Five Military Wedding Traditions You Might Not Know
In honor of Memorial Day here in the U.S., we’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to the brave men and women serving in the Armed Forces. We’ve had the privilege of working with many military couples planning their weddings, and while there are a number of similarities between military and non-military weddings, there are some elements that remain exclusive to the military. Here are five military wedding traditions that you might not know:
- The engagement ring might be non-traditional. Unlike traditional diamond rings, some military engagement rings may instead mirror the groom’s class ring.
- The ceremony will likely be performed by a military chaplain. Military chaplains usually represent multiple faiths, giving them a more secular viewpoint and offering flexibility on ceremony styles for military couples.
- You’re likely to see many uniforms, including at the altar. While female officers often choose to wear a traditional wedding gown, male members of the military wear their uniforms (whether they’re the groom or an attendant). There will probably also be guests from the military who choose to attend in uniform.
4. Commanding officers are treated like family. Military couples usually opt to seat their commanding officers in the front rows during the ceremony along with their family. Commanding officers will also be afforded a place of honor close to the head table at the reception.
5. The couple may recess beneath an arch of swords or sabres. Military couples traditionally recess down the aisle or depart from the ceremony venue beneath an arch of sabres (if they’re in the Army or Air Force) or swords (for members of the Navy or Marine Corps). As an alternative, the couple might enter the reception beneath the arch…but no matter when the arch is formed, only the happy couple may pass under it!
Thanks to Carrie Wildes Photography and Katie Rose Photography for the images. It’s been a pleasure sharing more about the wonderful world of military weddings! If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.
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