It’s wedding season and I’ve been so busy attending, planning and assisting at weddings that I’ve neglected my blogging duties.
The last two weddings I attended featured great military wedding traditions so I thought it’d be nice to highlight them to those who are either lucky enough to be incorporating them into their own wedding or have been invited to attend one.
Arch of Saber or Arch of RifleAfter the I do’s are exchanged, the newly married couple exit the ceremony under an impressive archway of swords, sabers or rifles lined by 6-8 honor guards holding the ceremony weapons. They are stopped before each set of sword, saber or rifle and told to kiss before they can pass through. Upon completing the symbolic passage into marriage,the last two members of the honor guard gives the bride a swat on the rear to welcome them into the branch of service she has married into. It’s an amazing photo op but more importantly, it embodies the challenges military couples face in their journey through married life.
Cake CuttingInstead of using a typical cake knife, military weddings may choose to utilize their sword to cut the wedding cake. It is best done after the couple has made their first cut with a real knife as ceremony swords do not have actually have a cutting edge.
The UniformMilitary members who are part of the wedding party usually wear full ceremonial dress uniforms with their military decorations. As a rule, uniforms may not be adorned by anything other than military decorations meaning no boutonnieres. The color of the uniform will depend on the season with blue being typically used in the winter and white in the summer. White gloves and swords are often used by those in the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corp.
How to put on a ring on it?
Engagement rings are a big business and I didn’t put much thought into mine until after I got engaged. This didn’t really give my future husband a chance at creating a unique ring to put on my finger but that doesn’t have to be true for you.
I’ll admit, I don’t envy guys when it comes to picking out something so expensive and so based on personal style. Classic is generally the route most taken but sometimes that’s can feel “boring”. Engagement ring trends are often led by who else but our favorite celebrities. J Lo started the colored diamonds engagement ring trend with her pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck. Unfortunately for them, just as trends come and go, so did their engagement.
Carrie Underwood went with a canary yellow diamond.
Three stoned rings representing past, present and future were popular for a while, as were uniquely cut heart shaped diamond engagement rings.
The current trend is the vintage / halo engagement ring. It was most certainly re-inspired by Kate and William’s engagement.
Halo rings quickly gained popularity because they emphasize the center diamond making it look significantly larger and shinier.
Here are a few more that I really like and more importantly, feel will withstand the test of time – that is the ultimate goal right?
This romantic country chic wedding had some great details that included the use of burlap runners, chalkboard programs and menus, a pink candy buffet, kraft paper thank you notes and welcome bags. For those of you who are ‘eco-conscious’, using a chalkboard is a great way to avoid the expense and the waste of all the paper that’s usually thrown away at the end of the night.
Military weddings rule! Sure, there’s the obvious fact that seeing our men dressed in uniform is awesome but there’s also a handful of other traditions like the sword arch that ends with the bride getting a tap with the sword on her backside, the cake cutting with the sword and in the case of US Naval Academy grads, ending the wedding by singing “Navy Blue & Gold”, their school song.
My husband & I attended the wedding of a dear friend of ours in San Antonio earlier this month. The bride was so cool and laid back on her big day that I’d call her the antithesis of a bridezilla. I witnessed her being super gracious to her hair and make up people and completely unfazed when the floral hairpiece wouldn’t clip and she was unable to use it. I would describe her wedding as romantic country chic. Her bouquet had various shades of pinks and her bridesmaids were dressed in soft grey and green dresses.
Here are a some shots of the bride getting ready.
And some fun with the darth vader pinata to “take the edge off”
Since my wedding required international travel, I thought it would be nice to send out these trifold ‘bon voyage’ cards to all my guests. I made sure to do it only a couple weeks before the wedding because if you send it any earlier, there’s a good chance it’ll get lost somewhere. I incorporated some quick facts on electricity, currency, language and cab fare to and from the airport. I also made note of the wedding attire for guests, both for guys and girls. I think the guys found it especially useful because we got some early questions on how formal or informal they should be at a beach wedding. Can they go barefoot? Do they need a jacket? Can they wear shorts?
You may already have all this information on your wedding website but guests will appreciate having something physical in their hands when they’re in the process of packing.
I used cream cardstock paper because I wanted it to withstand traveling in a suitcase or luggage. I also opted to print double side and I made sure to keep it at one page (people tend to have short attention span).
Here is the word document template for the trifold bon voyage card if you’re interested!
1. love your wedding coordinator – make sure he or she is on the same wavelength as you. if you’re laid back and casual, that’s great and you’re unlikely to have issues with whomever you choose. BUT if you’re someone who checks email 20x a day and need to be efficient, then you want to make sure your wedding coordinator is going to be the type that doesn’t wait a week to get back to your emails.
2. choose a destination that’s manageable to travel to – making your friends & family fly out to your wedding is difficult enough so try to be considerate about the destination you choose. if at all possible, limit the number of transfers that is necessary (direct flights are always appreciated).
3. buffer in extra timing into you wedding schedule – all my wedding guests showed up half an hour late to my wedding. why? because the shuttle bus driver got lost and couldn’t find the venue. luckily, i had enough time buffered into the schedule and things didn’t get pushed back. i think this is applicable to all weddings as i’ve seen so many couples having to cut their photography session short because something ran behind schedule. it’s almost inevitable with so much going on that day.
4. love your photographer. what’s the point of picking a picture beautiful destination without having great pictures to capture the moment? it’s really true what they say – the only thing you’ll be left with after it’s all said and done are the pictures. look thru as many photos as possible when choosing a photographer and don’t be afraid to ask for examples of a full wedding shot from beginning to end. if you’re not totally blown away by their work on the website, that’s a red flag. what they post up ought to be their best work.
5. accommodation options – make sure you have at least two, preferably three, hotel options for your guests. for the higher end accommodations, make arrangements for room blocks for your guests.