reception venue

3 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Accessible To Guests with Disabilities

Wedding receptions are a special time to gather friends, family, and loved ones together to celebrate your new loving union. Chances are, your wedding will be attended by over 50 people, and possibly well over a hundred guests!

As such, the odds are quite high that at least one person attending your wedding will have a disability or mobility difficulties. In fact, 25%, or one in four Americans have a disability, according to U.S. census data. Since you want everyone to feel welcome and included on your big day, it’s important to consider the needs of these individuals as you plan for your wedding.

If you know one or more of your guests will be using a wheelchair or will need other accommodations, read on. Here are three tips for making your wedding more welcoming and accessible for people with disabilities:

1. Choose Your Reception Venue Wisely

Before settling on a location for your wedding reception, take time to research different banquet spaces, party venues, and other wedding spaces. Call and ask each wedding venue about their accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible bathrooms. Also do a little digging or visit each site in person to determine whether the location offers adequate:

  • Parking lot access
  • Entrances to other areas, like patios or lounge rooms
  • Working elevators
  • Outdoor spaces and paths
  • Accessible food and beverage stations

Looking for the right features in your reception venue can make the whole experience more comfortable for every guest you invite.

2. Make Seating Plans with Care

Don’t just place your disabled guests at the room’s corners. Instead, look for ways to make them feel comfortable and included. If the person won’t be dancing, they should still have a good line of sight to the festivities and be seated near the rest of the guests. Remember to include companion seating. If your guest uses a wheelchair, have the original chair removed in advance. If you’re having a buffet-style dinner, give disabled visitors a seat that’s closer to the food, too.

3. Ask The Guest Directly

If you’re unsure what your guest will need, don’t hesitate to reach out and respectfully ask! In many cases, the person will appreciate your consideration. Though it may be too late to change your reception venue, you can still offer to adjust their seating or save them a specific parking spot.

According to WeddingWire’s 2017 Report, 63% of brides feel a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding. Instead of worrying about making your wedding perfect, why not try to make it welcoming and inclusive? By prioritizing the needs of your guests over the perfect wedding cake or decorations, you can make your wedding comfortable and fun for all who attend.

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