Planning a Wedding with Accessibility in Mind

Disability Rights Wedding Editorial

Preparing for one of the biggest days of your life can be as testing as it can be exciting, what with the multitude of things to think about. If you’re not organising the venue, you’re dreaming up your wedding invitations. If you’re not debating a dress with your mother, you’re talking your groom-to-be’s best man down from any eccentric goings on.

Additional accessibility needs can then add to your list of things to consider. Whether it’s you, your partner, or even some of your guests that require additional accessibility or mobility aids, making sure your wedding is suited to the needs of those attending is a must, to really make the most of the special day.

While accessibility has become a hot topic of conversation recently, there are still a number of locations and venues associated with weddings, that fail to provide enough accessible options to make your day as comfortable for everyone as possible. As such, mobility aid providers, Ability Superstore, have provided a few words of wisdom to help you plan your wedding with accessibility in mind.

Save the dates will come in handy

You’re engaged! Congratulations! There aren’t many occasions that make you feel as giddy as you do when your other half pops the question. Now, while you might think that sending a few save the date cards are just to let your nearest and dearest know when you plan on getting wed, you could in fact use it to find out about any accessibility needs.

Even if you don’t require any additional accessibility yourself, you might find that some of your guests might. With this in mind, create your guest list filled with those closest to you, and start filling in those ‘save the date’ cards. If you’re having your cards designed, you could add in a section that asks your guests if they have any accessibility needs. That way, you’re prepared well in advance, before the official invitations go out and before you have decided on your venue.

Don’t forget the plus ones! You don’t want to plan your wedding knowing that your guests don’t require any accessibility needs, only to the discover that their plus ones might. All it takes is asking your guests to think about their plus ones, too, when responding to your ‘save the date’ card.

Disability Rights Wedding Editorial

The various locations are key

Now that you know of any accessibility requirements both for the two of you and your guests, you can begin dreaming of your perfect wedding venue.

If you had any venues in mind beforehand, begin by doing a quick internet search to discover if they cater for accessibility. Bear in mind that if you’re looking to book an older venue, their accessibility might not be as obvious, so it’s always a good idea to get in touch with the venue to discuss your needs.

Reception venues and hotels

Think about reception locations, too. If you are planning on having a church wedding, for example, the chances are you will be throwing your reception in another venue nearby. As well as discussing the venue’s accessibility, you should also consider the distance between the wedding venue and the reception, as well as if there are any local taxis or car companies available to hire, should you or your guests need driving between the two.

Nearby hotels are well worth looking into, as well as their accessibility. Ideally, you would hope to find a hotel that meets your needs close by, but if not, transport may be required, especially after a night of dancing and celebrating!

Hen and stag dos

How about your hen and stag do? If you and/or your groom require extra accessibility when it comes to your ‘last night of freedom’, you don’t want to show up at the venue only to find they don’t cater to you or your guests’ needs. The same goes for your hen or stag do as it does the wedding venues; think about where you want to have it, and make the call to find out if they can provide the accessibility you need.

If you’re worried a night on the town isn’t going to be enjoyable, think about alternative ways to throw a party! From a weekend in a lodge to afternoon tea, a spa day to adrenaline fuelled activities, there’s plenty of ways to make the most of it without the worry of accessibility.

Top Tip: If you’ve spoken to managers of venues over the phone, don’t just take their word for it. Once they’ve said they can provide additional accessibility, book in a time to go and visit the venue, where they can show you what they can offer. You don’t want to be assured into thinking everything will be ok on the day, only to show up with little accessibility available.

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Budget-Friendly Pub Wedding with the Bride in Blue

Budget-Friendly Pub Wedding with the Bride in Blue (22)

Steph and Ted may have spent less than £6000 on their Newcastle wedding, but they had a fantastically fun day. Their main goal was for everyone to have a great time without spending a huge amount of money.

“My brother Rikki and his wife Alix inspired us”, Steph began. “They had an incredible wedding in London a few years ago. Their day showed us that you can have the most fun without spending tens of thousands. Ted and I didn’t want to look a certain way or try to be anything other than just us having fun like we have done for the past eight years. So we kind of used our memories of places, parties and festivals as inspiration too.”

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The bride’s beautiful blue, two-piece dress was made by The Bespoke Bridal Boutique in Kettering. “My two-piece blue wedding gown was really unique. Laura at Bespoke Bridal Boutique designed and made me a dress that fit my style, personality and budget perfectly. Having in independent designer make my perfect dress actually saved us money too. I tried on ‘normal’ wedding dresses and the ones that I thought were only alright were priced in excess of £2000! Wedding dress shopping was hell for me everything looked the same. All I could see was silk, nets and white and I never wear white so it was hard to like anything. I met with Laura to discuss options she literally knew what I wanted before I did. She is an alternative wedding dress hero and blew me away at every point during our journey. On our wedding day Laura sent me a drawn image of my dress framed and signed and it brought me to tears it was a really nice touch.”

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Glam Las Vegas Inspired Wedding

Glam Las Vegas Inspired Wedding (18)

Laura and Dom got engaged at the Grand Canyon while on a trip to Las Vegas. As they both love the city and 1950s glam, they decided that should be their wedding theme. Laura wore a red wedding dress, and they had a polka dot theme for the bridal party; the bridesmaids wore 50s style polka dot dresses and the groomsmen had polka dot pocket squares. For entertainment they had casino tables, a pianist, and Laura did a choreographed dance with her dad.

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“We both wanted everyone to enjoy our wedding day”, said the bride. “We wanted a very short ceremony followed by a big party. Everyone gasped when I entered the room in a red dress! I had a charm with a photo of my granddad on it attached to my bouquet which a friend gave me the night before the wedding. My granddad was very important to me and passed away in June 2015.”

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Money Saving Wedding Hack: Supermarket Flowers

Money Saving Wedding Hack Supermarket Flowers1

There’s no denying that all the little added extras can really bump up the cost of your big day. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while (or even if you haven’t!) you may have started to realise that just because you’re having a wedding doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. Buying your dress from a high street store, having ‘pot-luck’ catering, asking guests to BYO booze… there are so many creative ways to help make your budget stretch further.

Flowers, however, can be a tough nut to crack. If you’ve been swooning over big fluffy peonies and extravagant rose bouquets, then you will have quickly discovered that these popular blooms come with a hefty price tag… And let’s be honest, not everyone wants to spend that much on something that only lasts a day. But just because you’re having a budget wedding doesn’t mean your flowers can’t look like a million bucks.

Did you know that Lidl offers fresh everyday flowers at a fraction of the price of well-known florists and even other supermarkets? If you’re planning to DIY your wedding flowers you may not have considered Lidl, but their extensive year-round offering and bunches available from 95p makes them the perfect alternative flower option for weddings.

So instead of dropping a huge amount of cash on your bouquets, why not pop to the supermarket before your wedding (Lidl flowers last 10 days or more) and spend a couple of evenings with your bridesmaids, a couple of bottles of prosecco and embrace your inner florist!? Don’t worry about making them too perfect either, having an undone, homemade vibe is all part of the charm!

Money Saving Wedding Hack Supermarket Flowers

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Rockabilly Meets Mexican Fiesta Wedding

Rockabilly Meets Mexican Fiesta Wedding (43)

Mel and Lee met through mutual friends at a car show in 2010. They got talking about their cars and that was it! They wanted their wedding to reflect their day-to-day style and interests so, although Day of the Dead was their underlying theme, as far as everything else went, if they liked it they put it in the wedding! The end result was a Mexican fiesta, meets Day of the Dead, meets rockabilly wedding.

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The wedding took place at The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth. “We didn’t worry about having a set theme”, said Mel. “The underlying theme was Day of the Dead, but we also just wanted it be ‘us’. We mostly chose vendors that we knew. The photographer, cake maker, florist, band, make up artist and most other smaller contributors were all ether friends, or friends of friends. We are lucky to know some very talented people! We liked how this made it feel really personal and we also made some amazing new friends through planning the wedding.”

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Why You Should Have a Gift List (Even if you Already Live Together)

Why You Should Have a Gift List (Even if you Already Live Together) (4)

For many couples, the idea of creating a wedding gift list probably feels a bit awkward… like you’re expecting your guests to buy you something. Believe me, I know the feeling. It was my birthday last week and I felt so awkward about the whole “So what do you want for your birthday?” question that I just told everyone the same thing and ended up with three Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot candles. Not that that’s really a problem mind, it smells freaking amazing.

Believe it or not, the majority of your guests really do want to buy a present for your wedding. So here are six reasons why I think you should suck up the awkward and start that gift registry!

Lots of your guests will want to buy you a gift

Your wedding is one of the most special in your entire lives and most of your guests do actually want to give you a gift to commemorate that day. It’s also a chance for them to help you build your lives as a married couple and maybe even buy you a future heirloom that will forever remind you of them.

It’s makes it easy for your guests

A wedding gift list makes it much more straight-forward for your guests and you get what you want. It can actually be harder if there’s no gift list at all, since many of your guests will wonder what the protocol is, how much to spend, what you’ll find useful etc. Having a list also avoids my problem of duplicate gifts because once someone buys something for you, it comes off meaning you won’t end up with 37 Jo Malone candles (although OMG how good would your house smell?)

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You’ll have gifts to keep for ever

There aren’t many special occasions when you get to choose gifts that will become family heirlooms in the future. This is the time to register for something you might never have the money to buy for yourself.

You can ask for exactly what you want!

Gift lists are no longer boring or old-fashioned. Nowadays you can tailor-make a gift list to reflect your personal style. If you don’t want or need a new toaster, then you don’t have to ask for one! A Prezola gift list can include anything from homeware to honeymoon contributions, cash to charity donations!

Some guests think asking for cash is rude

Although there’s less of a taboo with asking for cash as there used to be, some guests (maybe your older ones) are often less keen on giving cash. They might not be sure how much to give, or are worried it’ll just go on boring things like bills! While you can add cash contributions to a Prezola gift list, you should still include plenty of physical items for your more traditional relatives.

Online gift list services are great for busy couples who like to do their ‘wedmin’ online

Unlike gift registries in high street shops, online gift lists tend to offer way more flexibility as you’re not limited to one store or chain. With Prezola, the UK’s leading specialist online wedding gift list company, you can add items to your list from anywhere online. They list over 30,000 products from 300 different shops including Wedgwood, Le Creuset, The White Company, Graham & Green and Soho Home. Using an online gift list is also super easy and means you can create and add to your list on the move or at home on the sofa, without having to go into a store to do so.

Using Prezola is completely free, including using their dedicated Personal Shopper service, free delivery of all your items and optional gift wrapping. If you want to include cash contributions, a honeymoon fund, charity donations, gift vouchers or to add bespoke gifts from sites they do not already represent, then there’s a flat one-off fee of just £59.

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