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As I am a permanent wheelchair user, finding a accessible wedding and reception venue proved to be challenging – especially as we live out in the country! Norfolk is renowned for its scenic countryside and the Norfolk Broads. Brimming with historical buildings and quaint villages. Therefore, due to the age of some buildings, they cannot be adapted to accommodate wheelchairs or accessible facilities.
I would like to share with you the things we had to consider when choosing the perfect venue(s). So you beautiful couples out there don’t have to worry about what to ask, albeit some will be obvious, however it is best to double-check!
All venues have a duty to provide disabled toilets, however, the adaptations provided in the disabled toilets must be put into place. The door must be, at the very minimum, 80cm in width. Also, they must open outwards. Hand/Grab rails are required to be securely attached to the designated areas to ensure safety and stability. Lowered sinks are essential too. Plus, emergency cords are required.
Remember, when viewing a venue(s), check these out, so you definitely know that your day will go smoothly!
Are there parking spaces situated close to the venue(s)? Not only for wheelchairs but for those who cannot walk long distances – with or without mobility aids/support from others. If they do not provide parking spaces, is there transport available to get to and from the venue(s)? If so, ensure all types of transport, which will be used on the day, are accessible.
As I mentioned above, some buildings will not be able to install a lift due to the age of the building. However, there should be other entrances which are accessible, all is not lost! Then again, some buildings may have a lift installed which will give you access to all floors. If there are steps leading into the building/room, will ramps be provided? Or you could ask if you could bring your own – only if its light to carry and portable!
As I mentioned above, for equal access, all doors must be at least 80cm wide. If a wheelchair is wider than the minimum width, make sure all doors, which will be used by wheelchair users, are measured correctly- if there are double-doors, fantastic!
Ensure that there is enough room for wheelchairs to easily get through – Please Do Not leave belongings on the floor or block pathways – we want to get on the dancefloor too!
For the duration of the ceremony and speeches, remove the required amount of chairs which will enable space for wheelchair users – otherwise, we feel like we are being a burden if we have to ask for something to be moved!
Want to find out more about the most picturesque, countryside wedding venues located in England and France, which have wheelchair access, then click here!