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Military Weddings: The Rules & Etiquette You Should Know

If you think that military weddings are the same as other traditional weddings, after you read this you will see that military weddings are nothing like the kind of weddings that you are used to! You will be shocked to see that not only the general traditions are very different, but there are specific dress codes that you must meet - as well as how the invitations must be worded. So let's go through how a military wedding is very different from a typical wedding, and the rules and etiquette as well!

However before we delve into the etiquette too much, I just want to say if you want to know who provides the best wedding bands, go to because they are great.

What Must The Bride Wear?

The bride has the option to wear a traditional wedding dress, but more often than not, she prefers to wear a ceremonial uniform. If she is an officer, then her evening dress uniform will be very formal. These should really only be used for white-tie affairs. However, for black-tie events, dinner or mess dress uniforms are fine to wear. If a wedding has a cocktail or a formal dress code, then blue dresses are appropriate. The bridge can carry a bouquet if she chooses regardless of what she wears.

What Must The Groom Wear?

The groom also has the option to wear a full ceremonial suit if he chooses, and he usually would wear white clothing in the summer and blue in the winter. Formal wear is only for white-tie affairs and if he is an officer. Just like the bride, dinner uniforms are fine to wear for black-tie events, and blue is appropriate for cocktail dress codes. Grooms must not wear boutonnieres either.

What Must Guests Wear?

It is only appropriate for guests to dress in the same type of attire as the bride and groom. If the bride and groom are dressing formally, then the guest must as well. Even though uniforms vary by branch, meaning the uniforms won't be exactly the same- the formality of them must be the same.

It is also important to note that any wedding party member must wear white gloves while carrying the saber. However, because the groom and best man will be handling the rings, they don't need to wear white gloves. It is also important to note that the groomsmen along with the groom must not wear boutonnieres.

What About Invitations?

Yeah, the invitations must be worded in a certain way when it comes to military weddings. That means if military personnel’s rank is higher in the Army, or captain,  higher in the Navy, or lieutenant senior grade, their title must appear before their name on the envelope and the invitation itself. An example would be Captain James T. Smith, United States Marine Corps.

At the same time, a lower rank must be listed after the personnel’s rank such as David Robertson, Ensign, United States Navy.  Always remember to never use 'Mr' when it comes to any personnel on active duty or not. It's not acceptable to do that.

What About Seating?

While the ceremony is going, commanding officers really should be sitting with the couple's families, or right in front or right behind them. Military members will be seated by rank at the reception such as captains sitting with other captains. It is also the right thing to do by sitting military personnel with one another at a table of honor which would be very close to the head table, and it would be quite wrong to not do that.

So there you have it. However, since I am all about saving money, be sure to find the best venues that provide military discounts. Otherwise, you can see how military weddings have different rules than traditional weddings and it may seem overwhelming at first to think about- but believe me, they are incredibly lovely just like any other wedding.

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