Recently there was a post that hit the main page that said the only way to plan a wedding while disabled and/or chronically ill was to hire a wedding planner. I respectfully disagree, and would even argue that that is an incredibly ableist statement. I am currently planning a semi-large wedding, and have been planning it about half of the time from the hospital. A little background on me; I have several serious chronic illnesses, and spend my time split between the hospital and home. My partner works full time, so most of the time I’m home with my service dog. I am in a wheelchair about 90% of the time, though my home isn’t accessible, so at home, I’m mostly bed/couchbound, and I use crutches most of the time in the home to prevent falls, and my time upright is limited on most days to prevent syncopal episodes. So, I’d say I fall into the category of fairly limited when it comes to planning a wedding! So if I can do it...I think many of us can, without a wedding planner! Budgets!
In this day and age, thanks to the internet, it is amazing to be able to get an in-depth look at venues remotely and be able to narrow them down to a select few, or even down to your dream venue remotely! This is excellent because it greatly reduces physical strain when it comes to vetting venues. The internet also allows one to search for independent reviews and images so that you can get a real view of the venue and how others have experienced it without only relying on cherry-picked reviews. Seeing what photographers have worked at the venue also allows for accessing pictures that the venue hasn’t shown, allowing for excellent views! Bonus points if they show extra views of accessibility features that the venue mentions! We are in the middle of moving and are planning our wedding in our new city, so this has been extra important to us since I can’t physically visit our picked venue for quite a few months, but we’ve chosen it anyway due to the extra research we’ve been able to do online. These research techniques also carry over to caterers, cake bakeries, photographers, and music/DJs! And another huge perk is that you can do this on the schedule that works for you and your body. Is your most productive and alert time 3 am? That’s fine! No one minds an email in the middle of the night, they don’t have to respond to it then! Sure, it does make a conversation take a little bit longer, but it also allows you to work on your own time. Our wedding is taking place 12/21/2020 (winter solstice!) and we are working on planning now, but in the world of weddings, that isn’t a terribly long time, but certainly allows me the time to plan it on my time schedule and take these conversations on my time without exhausting myself. Another thing to consider is that most wedding venues do come with a day of coordinator included in their fee. While I certainly don’t think that we need a wedding planner just because I am disabled and chronically ill, I think every bride/groom regardless of disability or illness status deserves a day of coordinator so that they can truly enjoy the day that they’ve put their time, heart, and money into.
Look for part two of how to REALLY plan an accessible wedding while disabled and chronically ill in the next few days to wrap up how we’re planning our accessible wedding ourselves, without a coordinator, because it’s incredibly ableist to state that just because someone is disabled and/or chronically ill that they must need a wedding planner to put together an amazing wedding!
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