably why I joined the hive early, to get me thinking.
I use an electric wheelchair myself and have never found trying on clothes a pleasurable experience. You have to find an accessible dressing room and then there’s the hassle of getting clothes on and off. Most women find the experience of trying on dresses to be a fun one. The thought of it makes me cringe. I think I will end up having a dress custom made for me. It’s an easy way to ensure that I get exactly what I want anyway.
The design of the dress is also important because if you are in a chair you don’t want the dress to gather up in random places or get caught in your tires. I have always wanted a princess ball gown. Preferably the LZ3108. I know It wouldn’t be very functional to be in the chair. So, I think I will end up going with a princess mermaid style. I want to try to walk down the aisle; it will probably be much easier without so much dress.
You also have to find an accessible venue which is not as easy as some may think. You need to be able to get in the venue, have an accessible restroom and have enough space to move around comfortably. We will be having a church wedding. The church I have in mind the aisle may not be wide enough for me whether I use my chair or a walker. My BF is catholic and many of the churches in the area where he is from are not exactly wheelchair friendly. I want an outdoor reception. It’s surprising to me how difficult it is to find flat land there is also the issue of finding tables your chair will fit under as well as having a spacious layout so you can mingle with guests.
We will be having a first dance because I can walk some and be on my feet. After that I will not be dancing, because I do not “wheelchair dance” We will have a floor and music going for the guests. I don’t want them to feel like they can’t dance because I can’t. It’s a wedding, have fun. We have also thought about doing party type games as well as a fun way for everyone to interact and interact with me.
This worries me most because this is how you will remember your wedding for the rest of your life. I plan on taking pics out of my chair and in it an angle for an “able bodied” person may not be good for someone in a chair. There is also the height difference (because I sit) between my guy and I. I do not want a bunch of awkward looking photos. I will be having MANY conversations with the photographer and videographer.
I am sorry if this was a massive rant. I just want to help other wheelchair bees! Bees with all types of impairements for that matter! Comments from all bees are welcome. Happy buzzing!
Post # 3
I’m not physically impaired at all, and I have had some difficulty walking when I tried on a couple of mermaid style dresses. I would hate for you to have trouble walking down the aisle, and for your first dance because your dress is too restrictive.
Although it might be difficult, I hope you can at least try on a mermaid style before getting a gown made, so you can tell if this might be an issue for you or not.
As far as venues go, if you tell us your general area, maybe some bees with elderly or unwell guests can recommend wheelchair accessible venues. A close family friend is in a wheelchair, as he has lost both his legs, and I found it quite difficult finding a venue with suitable accessibility.
Post # 4
@MrsGarrityToBe: I am not in a wheelchair or impaired in any specific way, but I wanted to wish you the very best. Congratulations on your upcoming engagement!
Post # 5
I should say that i don’t have any significant limitations myself, but i work with people with all sorts of genetic syndromes, so I try think about this kind of stuff.
I may not be in a chair but i hate shopping and did not look forward to the dress shopping experience. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I would recommmend thinking about a dress that you have that you really like the cut and how it fits you in the chair. Then you can hav a good idea where to start for teh cu of your wedding dress. Also, there was a poster on Offbeat Bride who had always wanted a train, so she had one attached to the back of her chair! It was pretty cool.
As for photography I think you just need to find someboy who is willing to put in the time and thought to organize good poses. I’m glad you’re planning on doing both in the chair and not. Variety will be good, since this is less common territory. But I definately think it can be done.
Glad to have you here on the Bee and I would also check out Offbeat Bride. They’re both great sites. Good luck!!!
Post # 7
Thanks for the comments! I have n never let being in a chair stop me from doing anything I wanted not about to start now!
Post # 8
@MrsGarrityToBe: One of my favourite bees is @adoc86:. I haven’t seen her around in awhile, which is very sad 🙁 However, you should check out some of her posts because I think they could help you out:
She is very sweet, so I have no doubts she would be happy to help you.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
A close friend of mine dealt with many medical issues leading up to her wedding. She had a medical port in her chest, so she opted for a beautiful one shoulder gown that completely covered her port.
She also had hip replacement surgery on one hip (at age 27) and the other still needed to be done at the time of her wedding which lead to her legs being a little uneven and standing and walking for long periods of time were not comfortable for her.
She made it through the ceremony, pictures, and her first dance, father-daughter dance but after that she didn’t really dance the rest of the night.That did not stop the rest of us though! She had an awesome DJ and he kept the party going! We all had a great time. It was sweet to see her and her husband sitting together all night watching their friends and family dance and have a good time. You could tell they were happy and that’s all that mattered. In between dances guests were able to sit and talk with the newlyweds.
I think your best bet is just to try on dresses and see what you end up loving. I would make a list for the photographer of shots you “must have” so that it streamlines your photography time. Congratulations on your upcoming day! I hope it is everything you wish for and more.
Post # 10
I don’t have any guidance, but my mom uses a walker so I understand wanting things to be accessable. I mainly just wanted to welcome you to the Bee! 🙂
Post # 11
@MrsPanda99: Thanks for mentioning me! I’ve been super busy and haven’t had much time for WB lately.
@MrsGarrityToBe: I am in a small, manual wheelchair and I can completely relate to some of the issues you’re having in planning your wedding – especially the dress getting stuck around your tires problem. I sometimes have this problem when I wear maxi dresses or skirts. For my wedding I’ll be wearing an A-line gown and just having it hemmed short enough so that my tires don’t run over the bottom of it. I think you should at least try on the gown you really love. Sometimes certain things can be a little awkward, but I refused to be limited to only certain styles because of my chair. Personally I think my dress looks beautiful, seated or not, and I love that I didn’t go with something more practical just because I can’t walk. Sure I might have to be mindful of the bottom, but its only one night and once hemmed properly it should be fine.
We’re using the same photographer that we used for our engagement photos. From the start I told her that I didn’t want a lot of photos in my chair. Personally, I think its an eyesore and just really distracting. She worked with us and we ended up getting exactly what we were looking for. We used a lot of vintage chairs and props so that I could be sitting and still have it look natural. If you read the above posted link you’ll be able to see what our plan is for our ceremony so that both my FI and I will be seated and not have to deal with the awkward height difference. The hotel we’re getting married at has vintage sofas, a piano, interesting staircases, etc so we’ll be taking advantage of those kind of things for photos.
In regard to a venue – I’ve been to a lot of events/weddings in halls that did not have an accessible bathroom stall. If you’re having problems with finding one I would suggest looking into having your reception at a hotel (in the courtyard, outdoor space etc), where they’re sure to have an accessible bathroom.
Feel free to ask me any questions if you’re looking for ideas! My wedding is in 2 months so most of our planning is finished. Good luck!
Post # 12
@adoc86: I’m glad to see you are back! I missed you 🙂 I was sure you’d have some helpful tips for the OP, and I was right. I really hope you post a wedding recap 😀
Post # 13
Thanks! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I hope you do a recap