We have the privilege of interviewing Sarah, from Florida, about her experience as a bride in a wheelchair. Welcome!
1. Can you tell readers a bit about yourself?
Sarah: I live on the east coast and love basketball! When I was three and a half, I had a complication from a heart surgery that I had to do because of a spinal cord injury. It paralyzed me from the waist down and use a manual wheelchair to get around. With all of the rolling I have to do, and from playing wheelchair basketball, I now have the strongest arms!
2. Can you share your love story and how you got there?
Sarah: I never expected anyone to date me, let alone want to marry me, because of my disability. But when my mom encouraged me to sign up for online dating, I gave it a try and clicked with Darren right away. He was the first person I spoke to online, and when we met in person four days later, for dinner and karaoke, it was an instant connection. When I discovered what an amazing man he is and how much he loved me despite my disability, I really started to fall for him. Then, Darren proposed to me when my family and I were celebrating Fourth of July by the water (in Florida), and during the fireworks, he asked me to marry him.
3. What was the wedding planning like?
Sarah: Figuring out the budget was really hard, but we got some help from my mother-in-law (for the flower making), and a friend was our emcee. I got lucky with finding my wedding dress from one store. And since I got wedding planning help from Darren, my mother, and his mother, I was surrounded by lots of support. One challenge was wondering how my father would “walk me down the aisle.” We decided that both of my parents would walk me down the aisle, each pushing one of my handlebars as I smiled and held the bouquet in my hands. Another challenge was doing the first dance as a newly married couple. I wasn’t sure how we would do that. We ended up practicing a few spins and dance moves before the wedding and danced to, “All of You,” by John Legend. All in all, I was happy I decided to marry him and everything turned out perfect.
4. Did you have a great honeymoon?
Sarah: It was fantastic! We decided to do a cruise and the company was very accommodating. The cabin was great and the bathroom was large, with hand bars in the right places. We enjoyed doing karaoke, lounging by the pool, and of course, the food!
5. What is the best part about the relationship with your spouse?
Sarah: We are always on the same wavelength and it’s like we both know what each of us is thinking. He really loves me, flaws and all, and has a huge heart.
6. What advice do you have for other brides in wheelchairs?
Sarah: Make sure your wedding day is the one you’ve been dreaming of. Even if you have to make modifications, you can have that perfect location and dress. Make it a day you will want to remember.
From the husband:
1. What was it like to fall in love with your wife?
Darren: Sarah was one of the most interesting and passionate women I have ever met. The first time we went out, I was nervous and excited at the same time, but she made me feel comfortable. I loved spending time with her and couldn’t wait to fall more in love with her.
2. In regards to the wedding planning, what do you think was the hardest/most challenging part?
Darren: Trying to work with in our budget and making our families happy. We had to find the right balance between our wishes and theirs.
3. What was the best part about the wedding?
Darren: The moment I saw Sarah coming down the aisle. I started to cry knowing my dream of finding the perfect partner had come true.
4. What do you love most about your wife?
Darren: She has the most amazing passion and love for helping others. She makes me want to be a better man, she brings out the best in me.