Thursday, January 6, 2011

Weddings and Wheelchairs

When I was planning my own wedding I used to read a blog called Offbeat Bride, and one of the first things I noticed was the diversity of "brides" (and very offbeat weddings!) featured. With my wedding anniversary coming up, and plans to attend the wedding of a very dear friend this weekend I definitely have weddings on my mind, and I remembered reading a series of excellent posts about wheelchairs and weddings.

Some posts focus on brides and grooms who use wheelchairs, for example this post in which a reader seeks advice about her upcoming wedding:

I'm a bride who's disabled (I don't want to say I'm CONFINED to a wheelchair, but I do need one when I don't feel like crawling on my hands and knees.) My experience as an oft-seated individual is that beautiful dresses don't have quite the same visual sweep on me as they do on someone standing up.

It's also my experience that it takes people a minute to notice that I've entered a room, because I'm just simply not at their eye-level. So I've never really been able to do any real entrance-making. How do I make a little drama when I go to walk down the aisle?

Also, what kind of gown would be visually stunning for a bride who's sitting on her ass? And is there a way to convey me down the aisle that makes it so I'm looking at my guests and not up at them? -Nicolette

The response comes from Andy, whose very very cool wedding was also featured on Offbeat Bride.  It's rare to see representations of beautiful, trendy, fashionable women who use wheelchairs. I love seeing a bride who "rocks a wheelchair" featured in popular media.

Offbeat Bride also has a series of posts and links to other "disability friendly" weddings, most notably "a wheelie special wedding."

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the representation of people with disability in the media. Do you find the images of Andy's wedding as positive as I do?

*Photo Credits: Andy and Jeff's bright green and design detailed wedding, from Offbeat Bride


  1. Hi Emma,

    I'm with you, I think this is great.

    I find images of disabled people doing 'normal' activities such as getting married are much more empowering and realistic than the commonly reported stories telling of disabled people doing so-called 'inspirational' things like running a marathon or climbing Everest.

    Great post.

    Check out my blog if you're interested here -


  2. Hey Carl. Yep, there is something great about just being "normal" or "average" isn't there.
    I've just spent half an hour reading through your blog entries to date and I will definitely keep reading!

  3. Hi Emma, I was googling 'wheelchair disco' (I'm planning a 13th birthday party for my daughter) and came across this entry. So inspirational! I love what Carl wrote about everyday empowering images, and wrote something similar in an article once.
    Anyway thanks for a great item - I'm looking forward to reading some of your other entries. Cheers, Moira

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