Military Weddings: Rules & Etiquette You Should Know from LaDuke Photography & Military Travel Mama

October 21, 2020

This is a guest post from Stephanie Bates, blogger at Military Travel Mama. Images are by LaDuke Photography. I'm moving it over to this blog from my previous site for posterity. I've made a few edits so have a read and then head over to Stephanie's page for more information and resources.


Groomsmen at a military wedding at Oak Knoll near Eugene, Oregon.

Military Weddings: The Rules & Etiquette You Should Know

Military weddings are somewhat different than the regular ones. And that’s mainly because of lots of military traditions associated with it.If you’re a soon-to-be-married military couple, there are certain things you should know about the whole process and what to pay attention to when organizing the ceremony itself.

What Should You Wear?

If you’re serving in the military and you’re about to get married, the dress code should be adjusted and of same formality for all attendees of the wedding.That being said, all of the attendees who are also serving in the Army are welcome to wear their uniforms with all the insignia (medals, ribbons…) that were presented to them during their military career.However, this doesn’t need to be the case. There are some cases where brides (who’re in the Army) are about to pay credit to the military just by wearing military boots underneath her traditional wedding dress.One way or another, make sure to dress appropriately and to plan for your dress and/or suit in advance because you will definitely want your wedding photo shoot to go well.

Military Wedding Eugene Oregon (5)

What Should the Others Wear?

As it’s already been told, all the attendees who are also military members are welcome to wear their military uniforms. However, they can also opt not to do this. In that case, they should make sure that their suit is of appropriate formality and preferably in white.

As for wearing flower decorations (so-called boutonnieres), they shouldn’t wear them on their military suits. The bride is, however, welcome to wear a bouquet even if she’s wearing a military uniform.

Spicing it a little bit for those who are not serving in the Army is also allowed. For instance, you might want to present a challenge coin (best-made ones are from Embleholics) to everyone at the wedding party, which will make them feel a bit as a part of the military community also. Furthermore, this will serve as an unforgettable memory for them.

What About The Arch of Swords

Depending on how high you rank in the military, you can exercise marching beneath the arch of drawn swords or sabers after the church ceremony actually takes place.If one or both of you are commissioned officers in the Army, the arch of sabers or swords will be expected to be executed at the wedding.If you’re enlisted personnel of the Army or are uncommissioned, you can exercise a variation of an arch of rifles for example.Both things will make a huge impact on everyone present at the wedding and are parts of military tradition.

Military Wedding Eugene Oregon (2)

Where and How to Position Military Personnel at the Reception?

After the ceremony comes the reception. It’s very important to respect the seniority when planning how everyone should be seated.For example, it’s usual that military personnel should be seated by rank.One other thing you should consider doing is preparing a table of honor where all the military personnel present at the wedding will be seated.As for the wedding ceremony itself taking place in the church or a military chapel, military personnel should be seated in the front, just after the members of the family who should be in the front row.

Military Wedding Eugene Oregon (1)

You may have noticed this is a special featured post – We are hoping to feature more professionals from the wedding community, don’t be shy! This isn’t paid advertising just a chance to connect. Use my contact info below. If you would like to contact the author of this guest post you may do so here: Stephanie Bates, blogger at Military Travel Mama

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Lacey LaDuke Photography
Call  or Text me:  (509)954-3885
Email Me: [email protected]
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