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Military Weddings

4th of July Theme
Army, can non commissioned officers do  the arch of swords
Can he wear a boutonniere?
Can We still to the Arch without a Military Base? Costs?
Can he wear his uniform hat in church?
How to prepare for a catholic military wedding
How can I get military escorts at my wedding
Including his retired rank on invitations
Invitation Etiquette
Is it proper to send wedding invitations to those who are in the wedding party?
Life after military weddings
Marine Wedding
Military Weddings
Military Uniform for retired Sgt?
Military Wedding Vows
Navy Wedding
Navy Wedding, different ranks in wedding?
Notification of New Wedding Date, how to
Patriotic Theme, Flower Suggestions
US Navy, Wedding Protocol
Officer in a different branch, Can he be in uniform, or should he be in civilians? 
What are the wedding coordinators duties for a military wedding?
What should the I wear if I'm on active duty to my wedding?

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As an RP, you will become involved in the preparation of military wedding ceremonies. You must be prepared to give couples to be married some appropriate guidelines. Guidelines for military weddings are associated with a variety of different circumstances and social considerations. Appendix II provides some appropriate guidelines and considerations for several conditions under which a military wedding might take place in an RMF.

Traditionally, the military wedding ceremony is a religious event that takes place in an RMF. The military wedding consists of two important factors: (1) military personnel in uniform, and (2) the tradition customs associated with honoring the bride. In the following paragraphs, let? take a look at each of these factors.


For active duty military personnel, the uniform should be the appropriate uniform of the season. It is also appropriate for retired persons to be in uniform. Basically, military members of the wedding party should wear either dress blues or whites, and all members of the wedding party should wear correctly the same type of dress uniform. In cases where the bride is the military person and the groom is a civilian, the bride may wear her uniform or a bridal gown.

If the military members of the wedding party are commissioned officers, swords should be part of the dress uniform. Navy enlisted members do not wear swords. Enlisted members of other branches of the uniformed services may wear swords if the practice is authorized and endorsed by their service. Since it is not correct for personnel to wear swords or bear arms in the RMF, church, synagogue, temple, or any other place of worship, a fitting area is selected for the weapons before the ceremony.


In a military wedding, honoring the bride (or the bride and groom) is an optional tradition based on the personal choice of the bride and groom. Following the religious rite, honoring the bride is a traditional ceremony in which the bride and groom pass through an arch formed by swords or rifles. Naval officers traditionally form the arch with swords. Navy enlisted

persons may honor the bride in a similar fashion. Enlisted members who do not bear arms can use hand salutes; those who bear arms can form an arch of rifles.

The tradition of the wedding arch of swords or honors differs slightly among the different branches of the armed services.


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In all cases, to have an arch of swords or honors is the choice of the bride and groom. It is an obligation of the best man or the groom to select those who will take part in this presentation, as well as to confirm that all weapons are at the ceremony.

The senior usher is responsible for making certain that the ushers are adequately rehearsed in their roles in the honors ceremony as well as the religious rite. In the following paragraph, let? take a look at a typical honors ceremony.

After the religious rite, the senior usher forms all the ushers in two columns, and places them at the vestibule of the RMF, facing inboard. As the newly married couple advances near the RMF? exit. . they pause. . the senior usher then declares, ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you, [rank or rate] and Mrs. John Doe. Variations of this may be required if the bride, or both bride and groom, are military... whichever is common, acceptable, or suitable.) The newly married couple passes through the portal, and the senior usher commands, draw swords.? On command, all ushers carry out only the first count of the movement, leaving their swords raised, with tips touching, to form an arch under which the couple passes. After the newlyweds have passed, the senior usher commands, return swords.? All ushers return their swords in unison. The senior usher then dismisses the ushers.

As previously stated, this modest time-honored ritual may differ among the different branches of the armed services and can be altered to oblige enlisted persons. In all cases, however, only the bride and groom pass under the arch of swords or honors.

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