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How to Plan a Wedding That Accommodates the Elderly

Jan 05 2021

Weddings are a time when people of all ages can gather to celebrate the beauty of two people choosing to bond themselves for a lifetime. Yet, it can sometimes be hard for elderly adults to feel comfortable during big events. Older adults may need to request or assist in planning certain accommodations in advance, to be able to enjoy this special occasion. Including these strategies in your plans means that everyone will enjoy the wedding from start to finish.

Think About Your Needs

Elderly or frail adults can have a wide range of needs depending upon age, general health and personality. If you need to have access to a restroom, be sure that this need is reflected in seating arrangements. Talk to relatives and loved ones so they can be aware of and help to meet your needs, whether that involves medication, warmth or ventilation. Plan on wearing a hat if you’ll be outside, and perhaps a shawl or jacket for the wind.

Choose an Accessible Venue

During your wedding, you and other elderly guests will need to be able to enter the venue safely and make it to and from common areas, such as the bathroom without obstacles. Wedding ballrooms are designed to be accessible for everyone. If you use a wheelchair, you will find it convenient to have access to an accessible bathroom or space for your chair in the seating area.

Strategize Seating for Hearing and Vision Problems

You will want to be able to see and hear every detail of the wedding. If you have vision issues, you will want to make sure you book a venue with accessible areas that offer a view. Adults with hearing and vision problems may need to sit up front or have a seat on the aisle to see the couple walking down the carpet. The same considerations should also be considered for people with hearing problems. Anyone who uses a hearing device might appreciate being located near the speakers to catch every word.

Offer Physical Assistance Throughout the Event

Even with an accessible venue, there are unexpected situations that might come up. For instance, the wedding party might want to assign an usher to meet older relatives in the parking lot and provide assistance walking upstairs or through a potentially slippery area on a rainy day. An usher can also help to guide elderly relatives to sitting areas during times when they may need to take a break from mingling.

Once you’ve set up the ideal accommodations, you’ll be able to enjoy the wedding along with everyone else. Be proactive about speaking up about your needs, and make sure that you are able to enjoy this special day.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan