If you, your spouse-to-be or one of your guests rely on a wheelchair, you have extra considerations on your big day. After all, you want everyone to enjoy the celebration equally.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when planning a wheelchair-accessible wedding ceremony.
1. Consider All Barriers
If neither you nor your partner relies on a chair, you probably haven’t seen the world from that perspective since you were a child. Please remember that the average wheelchair sits 27 inches off the ground. If your buffet table is prohibitively high, they might not enjoy their reception meal much.
It isn’t only objects’ heights creating barriers. If you are having a home wedding, your shag carpet can catch in your guests’ wheels, making your living room uncrossable. You don’t have to redo your flooring before your big day, but you should install runners to ease their bathroom access.
Most 23-inch to 27-inch interior doors aren’t wide enough to allow wheelchair access. If you have an older home, you might need to book a venue for your reception if you don’t feel like remodeling.
2. Work With Your Vendors
Unless you use a wheelchair, you probably don’t think about accessibility issues every day. However, your vendor does — they need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements to stay in business.
Inform them that one of your guests uses a chair. If you are having a beachside wedding, they might create an artificial boardwalk to let your invitees wheel down to the waterfront. If you are hosting a buffet, they’ll ensure all guests can see and reach the offerings from their vantage point.
3. Be Willing to Compromise
Few things in life are perfect. Maybe you always dreamed of exchanging your vows on a remote mountaintop — but you must accept such a choice leaves out a beloved relative who uses a chair.
Stay open to compromise. If your house isn’t wheelchair-accessible, but the guest is someone like your parent, will they open the doors of their home on your big day? Are you willing to give invitees two or three sit-down meal options instead of hosting a buffet?
Plan a Wheelchair-Accessible Wedding Ceremony With These Three Guidelines
Planning a wheelchair-accessible wedding requires consideration and compromise. Keep the above guidelines in mind when charting your big day.