June 12, 2013
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 Rifle
After 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.
Instead 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.
Military 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.