Disabled People Don’t Get Married!21 Jun 2011
As some of you know, and for those of you who don’t, I am engaged and am getting married later this year. With just under 5 months left until my nuptials, I thought I’d share my experience of the wedding process so far, from the point of view of someone with a disability, as I haven’t found very many stories from anyone with a disability
out there in cyber space.
Todd and I got engaged in April 2010, we met on a dating website and had been together for about 15 months when he asked me to marry him. Being the very fussy person that I am, Todd was nervous about picking an engagement ring for me, in case I didn’t like it...
One afternoon, I came home from work and he surprised me with a ring box, as we’d been discussing marriage, I was pretty sure I knew what was inside it, but when I opened it, I was shocked! It was one of the most beautiful rings I had ever seen! I immediately said ‘yes’ and then we proceeded to go crazy texting and calling everyone with our exciting news. Everyone was so happy for us and I couldn’t wait to start showing my latest accessory off.
Because I’m so tiny, obviously getting a ring to fit my very small fingers is almost impossible, and this ring was no exception, it swam on me. I took it to the jewellers the next day to get resized. My finger was once again naked while the jewellers adjusted it, I had to wait a few days, but when I got it back, it was just perfect, and so began the flaunting of my beautiful new ring.
We had already settled on a date even before we got engaged.... Our anniversary is on the 11th November so with 2011 coming up, we thought it would be such a great idea to have our wedding on our anniversary, which would make our wedding date 11/11/11.
First thing on my list was to go searching for a dress. I knew nothing would fit me, so I was tossing up between the idea of having something designed for me or getting a dress altered. A good friend of mine accompanied me to a bridal store to have a browse.
This was the first shop I visited and it gave me a very dreary outlook of what was to come in the following 18 month lead up to my wedding.
We entered the store, and my friend hadn’t seen me for a while, or at least since I got engaged, and was getting excited about my ring and we proceeded to the store’s counter, where we were both talking all about the ring and pointing at it.
The shop assistant then came up to us and looking at my friend, asked if she needed any help... My friend advised that I was getting married and we were there to look at what bridal gowns they had, the lady (who was in her mid – late 20’s) gave my friend a book and said that she will need to look through it to see if what she wanted was available to try on. The lady never once looked at or acknowledged me during the whole process.
Once I picked out a couple of dresses that I was interested in, the lady then began to explain to my friend that the store didn’t have any of those dresses available. So with nothing that we wanted in their store and the utterly rude behaviour of the shop assistant, despite my friend’s constant reminder that I was getting married, we decided to leave and vowed even if we saw something perfect on our way out, we would NEVER purchase anything from there or go back into that store.
I left feeling very sad and a lot like Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ when the shop assistants refused to serve her. I felt embarrassed and completely invisible. When I got home, I told Todd about my shopping experience and said that I didn’t really want to go back to look for a dress again, in case I’m treated the same everywhere. As Todd always jokingly says to me, ‘disabled people aren’t meant to be in a relationship or get married’.... As completely wrong as it is, that’s exactly what a lot of people’s stereotypical views seem to be!
Stay tuned for the next instalment of my wedding plans..... Did I go shopping again? Did I find a dress? Did I get something designed for me? Find out next week!