Finding a wheelchair accessible wedding dress store or a perfect venue is challenging. So is accepting the fate that honeymoon destinations, like Venice, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; Bruges, Belgium; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Alexandria, Egypt, are not wheelchair friendly. But don’t worry, there are many wonderful other options to help you enjoy a romantic trip together!
In the U.S., there are great cities that are accessible, so pick something that tickles your fancy without the hassle of international travel. Feeling like an outdoorsy getaway? Try Portland, Oregon or Denver, Colorado. Want that sunshine? Malibu or San Diego are great options. Did you know that Seattle, Washington and Washington DC are one of the most accessible cities in the country? Possibly there is something less than a hundred miles from where you are, too. Or maybe you’re into a cross country road trip? Remember that not everything may be 100% accessible, but there are great places in the states that can make for a great honeymoon with a little research.
Stick to accessible international cities/countries.
As the list at the top suggests, there are a lot of places that are not designed for wheelchair users, however, there are places that are further ahead in accessibility than others. For example: Dubai, Beijing, Jerusalem, London; Montreal, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Stratford on Avon, England; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Cape Town, South Africa. Remember that location isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to accessibility and acceptance of people with disabilities. Accessible rental cars, taxis, and public transport is important to consider in a city, as well as attractions and hotels and airports. A great indication of an accessible location is if there are any wheelchair rental stores in the area, which can be helpful should someone happen to your wheelchair. Each culture on disability awareness varies from place to place, so be aware that you might get more attention in certain cities than others. This includes the existence of disability rights as well.
Take a cruise.
Most cruises that start in the states are extremely accommodating to wheelchair users, while at the same time offer you international views. For example, Cory Lee, talks about how accessible Alaskan Cruise was for him in a blog post. Just like when booking a hotel, make sure your room is up to ADA standards (and more, if possible), like a cabin with wide doorways, large spaces in common areas, and accommodating bathrooms/showers. The perks of doing a cruise includes having many options of ship sizes and dock destinations to choose from. Cruises aren’t only physically accessible, but also have helpful staff and doctors that are there to care of any complications.
Participate in a buddymoon.
The practice of enjoying a honeymoon with another honeymoon couple is nothing new. It’s actually pretty common to invite a new married couple to join in at the end of the honeymoon. However, it may be a bit more challenging to find another bride in a wheelchair to join in on a honeymoon, but not impossible. Social media is a great way to reach out to people, or even wheelchair accessible travel agencies or bloggers, like Sylvia at Spin The Globe/Travel or Cory Lee of Curb Free. You never know what advice these people may have. And even if a place seems to be inaccessible (I’ve visited Russia and Egypt, and know how inaccessible those places are), someone will know a way around it, like St. Petersburg, Russia via Cory’s blog.
Now, you, of course, can pick an able-bodied couple to join in on your honeymoon, that is completely a personal preference. It just might be easier/more relatable to buddymoon with another beauty in a wheelchair. You can also always email us, hello (@) bridesinwheelchairs.com and ask if someone contacted us looking for a buddymoon. And if you do a destination wedding, you can have a friend couple do a buddymoon with you.
Do a destination wedding.
Destination weddings can be more expensive or less expensive, more of a hassle or less of a hassle, than a traditional wedding. In summary, a destination wedding is meant to be away from the hometown and the subsequent honeymoon is meant to be at the same resort venue. Depending on a lot of factors, destination weddings can ease the hassle of planning for a honeymoon. It also means your family and friends are with you, should you need some extra assistance. If your people can travel to a destination wedding and everything is accessible, it’s a win-win! Just remember there are other things to consider, like having an extra event outside the normal Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party ritual, such as a Welcome Party and a Brunch The Day After The Wedding. Also, remember to research travel insurance in case something happens overseas; and keep in mind the season of travel for your desired destination.
Dream big and travel the world with the love of your life, you beauty on wheels!