Compared to traditional after-wedding parties, military wedding receptions tend to be more or less something of a more formal affair. Of course, since every couple has their own preferences, you may plan your reception as you wish and decide how formal you would want it to be. However, there are a few military traditions and protocols that always seem to trickle their way down to the wedding reception, hence bringing a rather sophisticated feel to the entire ceremony. Still, remember that it is your special day to begin with, so you might feel more comfortable with a traditional after-wedding party if you’re more of a free spirit and wish to avoid the protocols that surround military receptions.
For example, if you’d like to plan a military wedding reception, it’s important to start by finding the perfect location. According to protocol, most military receptions are hosted at enlisted officers’ or army’s clubs. However, it is entirely possible to hold your reception in a regular restaurant or hotel, although that would somehow deviate from the theme of the day. The one thing that you can’t neglect, however, is the proper seating of the guests at the reception. Because of protocol, guests are often seated according to their rank in the army. Seating arrangements can be included in the military wedding invitation card.
As far as the music goes, it’s not a bad idea to select a playlist that blends both regimental and regular music. Military brides and grooms are also allocated a theme song that depends on the groom’s service and this tune is very commonly used for the first dance at the reception.
Of course, like every wedding reception, you are going to need some decorations and accents but keep in mind that military decorations also include flags, national colors and badges. It is customary for the flats to be displayed right behind the couple’s receiving line. A typical military cake topper is also included among the other touching accents.
One of the most important moments at military receptions is, without doubt, the customary cutting of the cake. Extremely formal, this ceremony starts with the saber bearers who file into the reception area to stand in front of the receiving line. Then, they held up their swords, forming an arch under which the military couple pass through. It is common for the happy couple to pause and kiss under the makeshift aisle before moving on to the cake. And of course, since this is not any old boring reception, the cake is always cut with a military sword, hence concluding the ceremony.
While all weddings are poignant, military ones are doubly so, particularly because of the long separations and trials that military couples will have to endure. Indeed, being at the service of the nation is not always the easiest task. Husbands or wives have to stay away from their families for extended amount of times, which severely affect both parties. A tiny touch of nostalgia is nearly always present at military themed weddings, which make the ceremonies even more special.
Hence, it’s quite important to make sure that the ceremony is as meaningful and romantic as possible. For starters, since this is a military wedding, you may want to infuse a deeply patriotic feel to the day. To achieve this, you can, for example, ask your baker to decorate your cake in the colors of your national flag, or maybe even in the Marine Corps color and flag. And of course, no patriotic cake would be complete without a military cake topper. The good news is that these toppers are readily available, both online and in bridal stores or cake shops. Best of all, you can be sure to find a captain, cadet, marine or even lieutenant topper alongside a romantic representative of the bride.
Brides who don’t care about traditions may even don for a camouflage military-print wedding dress as a nod to their groom’s profession. Since these may be quite hard to find in traditional bridal stores, don’t hesitate to run a couple of quick searches online. Another alternative would be to have a custom-made camouflage wedding dress. A more toned-down option for it is to go for a classical white dress with a camouflage hem or neckline.
Certain members of the army are officiated to perform weddings, so, don’t hesitate to ask one of them to don a full uniform and marry you. This will bring a pronounced military feel to your special day. But, if you’re more of a church wedding person, fret not. All you have to do is stick to the brown, green, black and white color palette that are usually present at military theme weddings. To achieve this romantic look, be sure to play on flowers, ribbons or scraps of lace and gauze which you can nestle in the bride’s bouquet.
To enhance the poignancy of the overall day, try to write your own vows. Be sure to express everything you’d like to say to your spouse and what every moment of having him or her by your side means to you. After all, you only get one special day and it’s certainly worth investing your finances, time and emotions in that gloriously romantic occasion.
Military weddings are just like any other wedding really but have a few simple differences for instance it’s not actually a military service it’s still a religious bonding of two people in love but the main difference is what is worn as military weddings wear uniform instead of suits.
The bride does still wear a dress in most occasions’ so that is quite traditional. One great thing about military weddings is that when the service is carried out by a military chaplain who is still on active duty you don’t have to pay! I believe some sort of monetary gift is often presented for their time though.
Don’t forget the formalities of a military wedding such as the seating of commanding officers, this would of course depend on who is going to be there from you own family.
An important part of the military wedding is of course the Arch of Sabres, this usually happens straight after the ceremony when the serviceman and women form two lines outside the church or where the wedding is being held and on command the sabres are lifted to make an arch which the couple then pass through. It is only service men and women who are allowed to take part in the arch of sabres so no over keen dads or brothers allowed!
Some other things to remember is that if the groom is in uniform he should precede the bride in the receiving line and many couples will have flags and national colors displayed. Other military wedding traditions can include cutting the cake with a sword and an intimate giving of rings to each other.
The military wedding theme is really traditional and quite formal but it is very impressive to watch and quite unique in they that not everybody qualifies to have one.