Congratulations! I hope you’ve popped the bubbly and are thrilled to start this new life. Whatever your vision is for the day, entering this new world starts with a wedding. Large or small, church, courthouse or beach, every couple says “I do” somewhere. Weddings are such an exciting time and marrying your service member adds a whole new level of happiness. It only makes sense you want to incorporate aspects of the military into your wedding. After all, it is about to become your entire life.
I married my Army husband this past November. Although the Army has been my life since I was born, I wanted to pay a special homage as I became a part of it in a new role. Bridesmaids draped in OCP American Flags wasn’t really my thing, so I needed to find other ways to make my vision details work. Luckily, I have a very creative and crafty family who helped come up with the best ideas. I hope to help future military spouses in their weddings with a few ideas I had at my own.
- Start with yourself. Your garter can be a name tape or you can sew a name tape into the back of your dress. Your shoes can be the color of your spouse’s branch. Double points if that branch color is blue
- Get the men and women in uniform involved. If you and your spouse have friends who are in the military, ask them to participate in the arch of sabers. The arch of sabers is a tradition where the newly married couple pass under the sabers and the last person welcomes the spouse to the military. You can also request people wear their Military Dress to the ceremony so as you say your vows, you’re surrounded by your present and future.
- Seating assignments and your guest book. This is a fun place to play with the military world and get creative. For my seating assignment, everyone got their own dog tag with the table number and their “social” was the wedding date. This also doubles as a cute little takeaway. When thinking of your guest book, try to envision something you will actually want to put on display in your new home to remind you of this day. If you and your spouse love to travel, you could have everyone sign a globe. If you’re marrying a pilot, maybe everyone signs a plane. My husband and I wanted a piece of art that would be one of the first things hung up. For our guest book, we had everyone sign a large wooden cutout of the U.S. Written on the top is “Home is where the Army sends you.” Amen to that.
- It’s all in the details. There are so many other little spots within the reception you can include military touches. What fun and creative name can you call your signature drink? Your cake topper is a blank canvas waiting for you to put something cute on it. Foregoing a favor is becoming more popular. Consider donating to your favorite veteran or military family organization instead while also raising awareness for a great cause.
However you decide to include the military in your wedding, remember the day should be a reflection of you and your spouse. Welcome to the best club in the world and happy wedding planning!