Sarah & Tim: Patiently In Love

We have the privilege of interviewing Sarah, from Wales, about her experience as a bride in a wheelchair. Welcome!
1. Can you tell readers a bit about yourself?

Sarah: I enjoy watching TV and action movies, baking, drawing, and listening to music. I’ve a quiet and shy person, but enjoy traveling outside the small town I live in. I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy and have been using a power wheelchair since I was six years old. I never walked when I was a kid, unless you count waddling like a penguin as walking.

2. Can you share your love story with us?

Sarah: In my late teens, I started to think I’d like to date someday.  As interested as I was, living in the middle of nowhere and being a very socially awkward person, I didn’t know how I was going to do this. Then my friend persuaded me into joining a dating site and it changed my whole outlook on dating.

I met Tim 18 months later. He first messaged to ask me to a local comedy festival, and something made me say yes to him—which shocked me since I hadn’t even said that to guys I’ve talked to for a year. We laughed the entire evening, and a few days later he invited himself over for the weekend. He hasn’t really left since.

It was bloody scary falling in love and I pushed my emotions away. I did everything to resist it, but he melted my heart after three months. Then on a trip to Australia, he told me we were going for a sunset picnic by the beach cliffs. I knew something was up, especially when he said we were going the wrong way. When we arrived—after practically racing to get there to catch the sunset—some blankets and candles were set up by our Aussie family. As the sun was just heading below the horizon, he got on one knee and proposed. It was so romantic!

3. What was the wedding planning like?

Sarah: I never entertained the idea of marriage or a dream wedding as a kid. During the four months we were planning it—it was low-key and cheap—we just wanted everyone to feel relaxed. Finding a venue was the hardest part, but decided on a local church 10 minutes away, a month before the wedding. The icing on the cake was that it was Tim’s birthday on that day as well (this wasn’t planned, just a date that worked), so now he can’t ever say he forgot our anniversary.

Planning everything else was scary. How was I going to find a dress shop that could cater to my needs? Will there be an accessible loo? What transport could we use? But as much as all these things were a challenge, the scariest thing was having everyone staring. I just had to remind myself they were going to stare in a nice way.

4. Did you have a great honeymoon?

Sarah: Unfortunately, we’ve not been on a honeymoon yet. We’ve been on a few mini breaks around the U.K., but nothing major. Hopefully we can get abroad soon!

5. What is the best part about the relationship with your spouse?

Sarah: Our ability to get through any situation no matter how hard things get. A week before the wedding, I got a chest infection and couldn’t do anything. Tim baked the 300+ brownies after work during the week so I wouldn’t have to stress. His enthusiasm and determination keeps me from giving up in life. We always seem to make everything work out and laugh our way through everything.

6. What advice do you have for other brides in wheelchairs?

Sarah:  Enjoy the whole process. Even when the planning feels difficult, there is a way. Don’t give up and ask for help. People prefer to help than watch someone struggle and stress. Having a disability, I had to rely on more people to do things, but everyone made a difference to how enjoyable and stress-free the day was.

bdire in wheelchair with groom outside.

From the husband:
1. What was it like to fall in love with your wife?

Tim: It was the best thing. On our first date, I remember just smiling and laughing the entire time. Weeks later, when I was asked if I wanted to be serious with Sarah, because it would be a challenging relationship, all I could think about was how happy Sarah made me. Nothing else mattered. I never saw the disability; I fell in love with everything about her.

2. In regards to the wedding planning, what do you think was the hardest/most challenging part?

Tim: Sarah’s the planner, so she really did most of the research about venues and all that. I wanted to make our rings more special. Sarah had a scoliosis operation so she has Titanium rods in her back and I wanted Titanium rings but couldn’t find anything suitable. I ended up making them myself, which was definitely challenging, but worth it.

3. What was the best part about the wedding?

Tim: Everything makes me smile thinking about the day. The sight of Sarah looking beautiful was my favorite. Having the reception go well and seeing everybody dancing and having a great time was great too.

4. What do you love most about your wife?

Tim: Her awesome sense of humour and general positivity. No matter what the situation, she always finds the funny side or the good part. Even when I’ve had a bad day at work, she’s always managed to make me smile and laugh every time, that’s what I love most about Sarah.

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