“I Do” Don’ts for Military Weddings

27
May
2018

Image courtesy of  Elise Abigail Photography

Military weddings are rooted in carrying tradition and history to the altar whether the venue is held in a military chapel or at a scenic location. For many brides, the planning of a wedding can become stressful while trying to orchestrate each detail. Those who are planning a USMC wedding have to coordinate each detail with the current military requirements. This ordeal can develop into an overwhelming task that leads to many mistakes.

The best way to avoid mishaps is to contact the protocol officer and chaplain in order to stay current with the military requirements. If this is not an option for you, you can always hire a wedding planner who will be able to assist in meeting such requirements.

In the meantime, here are a few areas to avoid while planning your USMC wedding.

Attire

You do not want to casually select the wrong class uniform. Mess, Class A uniforms are suited for semiformal and suit-and-tie events. This uniform is typically dark blue depending on the season with optional white or blue trousers.

Remember that the groom/bride cannot wear a boutonniere or place anything additional to his or her uniform.

Do not choose colors that coordinate with the military unit without first checking with the chaplain. You will need to make sure that your colors are acceptable.

Additional items worn during the ceremony are white gloves and swords. Do not plan your date without checking to see which color is used for each season. This could cause a clash with bridesmaid dresses and the flowers.

Location

If you are choosing to get married in a military chapel, you do not want to go ahead and select your flowers and music without first getting permission from the chaplain. Music selections are often coined too secular and are rejected. You may want to be considerate of what is secular before choosing your special song.

Do not go ahead and hire a photographer for the ceremony without checking to see if one is permitted. You will need the permission of the chaplain prior to selecting your photographer. In some cases, you will need to reenact the wedding because photography is not permitted.

If you want to display the American flag, you will need to check with the chaplain, first.

Do not assume that you may marry in a military academy. In order to marry in a military academy, your “soon to be spouse” or parent had to graduate from the desired academy.

Although the chaplain is free, it is customary to make a donation to the chapel. It is also required that you attend one or more premarital counseling sessions. Be sure to check with the chaplain and their availability.

Swords

If you plan on using the famous sword arch in your wedding be sure to know the difference between NCO swords and Officer swords. You want to make sure you have the correct sword for each Marine. Be sure to seal the deal with a kiss at the end of the arch, not the middle.

The sword has also found its way into the cutting of the cake. American Dream Cakes understands the importance of carrying on the traditions of military weddings and can help you create the cake of your dreams.

Seating

It’s important to carefully consider the seating when placing military and nonmilitary guest at each table.

Be sure to pay special attention to the high-ranking officers. Generally, military guests are placed at a table together or very near to the head table. However, they can be placed with the family members but it is best to check with them to find out their preference.

Planning your USMC Wedding begins with understanding that permission is everything. These tips will help guide you to creating that special moment.

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