I absolutely love sharing my experiences with you all, and this was a memorable experience so I thought I’d write a blog post for you lovely lot. You may be able to tell from the title that this post isn’t my usual type of post, it’s not every day that you’re a bridesmaid, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realised that my experience of being a bridesmaid is a bit different to sighted people’s, I also thought it may help other bridesmaids who have a visual impairment, or someone planning to have a visually impaired bridesmaid.
My cousin and her (now husband) got engaged last year and decided to plan their wedding in around 10 weeks, honestly, I’ve no idea how they did it! They found a venue which they absolutely loved and decided to get married sooner rather than later, rather than wait.
My cousin asked me to be bridesmaid at the end of 2017 which I obviously said yes! I felt so honoured that she asked me, as it’s such an important role. There were three bridesmaids altogether, myself and two young girls.
Once she had asked us, we obviously had to go dress shopping! We went in the middle of December, we got the younger bridesmaids dresses sorted and got one for me as well but we weren’t 100% certain on it. She ordered some online so around a week later, we had a trying on session because obvs it’s got to be done. We tried two or three dresses on and they were either too small or didn’t look or feel right, we were starting to think that we would have to go with the one that she had previously bought. I tried the final dress on and that was it, our decision had been made! It was really comfortable, and my cousin told me that I looked lovely in it (so I was told). The dress also matched the other bridesmaid’s dresses so that was a bonus. I would have really liked to see what I looked like in it but my cousin gave me a description of the dress and reassured me that I looked nice. I also really liked the material of the dress, it had a lovely touch.
When shopping for new clothes, I always like to go with someone that I trust, and my cousin is definitely one of those people. When you have a visual impairment, shopping on your own can be extremely difficult depending on how much useful vision you have so shopping with people you trust is most definitely a necessity, especially for special occasions like a wedding.
However, there was only one problem, the dress was floor length and as I’m not the tallest person, it trailed on the floor rather a lot, even with heels on. This meant that we needed to get it taken up, then I wouldn’t be worried about tripping over it. I said that I wouldn’t, but it’s me so anything could happen…
We got the dress taken up after Christmas, around three inches needed to be taken off it in the end so it was rather a lot.
Once we got it back, I tried it on to check that it fit okay as we didn’t want to leave it until the wedding day. My Mum saw it this time, and said that she loved it as well. It was really helpful for her to see it as we needed to go shoe shopping and she was coming with me, so she knew what type of shoes we needed to get and what shades of blue would match the dress.
My cousin also bought a fur shrug to go with the dress, it was incredibly soft and complimented the dress very nicely.
Once all of that was sorted, it only left a few weeks until the big day.
One Sunday, we decided to go shopping in order for me to get some shoes, after a couple of hours of shopping I finally found some that I liked. My Mum and Dad told me that they matched the dress and complimented it very nicely.
The weeks soon flew buy, we had the hen do and before we knew it, final preparations were upon us.
On the Thursday evening before the wedding, me and my cousin both had a spray tan. This was a new experience for me as I’d never had one before. I had to trust people who told me that it looked nice, which fortunately it did! The lady also described to me what I had to do and what she was going to do, she also gave a description of what the colour would look like which was really helpful for me as a person with a visual impairment. I’d definitely have one again.
The Friday arrived, we spent the morning packing and set off to travel to Northumberland at around 2.30pm.
We stayed at Slaley Hall which is a luxury hotel, so that was most certainly a treat! We had a spacious room, which did us nicely for the weekend, we wouldn’t be in it much so it was fine for us.
When we arrived on the Friday, we checked in, unpacked our things and got ready for a meal with the family. One evening meal and breakfast for both the Saturday and Sunday were included in the price of our stay which was really good, the food was delicious and we all really enjoyed it. It was also nice to see people that we hadn’t seen for a long time.
The big day
The wedding day had arrived! We got up at around 7:45am, and went down for breakfast, we had to be at my cousin’s room for 9am where the preparations started so it gave us plenty of time.
Us bridesmaids had our hair curled, my cousins best friend curled it for us. We Also had matching blue nails as well which went with our dress. A few people including my cousin, Mum and Auntie got their hair professionally done which was lovely.
Once my cousin and I had had our hair done, it was time for us to have our makeup done. My cousin got hers done by someone who she knows who has a keen interest in makeup and also worked in that field, whilst my Mum copied her in order to do mine. Obviously copying is a visual thing so I was unable to do it myself. Although I have no useful vision, having my makeup done is something that I absolutely love, I also love experimenting with makeup as well. The two other bridesmaids also had a bit of makeup on as well.
Around an hour later, it was time for us to get our dresses on and get ready to head to the venue! I got a couple of photos beforehand, once everyone was sorted it was time to go.
It was lovely for us all to be matching and really look the part.
We made our way to our transport, us bridesmaids had our own car and a driver drove us to the venue.
The wedding was at the beautiful Healey Barn which is an absolutely stunning venue which is also surrounded by a court yard and incredible landscapes.
Once we arrived at the venue, we headed inside into the bridal room where we then waited for my cousin and her dad to arrive in their car.
The weather wasn’t great, as it was raining so we weren’t able to be outside but we didn’t let that spoil the day.
We were greeted by two people from the venue where everything was explained to my cousin and they reassured her that everything would run smoothly.
It was then time for us to get ready to walk down the aisle. Myself and the second bridesmaid had a bouquet of flowers, whilst the third bridesmaid had a small basket of rose petals which she had to drop whilst walking down the aisle, I thought that this was a lovely idea.
A few minutes later, it was soon time for us to do our duties! We started to feel both nervous and excited. Us bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the song ‘A Tale as Old as Time’ from Beauty and the Beast.
Usually what would happen is that the bridesmaids walk down the aisle one by one, however I was obviously unable to do this. It had carefully been planned though, as me and one of the bridesmaids walked down the aisle together, whilst the other bridesmaid followed whilst dropping her rose petals. I thought that this was a great way of doing it, and it didn’t cause any problems in regards to my visual impairment and it didn’t make me feel unequal to anyone else. I would definitely recommend this to anyone else in a similar situation.
Once my cousin had walked down the aisle with her Dad (and everyone cried), the ceremony got under way.
It was a lovely ceremony; some family and friends did some readings which were really special. The ceremony was very heart-warming and emotional both at the same time.
Once the ceremony was over and the bride and groom were officially husband and wife, we all gathered around and threw rose petals over them.
It was then time for us to have some photographs taken by a professional photographer. I was indicated where to stand and look so that was good. Although I can’t see them, I can’t wait to hear how they turned out.
We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting to friends and family, everyone came up to me telling me how lovely I looked and how well I’d done which was really sweet of them!
It was soon time for us to sit at our tables and enjoy our evening meal. We had a three-course meal which was absolutely delicious.
Once we’d had our meal, it was time for the speeches. The speeches were all very emotional and very humbling, you could tell that people were speaking straight from the heart.
The bride and groom then cut the cake and then it was time for us to celebrate! My cousins husband has a band and he also sings in another band as well, they play at weddings so this one was no exception. He also did some singing as well.
There were a few of us who practically danced the whole night!
The big day had to come to an end at some point, it was such a special day and it couldn’t have been any more perfect.
The Sunday came and we enjoyed breakfast whilst chatting to the wedding party about the wedding itself, everyone had had such a brilliant time. We then went to pack, some people headed off home whilst me and my family, including the bride and groom had some relaxation time using the hotel facilities such as the swimming pool and the jacuzzi, it was a great way to finish off a busy but exciting weekend. A few hours later, we said our thank you’s and goodbyes and headed back home ready for the week ahead.
That concludes today’s post, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my bridesmaid experience.
I would just like to thank my cousin and her husband for asking me to be bridesmaid as I know that they’ll read this at some point. Also, a huge thank you to everyone that played a part in the day, you made it even more special!
Have you been a bridesmaid? What was your experience like if you have a visual impairment? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to read about your experiences.