It’s mere days before your wedding, and you’re doing last-minute jogs around the block to banish the last few millimeters from your waistline. What happens when you catch your toe in a sidewalk crack and end with crutches as your “something new?”
Although no bride likes to imagine the possibility, accidents can and do happen, but they don’t have to ruin the big day. For many brides, wheelchairs and other mobility aides are a way of life. If you’re planning a wedding with limited mobility, below are some tips to staying glamorous and stress-free.
Crutches and Walking Sticks
While diamond-encrusted walking aides are available for an extravagant price, the DIY bride can also spruce up her walking sticks and crutches with artificial gems from her local craft supply store. Try winding ribbon and flowers around them to match your bouquet.
Since the process of trying on gowns can be exhausting, start your dress shopping early. The same advice goes for brides who are wheelchair users, or anyone with limited mobility. Since changing elaborate, multi-layered clothing takes a lot of energy, you probably won’t want to try on more than a few dresses per shopping session.
Instead, focus on researching and narrowing your try-on choices to the styles you really adore. Be sure to avoid gown styles that drag on the floor, since catching a crutch in your dress can be dangerous as well as embarrassing.
When choosing a wedding venue, always do a full walkthrough not only of the venue itself, but also the route you plan to travel to get there. For example, walking aides can often slip on slick surfaces. If the sidewalk in front is slippery when wet you’ll want to make alternate rain plans (like making sure you arrive on the arms of your bridesmaids, just in case).
Check that you can easily navigate your venue’s doorways, restrooms, and any stairs or uneven flooring. You’ll have more important things to occupy your mind on the day of the wedding.
If you’ll be indulging in any of the “first dance” traditions, practice your moves ahead of time. This is especially crucial if you’re fairly new to your mobility aides. You’ll soon find that, by incorporating them into your dance repertoire, you can have even more fun than just “regular” dancing alone.
The best part: If you’re not an overly-confident dancer in general, you can always avoid embarrassment by blaming your injury.
When President Roosevelt was paralyzed from the waist down from a severe case of Polio, he rarely allowed himself to be photographed in his wheelchair, carefully constructing photo-ops where he was sitting behind a desk or supported on each side by two aides. Whether you choose to disguise your wheelchair as Roosevelt did, or to flaunt it by adding decorative elements like rhinestones and flowers, there are some important factors you’ll need to consider.
First, allow extra time for your dress fittings. Since many wedding gowns are designed for long trains and extra poof in the back, you’ll need to find styles that flatter the seated form. Sleek, modern styles with clean, simple lines work best, especially A-line dresses.
You can also take your gown to get custom-fitted, but ask around ahead of time and look at portfolios before hiring an alterations shop that specializes in the seated form. It’s essential to shorten all parts of the dress that might get caught in the wheels, so you can move around freely on your big day without worrying about undressing yourself in front of your new in-laws.
When deciding on your wedding venue, make sure it is wheelchair accessible and up-to-code with ramps and no narrow turns. If you’re choosing an outdoor venue, keep an eye out for soft, wet, or sandy patches. You may want to layer problem areas with sheets of wood or a sturdy indoor/outdoor carpet. For beach locations, look for well-maintained boardwalks.
Close your eyes and try to fully imagine your wedding from start to finish. What parts could present a problem to you or other guests in wheelchairs? Consider the height of the buffet table, any tight corners where guests will have to form a moving line, and if any doors will be awkward to open (just leave these propped open if need be).
Feeling playful? Embellish your wedding with a custom wheelchair-bride cake topper, or tie cans to the back of your chair for the classic “just married” getaway.
If you’re wearing a traditional bridal gown, lucky you; most casts come in white plaster, anyway. If you’d like to highlight your newest accessory to match your other wedding colors instead, just ask your doctor. Casts can usually be made in a wide spectrum of hues.
Your cast is an opportunity to involve your friends and family. Take a seat by the wedding guestbook and ask your guests to sign your cast, too; it will give you good reading material as you travel to your honeymoon.
If you have exposed fingers or toes, pay special attention to the nails and treat yourself to a nice mani-pedi before the event.
You can disguise an arm cast by draping a gauzy shawl or wrap around it, or hide a leg cast under a long dress. But you may choose to play up the situation, instead, and decorate your cast with rhinestones and faux gems–possibly spelling out your names and wedding date.
There are many companies that provide designer slings, ice packs, and coverings for everything from casts to crutches. See what’s available in your area and don’t be afraid to pile on the sparkles and glamour. After all, you’re getting married. And you’ll know your partner really means it when you get to the part about “for better or for worse.”
Meet Lisa, the talented and dedicated editor of our wedding, health, relationship, and lifestyle blog. With her keen eye for detail and her passion for all things related to love and wellness, Lisa is an essential part of our team.
As an expert in all things wedding, Lisa knows how to help couples navigate the often-overwhelming process of planning their big day. From choosing the perfect dress to selecting the ideal venue, she understands that every detail matters when it comes to creating a memorable and magical wedding experience.
But Lisa’s expertise doesn’t stop at weddings. She’s also a health and wellness enthusiast, always on the lookout for the latest tips and trends in self-care and mindfulness. Whether it is advice on healthy eating, fitness routines, or ways to reduce stress, Lisa knows how to help readers live their best lives.