From the distinction of the uniforms to the tradition of the Arch of Sabers, a military wedding is a unique and special experience for all involved. Need some help planning your big day? Start with these five military wedding musts!
1. Wear the uniform. The main distinction of a military wedding is that the groom and/or bride, service members in wedding party and other service members in attendance wear their uniforms. The Mess dress uniform is worn for both ultra-formal and formal weddings, and the Class-A or Service dress uniform is appropriate at a semiformal event.
2. Make your vows unique. Add some personalization, and maybe even a little military humor, to your vows! For instance: “I promise to love, respect and wait for you. I promise to send you your favorite cookies and pictures of the kids, and myself so you can remember what we look like. And last but not least, I promise to put up a ‘Welcome Home’ sign when you’re due to arrive home.”
3. Walk under the Arch of Sabers. After a military wedding ceremony, newlyweds often walk under an arch of sabers (or swords, depending on which branch of the military is represented). The arch is by no means mandatory, but it can be very memorable! Typically six to eight officers are included, and though traditions differ, it is common for an officer to announce the couple before they enter under the arch and for the last saber pair to lower their sabers and demand a kiss before the couple can pass.
4. Use a fun military cake topper! This is by no means a military wedding tradition, but why not add a little fun to your cake with a groom and/or bride in uniform? RedLightStudios on Etsy has adorable custom military lovebird cake toppers that are sure to have your guests talking!
5. Cut the cake with a saber or sword. This is often the highlight of a military reception! The groom presents his saber or sword (if he owns one) to the bride, and she cuts a slice of wedding cake with the groom’s right hand placed over hers.