This is a call to Arms! Ladies and Gentelmen wiil you please rise as we present for the very first time the married couple...
What to Wear, What to Wear
If you are in the military yourself, you have the option of wearing your dress uniform just as your soon-to-be spouse will be required to wear theirs. Or you may go the traditional route and wear that white dress of your dreams. Your call. They will be your photos to look back on in life.
Military members within the wedding party typically wear full ceremonial dress uniforms with their military decorations serving as boutonnieres. (Sorry lads in uniform; no flowers for you). The color of the uniform will depend on the season with blue being typically used in the winter and white in the summer. Additional items include white gloves and swords for those in the Navy and Coast Guard and sabers for those in the Army or Marine Corps.
Bridesmaids get to wear what bridesmaids always get to wear…generally formal dresses far too kitsch to wear on any other occasion in their lives. Traditions are what they are and shouldn’t be messed around with, don’t you think?
Of Swords, Sabers & Rifles
In some military weddings, the newly married couple exit the ceremony under an impressive archway of swords, sabers or rifles. This unique tradition is perhaps one of the most defining differences between a military and civilian wedding. It is also sure to rate three tissues for tears of pride. For commissioned officers, the ceremony is referred to as the Arch of Sabers. Non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel use a variation of it is known as the Arch of Rifles.
"Support Our Troops!" isn't a suggestion, it's a mandate!
Generally speaking, after the I do’s are exchanged, the bride and groom leave the service and enter the archway lined by honor guards holding the ceremonial weapons. They may stop to kiss and then pass through. Before completing the symbolic safe passage into marriage, the last two members of the honor guard block their journey while one of guards gives the new military spouse a rather un-ceremonial swat on the rear accompanied by words of welcome to whatever branch of service she has married into. You won’t find it written down anywhere, but perhaps those blocked weapons of choice and swat are also quite symbolic of the challenges military couples face! Makes you think….
The After Party
In the planning of your big event, you’ll want to lock in a locale to hold the reception. Options on the military base often include officer, enlisted or joint-ranks community clubs, chapel meeting halls and billeting/hotels venues (like the Navy Lodge). Off installation reception location options are varied and limited only to your imagination.
If your reception will be of the formal variety, seat your military members by rank and title so captains sit by captains and sergeants sit by sergeants. If you are not familiar with military ranks, it’s a good idea to learn the ranks – or at least the ranks of those attending – so you can introduce your military guests to the civilians in attendance.
That’s An Awfully Big Cake Knife, Honey!
At some point, cake must be eaten. Before it can be eaten, a big production must be made of cutting it. In a military wedding this tradition is even more fun because you get to use a ceremonial sword or saber to cut the cake. Just let the guy try to shove cake in your face...
I take the time to honor our service members and the people who carry out the mission everyday to keep us safe because what they do is important to us all!
The Washington DC area has many military installations, including the Pentagon, Fts. Meade, Belvoir,
AP Hill, Quantico MCB, Dahlgren, Andrews, Bolling AFB and PAX River NAS, to name but a few...
Be Sure To Check My Availability As Sometimes Military Obligations May Have Me "Reserved" For that Particular Date...