You’re Engaged! Now What? 3 Tips Before You Plan Your Military Wedding


Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married! By now, you’ve called your parents and closest family to tell them the news; you’ve probably shared a photo or two on Facebook and Instagram, and you’re one step closer to #MilSpouse status.

Planning a wedding is next on the list, and many of us can tell you: it gets a little overwhelming sometimes. Should your significant other wear their uniform? Will you have a saber arch? What happens if your partner-to-be gets deployed at the last minute?

Good questions. I’m glad you asked.

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Wearing military uniforms in the bridal party.
Always a classic, patriotic, and let’s be honest – sexy – choice. Seeing your love in their dress uniform always brings out the butterflies in your stomach. And you know those portraits and photos are going to be amazing, so why not wear the uniform?

TIP: Consider the time of year you want to be married, and which uniform your significant other will be wearing. Will it be dress whites? Dress blues? Mess uniform? Once you figure that out, the civilian bridal party members will be easy to coordinate. Another tip: boutonnieres and other flowers aren’t allowed to be pinned on any military uniform.

What to know about an Arch of Swords.
They make for fabulous photo ops, and are a fun and unique tradition for military weddings, the saber arch (also known as the Arch of Swords) is a way for the new couple to be ‘welcomed’ in their new life together. The bride and groom walk through the arch and just before exiting, the last two swords are lowered, the couple exchanges a kiss, and enter married upon the swords being raised.

TIP: If being married at a military church, check with the church to see if they have enough swords on hand. Rifles can be used as a substitute if there aren’t enough swords. But don’t mix. Also, ask your service member about the “wife swat” and decide if that’s something you’re okay with.

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What if an unexpected deployment happens?
It’s not ideal, and it’s certainly not romantic, but it could happen. What do you do if your wedding planning is going smoothly and the bomb is dropped: your service member is deploying during your wedding? The first thing to consider whether a short ceremony before deployment might be something you’re both interested in. Many military couples have been married in courthouse ceremonies, only to have all of the pomp and circumstance after the service member returns. This idea is a point of contention among military spouses, but do what feels right for you and your soon-to-be-spouse.

TIP: Wedding insurance is a thing. Check into it. Ask your vendors, venues, and other wedding-specific people what their terms and conditions are should a deployment derail your perfect day. Wedding insurance can also protect you from inclement weather, freak accidents like your wedding dress getting lost or ruined, or other unexpected events.

There are many things to think about when planning your wedding because we know you want it to be memorable and filled with love. Don’t forget the little details, and keep your focus on what makes you and your partner happy. This is an exciting time and we’re so happy for you!

Now, go ahead and take another photo of your ring…

What tips do you have for newly-engaged and soon-to-be military spouses? Share them with us!

shannonPosted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager

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