Attending Weddings with a Disability

This weekend, I caught up on all the wedding invites that I have received for 2021. Due to everything that happened in 2020, most of my friends rescheduled their weddings for 2021, which created a bit of a bottleneck effect for fall of 2021. I have seven weddings to attend in the next three months. Five of those weddings are in different states and require travel. In one of those weddings, I am a groomsman.

So, I sat down and tried to come up with the best way to still be involved with all the weddings. When I sat down with all my invitations, I noticed a lot of the wedding dates were really close together. Even though things are starting to open back up, I’m still not 100% comfortable with going to a wedding due to the large amount of people. This is my personal choice. I’m concerned I will not be able to attend every wedding. If I don’t attend, does that make me a bad person?  Will my friends understand or will they think I’m just making an excuse? I know there still are a lot of variables going on in the country right now. I don’t want to cause any issues by not attending. Also, all my friends know that I use a power wheelchair, so traveling and hotel accommodations need to be planned out in advance. Even though some of the weddings have hotel chains where the rooms are blocked off, will they be accessible?

Most of my friends and people that I know are staying in an Airbnb or renting a house and splitting the cost. This is a great idea. First, it keeps everybody in a controlled environment and they can shuttle together. Two it helps keep the cost to a bare minimum. The only problem with this is for somebody in a wheelchair. It is very difficult to find any kind of a rental property that is power wheelchair accessible to meet my needs. I don’t want to be a bother to the rest of my friends, even though they have no problem picking me up and carry me upstairs. I still feel I shouldn’t have to rely on other people and I definitely do not want to take away from their experience.

So, I ended up calling my one friend who is getting married. I’ve known him since kindergarten. Months ago, I had planned to attend his wedding. Both him and his fiancé were very excited to hear that I was coming. I ended up telling him my concerns and that I probably wasn’t going to be attending his wedding due to those concerns. They were both really bummed out and they were trying to find ways to make it work for me. I felt horrible. But my mind had pretty much already been made up at that point. It was just too much between everything going on, the travel and my disability. I’m bummed that I will miss his wedding. When you have a disability, life sometimes throws curveballs at you. I’m always a proponent of never letting anything stop you and you can do anything. Unfortunately, you also need to be a realist. It would have been too much for me to attend his wedding.

Sometimes, making hard choices when it’s based on your disability is no fun. Still, I’m very thankful they understood my situation and are true friends.

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click hereto learn more about Josh.