Military Brides

Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?

BF asked me again last night whether I'd want to get married before or after he deploys.  I know he's planning to propose soon, but part of me wants to save the actual wedding planning until he actually proposes, so I keep telling him we'll figure that out once we're engaged.  He's fine with that... just excited.

Anyway, he's in the Navy and will be deploying in August.  As a teacher, I could SO EASILY get married in the summer before he deploys, but then we'd only have a few weeks together before he's gone. 

If you had to make a similar decision, what were the pros and cons that you came up with?  I know we'll ultimately make the decision that is right for us and our particular situation, but since I'm expecting a proposal soon, it would be great if you ladies could give me some "talking points" and things to think about when we actually do decide on a wedding date.

TIA!
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Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?

  • Beachy730Beachy730
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    Personally we chose to get married before he deployed.  We moved across the country from everyone we know, and if we weren't married I wouldn't have any access to the base, the wives support groups, etc.  We had only planned on getting married before he deployed, and I was fine moving before we were married, but the way it worked out for us we ended up getting married about a month before our move. 

    I think for you the main things to consider are the support group you'll have.  Do you live near a lot of family and friends?  Do you have people that are there to help you and support you through the deployment?  If you're like me and are dislocated from there, then you might want to consider getting married prior to the deployment.  I can't imagine what my life would be like here right now since H got deployed so soon after we moved here, and the only people I've met are through the base and the wives group.  And you aren't allowed on base by yourself unless you're married.
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  • ksrawrksrawr
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    We got married after.  I actually recommend to go through a deployment before getting married.  It gets you ready for what to expect in the future.  Deployments can stregnth your relationship but it can also harm it and that is why I recommend goign through one before getting married to see if you guys can make it.  Going through training is totally different form deployment I've been though both with DH.
  • kara811kara811
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
    member
    edited December 2011
    We are getting married after their deployment. It was supposed to be before but had to change dates due to their many schedule changes this year. My FI is also in the Navy. Planning wise, doing it after the deployment has worked out for the better. No we have no worries about schedule conflicts or any of that sort, because the ship will be in port for sure during our wedding. Also, like the above PP, if you haven't gone through a deployment yet with your BF then I think you should first before you get married. FI and I have been through a few deployments. It's very different when you're going through a deployment. You should know first if you're able to handle that kind of thing before you go ahead and get married. It's one of those "make it or break it" deal. And if you do get through it and make it then it'll just be better for your relationship. It'll strengthen you both.

    Once he proposes, you should talk about what kind of wedding would you like?  A big wedding, small, JOP? Setting the date will always be the hardest. and keep in mind that it might change. So once you do start planning and booking vendors, make sure you have military clauses in your contract. 
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    After, after, after. 

    Everyone should go through a deployment while dating the person they plan to marry.



    ETA: And plan your wedding for a few months after he gets back, at least. Everyone needs readjustment time, and for some, it takes longer.  
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    I would say after.  My fiance is deployed right now, and while it's very difficult to go without seeing each other for so long, planning a wedding during that time definitely helps.  When you get to email him or talk to him on the phone on those rare occasions, it gives you something concrete to talk about, since a lot of what he does is confidential.  It also is a good idea to go through at least one deployment before getting married.  Then you'll know if your relationship is strong enough to stand the test of time.  Best of luck!
  • kizzyfoster2kizzyfoster2
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011

    Everyone has given you great advice.  Now it is up to the two of you to decide what is best.  My hubby proposed three weeks after he found out he was being deployed.  He wanted us to just go elope, but I wanted to wait to have a wedding when he came back.  He completed respected that and did not bring it up again.  As the time grew near for him to report, I thought someone would have to pry us apart.  The more time we spent together, I realized I wanted to be with him, no matter what.  I begin to wonder why I was waiting a year and a half to publicialy do/say what I already knew.  After searching my heart, I realized I did not have to have all the things to celebrate/show how much I loved him and wanted to be with him.  We both wanted a ceremony, but wondered if it was worth waiting for.  We both had an idea of what we wanted for our ceremony and did not want to settle for less, so we eloped.  We have been married a year and he will be home in a couple of months.  Now, I have the location we wanted for our ceremony and currently planning the rest.  

    We made the decision we thought  was best for us and we could live with.  In the end, what do you guys want?  I read what the others posted and they gave sound advice.  It never crossed my mind to do a trial and error run the first time around, though.  The distance has difenityly made us stronger. 

  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?:
     It never crossed my mind to do a trial and error run the first time around, though.  The distance has difenityly made us stronger. 
    Posted by kizzyfoster2
    I have rarely seen the distance be a problem in military relationships. Sadly, it can be the readjustment time that creates the real strain. So, when most of us give advice about going through a deployment, we also mean the readjustment period.

    I really hope your H readjusts easily and quickly. 
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  • mysticlmysticl
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    We opted for before.  When DH (he's in the Navy) gets home from the next deployment he will be due for PCS.  He could stay here, so somewhere else along the east or west coast, go back to Hawaii, or end up in another country (slim chance).  If we had waited to get married it would have made moving me difficult if he doesn't stay here and maybe impossible if they do send him to another country because there wouldn't be enough time to process my paperwork to get me on his orders.  We have been apart for short underways so we have an idea how we react to him being gone.  This is by no means his first deployment (in fact it is supposed to be the last of his career) so he has a pretty good idea about how he adjusts to being home.  Also since it is supposed to be his last deployment there really isn't the issue for us of  figuring out how we will get through multiple deployments, we just have to get through one.   

    There are pros and cons to both sides.  Your own personal situation is also a big factor.  DH and I are in our mid-thirties so we pretty much know who we are and how we handle stuff.  If you are in your early 20s I would suggest waiting (but then I would suggest waiting even if you weren't a military couple).  Also, the type of deployment is going to be a factor to how you both react.  DH is on a ship so his deployment is relatively safer (at least that's what he keeps telling me) than that of a Marine or Soldier on the ground in a combat zone. 
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  • jstevermerjstevermer
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Funny...my fiance is also getting deployed in August...and is in the US Navy.
    However, we are looking at a June 2012 wedding anyway.  I'll keep up with this. :)
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  • edited December 2011
    Late to the party with this, sorry.

    Consider logistics as you need to for your circumstances...
    In my experience: Going through a deployment BEFORE getting married was invaluable. We learned a TON about each other, and thankfully grew closer. Had a few friends whose relationships didn't survive, and the married ones had a whole other layer of heartache and lawyer bills to pay. 
    Also, the emotional adjustment (/numbness, /reactions to things...) was rough on DF. It takes time for them to adjust to being there, and time for them to adjust to being back (often months, even if they weren't in combat). I wouldn't want my marriage thrown somewhere in the middle of all that, I'm happy we chose to wait through the deployment, R&R, rest of deployment, and readjustment. However, I know it's not practical for everyone. 
  • dunnkatdunnkat
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    If you are without a doubt ready to marry your fiance I would do it before he deploys. This may be unromantic but he will be making allot more money if you two are married. Also you will be on his insurance policy god forbid, and as a spouse you would be afforded more benefits in case something should happen with him while he is away, or with you while you are at home. You could get married before he goes and plan a great honeymoon to look forward to when he gets back. If you want a longer time to plan your wedding its common for military couples to have a simple ceremony before deployment, and then plan a reception for when he gets back. 
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?:
    If you are without a doubt ready to marry your fiance I would do it before he deploys. This may be unromantic but he will be making allot more money if you two are married. Also you will be on his insurance policy god forbid, and as a spouse you would be afforded more benefits in case something should happen with him while he is away, or with you while you are at home. You could get married before he goes and plan a great honeymoon to look forward to when he gets back. If you want a longer time to plan your wedding its common for military couples to have a simple ceremony before deployment, and then plan a reception for when he gets back. 
    Posted by dunnkat
    I am unmarried, and the sole beneficiary to my SO's SGLI. I am on his casualty notification list as well. A spouse does not get more SGLI than I would because they're married. It's the same.

    Money is not a reason to rush a marriage before experiencing a deployment and readjustment.
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    I'm on the military side of this all.  I'm about to go through a deployment myself and my boyfriend and I have talked about getting married prior to.  This has both pros and cons.

    PROS:
     **Money money money- money is a huge pro...being married you will get at least 250 a month separation pay plus BAH will go up for w/dependent rate....all this tax free would be a huge bonus... for my deployment i would make an extra $6000
    **Benefits- Medical/Dental Benefits would be afforded to you
    **Military Support groups- most the time as a spouse you get a huge support group from other spouses and units
    ** Death Gratuity - Sure enough you can be annotated on your Boyfriends SGLI Payment but you cannot be afforded death allowance and unpaid allowances gratuity, also if you live in base housing and he passes you are eligible to continue living there for a year and get BAH for a year- you cannot get this benifit as a BF/GF

    CONS:
    **if you havent been through a deployment before,they are tough.  On both parties involved.  A deployment definately helps you learn more about yourself and your SO than anything else.  If you can survive a deployment you can survive almost anything!
    **Being a new spouse you want to be able to enjoy time together... that quick separation could cause more hurt than good... coming back and having something to look forward to is amazing!
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?:
    I'm on the military side of this all.  I'm about to go through a deployment myself and my boyfriend and I have talked about getting married prior to.  This has both pros and cons. PROS:  **Money money money- money is a huge pro...being married you will get at least 250 a month separation pay plus BAH will go up for w/dependent rate....all this tax free would be a huge bonus... for my deployment i would make an extra $6000 **Benefits- Medical/Dental Benefits would be afforded to you **Military Support groups- most the time as a spouse you get a huge support group from other spouses and units ** Death Gratuity - Sure enough you can be annotated on your Boyfriends SGLI Payment but you cannot be afforded death allowance and unpaid allowances gratuity, also if you live in base housing and he passes you are eligible to continue living there for a year and get BAH for a year- you cannot get this benifit as a BF/GF CONS: **if you havent been through a deployment before,they are tough.  On both parties involved.  A deployment definately helps you learn more about yourself and your SO than anything else.  If you can survive a deployment you can survive almost anything! **Being a new spouse you want to be able to enjoy time together... that quick separation could cause more hurt than good... coming back and having something to look forward to is amazing!
    Posted by matty4128

    I am unmarried, and the recipient of pay arrears and death gratuity. All SO had to do was file the paperwork. It was separate from the SGLI paperwork. 

    NONE of these benefits are worth going into a marriage prior to experiencing a deployment and knowing how you both will handle it.

    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    https://www.missa.manpower.usmc.mil/elibrary/prium/default.aspx?show=P.5.2.50201

    This was very interesting, and a good refresher for me. It basically lists the entire process for death related benefits in the MC. I'm relatively certain it is the same DOD wide. 

    You do not have to be married to receive the death gratuity, or any pay accrued by the service member. You simply have to have your service member make you the or a beneficiary if they so choose.






    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons?:
    In Response to Re: Before/After Deployment.... pros and cons? : I am unmarried, and the recipient of pay arrears and death gratuity. All SO had to do was file the paperwork. It was separate from the SGLI paperwork.  NONE of these benefits are worth going into a marriage prior to experiencing a deployment and knowing how you both will handle it.
    Posted by WishIcouldbeinthe'stan
    When filling out the DD Form 93 for all other gratuities besides SGLI it does need to be completed by legal in order to change beneficiaries other than a direct NOK.  If it goes to someone other that the NOK the NOK is notified.  Its possible but lots of paperwork.  I was giving the pros and cons of both sides...in my opinion i would wait...
  • itstayloritstaylor
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    I'm in a similar spot right now. My future husband is in the Navy and is deploying in January. We've been engaged since April and were planning to get married next summer. But now we can't decide if we should go ahead and do it before he leaves or wait for him to get back. I need advice too, haha :).
    ...t&j.
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    From DD Form 93, the Record of Emergency Data (RED)

    "ITEM 11a. Beneficiary(ies) for Death Gratuity (Military
    only). Enter first name(s), middle initial, and last name(s)
    of the person(s) to receive death gratuity pay. A member
    may designate one or more persons to receive all or a
    portion of the death gratuity pay. The designation of a
    person to receive a portion of the amount shall indicate the
    percentage of the amount, to be specified only in 10 percent
    increments, that the person may receive. If the member
    does not wish to designate a beneficiary for the payment of
    death gratuity, enter "None," or if the full amount is not
    designated, the payment or balance will be paid as follows:
    (1) To the surviving spouse of the person, if any;
    (2) To any surviving children of the person and the
    descendants of any deceased children by representation;
    (3) To the surviving parents or the survivor of them;
    (4) To the duly appointed executor or administrator of the
    estate of the person;
    (5) If there are none of the above, to other next of kin of the
    person entitled under the laws of domicile of the person at
    the time of the person's death.
    The member should make specific designations, as it
    expedites payment.
    Seek legal advice if naming a minor
    child as a beneficiary. If a member has a spouse but
    designates a person other than the spouse to receive all or a
    portion of the death gratuity pay, the Service concerned is
    required to provide notice of the designation to the spouse."
    [It only requires notification if SM is married and designates someone else]

    "ITEM 12a. Beneficiary(ies) for Unpaid Pay/Allowance
    (Military only). Enter first name(s), middle initial, last
    name(s) and relationship of person to receive unpaid pay
    and allowances at the time of death. The member may
    indicate anyone to receive this payment. If the member
    designated two or more beneficiaries, state the percentage
    to be paid each in item 10c. If the member does not wish to
    designate a beneficiary, enter "By Law." The member is
    urged to designate a beneficiary for unpaid pay and
    allowances as payment will be made to the person in order
    of precedence by law (10 USC 2771) in the absence of a
    designation. Seek legal advice if naming a minor child as
    beneficiary."

    The SM should utilize his pre-deployment legal assistance fully. Any JAG would be willing to explain all forms and stipulations. 


    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    I completely understand you tossing around this idea!  I agree with one of the girls above, to wait till after.  You have no idea what your in for with a deployment until you go thru it.  It can make or break you!  It is a great test on your relationship.  If the 2 of you can make it thru a deployment then you can make it thru anything, in my opinion.  My FI and I have made it thru 2 deployments together, and he's possibly going on another one next year.  when he proposed this summer, i didnt want to wait for him to get back from another deployment so we planned it for this coming summer.  I can understand you wanting to do it now, but if the 2 of u have never been thru this together yet......then wait, and you can spend the time he is away keeping yourself busy with wedding planning!! 
    Smile
  • edited December 2011
    My future husband is in the Army and is being deployed in the spring. We have been engaged a few months, but have planned on getting married for much longer. Before we made it official we tossed the idea back and forth between getting married before or after, and there was ALOT for us to consider. I am a full time student, and up until we were engaged only lived with him part time, and I will be starting grad school in a year so I will still be going to school even when he returns. We both took a while to come to our own conclusions, a little sould searching if you will, so we didnt feel like we were pressuring one another. He has been through a deployment before, and we were only friends at the time, so we both know it will be much different. We came to the conclusion we have known we want to be husband and wife, and we know that means for better or worse and call it romantic but knowing you have that special day of commitment to eachother before he goes away might be a comforting thought. We are choosing to do a small new years eve ceremony with just our family followed by a party with our close friends and families. We arent lying to anyone, and we still plan on renewing our vows so we can have the big huge wedding we want too. There are other benefits like others have said, and I have to admit we did talk about the fact it would give us more money to save for a house when he returns, with the separation and BAH increase, not to mention hes able to sign over his GI bill for mys school, which puts him at ease knowing I wont be struggling with working and going to school while hes away.

    In the end, its your decision. The people telling you to go through a deployment before hand have a point, but in on the other hand, your marriage is as strong as you make it. And if you go into the deployment knowing its going to be tough, but knowing you can make it, you will be fine, married or unmarried.
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