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Does Your Venue Accommodate Disabled or Handicapped Guests?

How to ensure that your special day is accessible for everyone.

While not always on the minds of the bride and groom, this is a crucial factor for many couples, since not every venue you come across will in fact accommodate those with limited mobility.

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Photo: Ginny Corbett Photography

As you begin researching wedding venues and scheduling appointments to visit the ceremony and reception locations, your guest list should be one of the first factors you consider. Not only will you want to choose a property that will accommodate your guest count and be comfortable for those in attendance, but you should also think about your disabled and handicapped attendees and learn more about the accessibility available. While not always on the minds of the bride and groom, this is a crucial factor for many couples, since not every venue you come across will in fact accommodate those with limited mobility. The comfort and enjoyment of your attendees is of great priority and a concern you’ll have to put thought into for the sequence of events throughout the big day.

Even if you are unaware that you’ll have an impaired guest attend your wedding celebration as circumstances can change quickly, it is still a good idea to question the accessibility of the venue you'll be choosing. If you do not quite know what to ask, we encourage you to review these questions in order to help you discover which wedding venue will best accommodate all of your guests’ needs.

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Photo by Leslie Ann Photography

Is the venue wheelchair accessible?

Most wedding venues will have ramps to help guests who cannot walk up or down the stairs, but some venues have not been renovated for historical purposes. If there are no ramps or accessibility options, you can always rent a ramp for the day to ensure everyone can attend the event comfortably.

Does the venue offer handicapped parking?

Even if the wedding location does not have a parking section dedicated for disabled visitors, you may ask to reserve an area for specific wedding guests to ensure they have an easy time entering and exiting the site. Depending on how far the lot is away from the venue itself, the venue may offer a shuttle system or other forms of accommodation for your guests.

How accessible are the bathrooms?

Because restrooms may not be as spacious as the rest of the wedding venue, be sure to question the size of the restroom stalls and the pathways in which to get there. Many venues will have at least one handicapped stall available, but it's important to check!

Are there any elevators?

Instead of ramps, some wedding venues will have elevators that are convenient for any guest. Ideally, you’ll want the elevator to be large enough to fit one or more wheelchair, and you also want to ensure that it is a safe and functional system to avoid any horror stories.

How spacious is the venue in general?

You don’t want a guest in crutches or with a cane to feel cramped as he or she arrives to the ceremony or reception – or walks to his or her seat at either event. Not only is this dangerous for the guest and others around them, but it will create a miserable experience for the attendee.

For more wedding ideas and tips, discover how to have an adults-only wedding, find out which wedding etiquette mistakes you can expect some guests to make, and learn what not to do in front of your wedding guests.