When we recapped our thoughts about the venue later in the car, we both disappointedly took the castle off the top of our wedding venue list. We only had a few requirements, but accessibility was paramount. With my disability, I can get around most places fairly easily with or without my cane, and I could climb the castle’s steep stone steps and use its small, old bathroom. But not all our guests could, and that matters.
Throughout the wedding planning process, I’ve felt most comfortable with vendors who don’t make assumptions about my or my guests’ abilities and who work with their couples to make them feel seen and understood.
As a queer disabled person, I know exactly what it feels like when my access needs aren’t taken into account — and it comes up frequently. Despite the fact that the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design outlines what makes a facility accessible, many businesses — wedding venues included — get away with remaining inaccessible because they were built before 1991. While the disabled community is often very thorough in making sure events are accessible to everyone, it’s common for non-disabled friends and family to think the burden is on us to voice our own needs. Macey and I decided that our wedding wouldn’t be like that. We would be intentional in our accessibility planning from the beginning so every guest would feel welcome and supported. And we would provide that information readily on our wedding website, so guests can plan in advance without worrying about their access needs.