Creating a more inclusive experience makes your wedding more meaningful for everyone you invite. Taking the time to ensure that it’s accessible for all guests is essential.
When planning a wedding, there are many things to consider; what vendors you might use, the food you’ll serve, where you’ll have the wedding, and so much more. When you’re making these choices, they’ll most certainly reflect you and your partner. However, don’t forget to keep your loved ones in mind when planning your big day.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, around 1 in 6 people in Australia have a disability. This equates to roughly 4.4 million people living with a disability, which means there’s a chance you’ll want to ensure your wedding is inclusive for all guests. This blog is a starter guide to how you can have a more inclusive wedding to make it friendly for those living with a disability.
When choosing a venue, it’s essential to open dialogue with the venue to ask about their accessibility options for yourself or your guests.
An excellent way to check the level of accessibility a venue has is to list the minimum requirements you’ll need. Here are some things you may want to ask your venue about potentially:
- Does the venue have ramp access at the entry/exit?
- Are there automatic door openers?
- Do the steps have alternative accessible options for anyone who might need them?
- Are there accessible restrooms big enough for wheelchairs?
- Are there elevators, if required, at the venue?
- Are the seating arrangements inclusive, and if not, can they be?
- If transport can be provided, is it accessible?
A disability of any kind should not prevent a guest from enjoying your wedding day.
No matter what the circumstances are in life, we can only go off the information that has been made available to us, so if there will be instances where a vendor needs to be informed to accommodate someone, especially if someone in the bridal party, please don’t hesitate to let the vendor know.
For example, suppose your photographer is planning a trip up a stairway that doesn’t have an alternate accessible route. In that case, they’d change their plans if they had relevant information presented to them. It could be mobility limitations or anything at all; as long as the appropriate vendor is informed, they can assist you in creating a plan that works with the individual in mind.
No one wants to feel excluded, left out, or made feel like an afterthought at a wedding. Creating an inclusive and welcoming event benefits everyone.
Sometimes it’s what can’t be seen: not all disabilities are overtly visible to everyone else, nor are they obvious at first glance. Some guests at your wedding may have visual impairments, medical disabilities, difficulty with speech, hearing, or anything else.
Including support systems for aspects of your wedding can do wonders for those that may otherwise struggle. An example might be having an interpreter, advising guests not to use flash photography, or having captions if your wedding will be live-streamed.
Ask Questions From The Start
When sending out your RSVPs or inviting guests to your wedding, taking the time to offer your guests the chance to respond if they have any dietary restrictions or require any special accommodations to be made to assist them in enjoying the day to the full extent is a great idea.
There is so much more to learn, implement and understand when ensuring your wedding is accessible for all guests, but we hope this blog serves as a starting framework to understand better what you might need.