Hi everyone! It’s Kelly Perks-Bevington again writing my regular Sirus blog. This month I am writing about something a little bit different…. weddings! In particular a wheelchair accessible wedding. I have been married for four years and I absolutely loved planning my wedding, it was the best day of my life (apart from having my son!) So here are my tips to help you plan an enjoyable and accessible wedding.
Finding the right wheelchair accessible wedding venue
Find YOUR perfect venue! One thing I came across when looking at wheelchair accessible wedding venues was that not many of the venues I liked were accessible. Not only is this important to me as I use a wheelchair but my brother also uses a wheelchair and I also have a lot of disabled friends, so it was vital that my venue needed to have good accessibility. The venue I found was not accessible at all, but I was so in love with it! The venue was Asylum by Maverick Projects in London. I spoke to the owner and they agreed to build a wheelchair ramp just for us and to make the adaptations needed to make our day perfect for us. Always ask about accessibility and if it is not accessible, ask if there is anything that they can do as they may be able to accommodate. There is no reason why you shouldn’t have the venue of your dreams or should have a particular type of venue just because it is more typically wheelchair accessible. Try and make it work for YOU.
The big question…the wedding dress!
Don’t feel like you have to stick to a particular type of dress. One thing that made me feel really daunted about my wedding was dress shopping. I absolutely love fashion but the thought of buying a wedding dress scared me so much. For one, there are not many wedding dress shops near to me that have a ground floor showroom or ramped access, let alone accessible changing rooms. My friends and family nagged me for months about going dress shopping and I finally bit the bullet and spoke to Fur Coat No Knickers London and they were so accommodating. They have a vintage-inspired range of all styles that they make bespoke to fit the bride perfectly. The dress I went for was so different from how I pictured it in my head, but it looked amazing and I’m so glad that I tried loads of different styles.
Organise group transport! As we got married in London (we are from Birmingham) we decided to book group transport. In our case we booked an accessible coach which was provided by Dunwood Travel and they were great! This is the best thing we did as the atmosphere on the coach to London was amazing and something that we won’t forget. It was also great because we didn’t need to worry about wheelchair accessible parking or public transport needs.
So… the first dance
Another thing that I constantly worried about and didn’t even decide until the actual day was the first dance! I was so worried because I didn’t really want to dance in my wheelchair but at the same time, I didn’t want to force myself to stand and not be able to move around and “dance” too much. I was so wrapped up thinking about entertaining my wedding party that I didn’t think about what I actually wanted. My husband convinced me that I should stand for the dance as that is what I wanted deep down and I shouldn’t worry about how I looked to other people. I am so glad I did this as it was the most memorable part of the day. So, whether it’s “walking” down the aisle or standing for your first dance, do what makes you comfortable and think about what will make you feel good about yourself rather than what will please your guests.
My hair and make-up style
Go with your own style! For my wedding, I cut my hair really short, dyed it grey (I’ve never had light hair before!) and looked completely different as I wanted to stand out on my wedding photos. I wasn’t the traditional bride at all, but I look back on the pictures and I’m so glad I went with a look that was a little bit more me than a traditional bridal look.
I was so happy with how our wedding turned out and I’d be more than happy to chat to anyone who is planning a wheelchair accessible wedding or has any questions about my big day.
Good luck! Kelly. x
Read more of Kelly’s blogs…