If you’re in the early stages of planning your military wedding, you may have noticed that there are a lot of different things to keep in mind, and lots of rules and etiquette to follow. Below is a list of things to keep in mind as you’re planning your wedding, as well as some helpful tips that may make the planning process run a lot smoother.
1. Decide where: Do you want the ceremony to take place in a military chapel, on academy grounds, or at a civilian place of worship. The sooner you know this the better, especially if you decide you want to get married on Military Academy grounds. Military undergrads aren’t permitted to get married, so space is limited right after graduation.
2. How do you want to decorate: The sooner you know where you want to hold the ceremony the better, because some sites have particular rules and regulations as to how their facility is decorated; some do not allow additional decorations at, which is something you need to know.
3. Don’t forget the ranks: You can order traditional wedding invitations, but don’t forget to include any military titles held by you, your fiancé, or either sets of your parents. Some brides choose not to list their rank, but it’s completely up to you.
4. If you want to welcome your guests to wear their full dress uniforms, make sure you indicate that on the invitation by saying something to the effect of, “Full dress uniform invited”.
5. Wedding Party Attire: The Bridesmaids traditionally all wear long, formal gowns, and the groom and/or groomsmen typically dress in full uniform. Brides in the military can choose to wear a traditional wedding gown, or they can also dress in uniform. If she chooses to wear a uniform, of course she can still carry a bouquet.
6. The Arch of the Swords: In most military weddings, the honor guard will form an arch that the bride and groom can walk under as they leave the church. It is preferable that six ushers from the wedding perform this ceremony, but many more can be used. Also, if you do not have enough swords or sabers rifles can be used.
7. At the reception, seat military guests according to rank and title.
8. Use a sword or saber ready to cut the cake at the reception. The guests will love it, and it adds a dramatic touch to your wedding reception.
9. Use military cake toppers according to your branch! There are hundreds of options that you can choose from that will add a personal touch to your cake.
10. To complete your military themed wedding, consider using tiny military flags or other military symbols as decoration at the reception.