You've decided to have a military wedding—complete with all the pomp and circumstance such a formal affair entails. Here some tips on planning the wedding of your dreams that still conforms to longstanding military tradition and protocol.
Wedding Attire The main difference between a military wedding and a civilian wedding is that the bride and/or groom will be in uniform. An officer or enlisted personnel in the bridal party wears uniforms that comply with the formality of the wedding and seasonal uniform regulations. For commissioned officers, the evening or mess dress uniform is equivalent to the civilian black tie. Commissioned officers who elect to wear a sword or saber with their uniform should stand to the left of the bride so as to protect her from the blade.
For enlisted personnel, dress blues or Army greens should be worn. Remember, never wear a boutonnière with a military uniform. Military ribbons or medals are the only adornments permitted on the uniform.
Whether you are planning a formal dinner reception or
an informal gathering of well-wishers, it is important to establish a
schedule of events to prevent confusion on the big day! Don't get too
hung up on exact times — the idea is to keep the party moving in the
While the order of events is entirely up to you,
here's a sample of a traditional reception schedule. Cocktail Hour.
This is the time between the wedding ceremony
and the reception in which guests are served champagne and hors
d’oeuvres while the wedding party is having formal photographs
made. Grand Entrance.
This signals to everyone that the wedding party
has arrived. The traditional order of entrance is Groom's ParentsBride's ParentsFlower Girl and Ring BearerBridesmaids escorted by UshersMaid of Honor escorted by Best ManBride and GroomWedding Couple's First Dance.
There's no need to be overwhelmed with the
thought of planning your big day. Sit down, take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and look
over our popular 12-month planning guide. Planning a wedding is
simply a matter of getting organized. 11-12 Months Before the Wedding Officially announce your engagement online and in your local paper. Decide on a time and date for the wedding. Decide style of ceremony (size, setting, formality, etc.).
Contact a wedding officiate. Arrange for your families to meet if they haven't met before. Develop a budget and decide who will pay for what. Begin compiling your guest list. Visit and reserve your reception venue. 9-10 Months Before the Wedding Order your wedding gown and determine who will make any necessary alterations. Choose your wedding party. Decide on a color scheme (consider the reception site). Meet with potential wedding professionals for your ceremony & reception. Interview local videographers, …