Post # 1
Anyone have any ideas on what kind of role I could give my fiance’s disabled brother??
He has cerebral palsy so is able to walk but only very slowly with a walker. He can’t stand for very long and he also has a very severe stutter.
We didn’t choose him as a groomsmen as they are not very close and our ceremony is on the grass which would have been very difficult for him.
My brothers and both of our close cousins all have some sort of important role (groomsmen, ring bearer, singing a song at our reception). We don’t want him to feel left out and would really like him to do something so he also feels special but I’ve got no ideas ??
Post # 2
Have you asked him how he would like to participate? He may have already have some daydreams that could help trigger some ideas.
If you are having any sort of unity ceremony as part of the wedding , he could perhaps hold the supplies till youre ready, then stand and participate in a formal hand-off. Like if you’re doing a sand ceremony, he could hold the empty container under/near his chair in the front row, then when you were ready to use it, he could stand with it while the officiant explains what you’ll be doing and says the blessing.
Post # 3
crispytash : I know you said you didn’t want him as a groomsman, but if you change your mind you could place a chair for him at the front, in the groomsman lineup. He could be seated in the front row when the ceremony begins, and then he could move to the seat in the groomsman lineup. I teach therapeutic horseback riding to kids with disabiliities, and many of them have been involved with their siblings, cousins, etc. weddings. He could also sit in a specified location and maybe pass out programs if you are having those? That doesn’t sound very special though… honestly I think the easiest way to have him involved is as a groomsman, but I like @horseradish’s idea, too!
Horseradish : I like this idea!
Post # 4
How long can he stand? He could be standing near the start of the aisle and greet people or to give him a specific job make simple programs for him to hand out at the ceremony. These were my disabled brothers jobs at my wedding.
Post # 5
My brother also has CP and can only walk short distances with a walker. He uses a wheelchair most of the time and we had him act as a groomsman. Does your brother in law also use a wheelchair? Could he, on the day of the ceremony? If so, I don’t see why arrangements can’t made for him to be a groomsman, with some assistance if he needs it from others. And while I’m trying not to pass judgement on your situation, I also feel that in most instances, siblings are typically in the bridal party…until they have a disability, and suddenly there’s excuses as to why they aren’t.
But I also second having a conversation with him and asking him if he wants to participate at all, and how he would like to do that. Rather than making assumptions or deciding for him what he is capable of doing.
Post # 6
crispytash : get him to be one of the witnesses to sign your wedding certificate or you could just have him sit and still be a groomsmen?
Post # 7
I also agree with other posters ask him if he wants to participate in the wedding party. It would be rather lovely for him to be part of the grooms party.
Just because he has a disability doesn’t mean he can’t participate. If he doesn’t want to be in the grooms party perhaps ask if he wants to hand out programs to guests.
Though in my heart I bet he would be thrilled to be in the groom’s party.
Post # 8
And also, a pet peeve of mine…he is your fiance’s brother, who has a disability. He is not your fiance’s disabled brother. His disability does not and should not define him. He is a person with certain limitations but I am sure, also many strengths and abilities, as well. His disability is only one single thing about him.
Post # 9
witchypoo13 : I agree. I said said something earlier (though I deleted it) that just because he has a disability does not mean he doesn’t have desires, feelings and thoughts. His cerebral palsy is just a part of him and I’m sure he is a great guy in general. I know a few people who have various degrees of CP and they are intelligent people with many other talents.
Reminds me of when I went on a cruise there was a Stag party and in the party was a man with Down Syndrome. He clearly was thought of as a dear friend and everyone in the party looked after him. Though it seemed he was running rings around them as he was drinking and dancing. LOL.
Post # 10
Is your fiancés brother the only brother not asked to participate? In my opinion, siblings should always be in wedding parties! He should have been asked if he wanted to participate. From your post, it sounds like you just assumed he couldn’t…….
Post # 11
Could he be a groomsmen and use a wheelchair? A BM can push the chair for him. Or a fellow GM can. Or he can walk down the aisle (albeit slowly, but that is ok!) and have a chair in the front row where he can sit.
If he’s not a groomsmen simply because they aren’t close, that’s fine. But if his disability is playing a role in why he’s not, you seriously need to reconsider your thinking.
I think you should ask him if he wants a role in the wedding, and at least offer him the opportunity to walk down the aisle or use a wheelchair. Just because he uses a wheelchair and has a stutter does not mean he can’t participate. It doesn’t matter if he walks down the aisle slower than other people.
Also, as PP pointed out to you — Please use “person first” language. He is a brother who has a disability. Not a disabled brother. He is more than his CP. Whatever role he would have in the wedding if he wasn’t disabled is the role you should offer him.
Post # 12
Wow did not realise I was going to receive so much judgement.
It is not my call whether he is a groomsmen – its my fiances. There are a lot of personal reasons why he isnt a groomsmen that I don’t feel I should explain over the internet. Even his parents agree that being part of the bridal party is not the best choice.
I’m very aware that he is more than his disability, I am not a monster simply because I accidentally phrased my words in the wrong order. He also has social issues, is sexually inappropriate, can be absolutely awful to my fiance, and a wheel chair is not an option.
If you have IDEAS on what he could do BESIDES being the bridal party I would love to hear them.
Post # 13
Maybe he could sit at the front of where the ceremony will take place and welcome them/give them programs?
Post # 14
Could he look after the rings?
Post # 15
- Wedding: March 2014 - Church and University
crispytash : I wouldn’t give him a task, per se, but just give him a boutonniere as a distinction that he’s family.