Being in the military is a position full of honor and dedication and there are many ways to show loyalty and pride! The same goes for having a military wedding - remember that traditions can differ depending on the military branch.
Military Wedding Attire
If you haven't proposed yet, it is a perfect time to think of a ring! If you or your partner is in the military, you may choose to buy a ring that resembles the man or woman's class ring. There are plenty of beautiful, miniature versions for the bride too!
It is usually custom for all wedding party members to wear uniforms, which includes swords and white gloves for the ushers. Just like any wedding, there can be a dress code. "Dress blues" is very formal like a white or black-tie affair. "Mess" dress is more semi-formal. Ask guests to match the formality of the uniforms.
images by us_air_force . jepoycamboy . flower_basket . goldbirds . ring_pillow
images by elle.gphotography . jerad photography
The Arch of Sabers (Air Force and Army) or Swords (Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy)is a symbolic wedding tradition. In the arch, the ushers line up on both sides of the aisle or right outside the doorway. The guard of honor commands, "draw swords", and swords are lifted with the cutting edge facing up. As the bride and groom walk through the arch, the ushers lower their weapons to their sides and escort the bridesmaids down the aisle. This procession represents a warm welcome, and wishes the newlyweds a safe passage into their lives together.
images by thenickster . mikeleone . jepoycamboy
Here is a short and sweet video of an arch procession, including the bride "swat" tradition where the man closest to the bride will gently swat the bride's backside:
Slicing the Cake
When the time comes to cut the cake, those that bear swords or sabers line up in front of the cake, sometimes forming another archway for the bride and groom to walk through. The couple then uses a sword/saber to cut into the cake!
images by mixmaster. cavolo1972
Military weddings can take a lot of time and planning, but they are very worth-while, memorable events.
Quick tip: Ask if your officiant, family members, or friends have experience with military weddings. These people may be very knowledgeable and have great advice for your special day!