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Military Brides

Wedding in Base Chapel - What Do I Need to Know?

Hi Ladies, I'm looking for some intel here.

We are planning to have a small, immediate family and very close friends wedding in the chapel on base, probably in mid-April depending on availability.  I'm hoping ya'll can tell me what to expect, requirements and planning wise. 

My fiance is going to talk to the chaplain next week to get the scoop, but being that he's a dude I know he'll just come back and say "These are the dates available, we'll need to do X for premarital counseling, and we need to let them know by this date."

So, what can you ladies tell me?  What questions do I need to ask, or have him ask? 

Re: Wedding in Base Chapel - What Do I Need to Know?

  • #1 If you are late they wont reschedule that day or bend or wait for you(welcome to the military! lol)
    #2 They book back to back weddings quite often, so decorating ahead of time isnt an option(maybe a ten minute window ahead of time), but maybe youll get lucky!!
    #3 Most chaplains work with a volunteer base wedding coordinator, who is usually a grandmotherly woman who can answer your questions. She wont let you have alcohol, food, or rice/sparklers scattered in the chapel. 
    #4 Open flames/unity candles are usually a no go
    #5 Be on time! I cant emphasize that enough
    #6 Your FRG ladies from his unit will be able to answer your questions better, or any women on that base, or wives of his buddies, or any women who work on base will know that base better
    #7 youll want to go there ahead of time, maybe during sunday service, to see that chapel inside
  • We got married in a base chapel.  We could get married on Saturday at noon or at 2.  We went with noon.  We could arrive no earlier than 11:15 am.  Our ceremony time was 12-1 and we had to be out by 1:45.  If there had been another wedding after us they would have started arriving at 1:15 but we didn't have that situation.  We could decorate but the rules were very strict so we didn't bother.  We were not allowed to take pictures prior to the ceremony, only afterwards.  We were allowed to have a unity candle.  There was no wedding coordinator.  The chapel organist was our best source of information.  If we only wanted the piano we could use our own musician, if we wanted the organ we had to use their person.  We could have a rehearsal the night before and there were 2 time slots to choose from.  We got one hour for the rehearsal.  

    To book the chapel we went to the chapel office and they gave us an application packet that outlined all of the rules.  We had to find our own chaplain (were not required to use the one assigned to the chapel) DH asked one of the chaplains from his ship to perform the service.  He had to sign some stuff and then we turned the packet back in.  They let us know if we were awarded our date.  

    Any guests who do not have base access will have to provide you with certain information for the base guest list in advance.  This is a form that you need to fill out to be given to the gate guards.  The form was attached to the packet they gave us at the chapel.  The form has to be to security a certain number of days before the wedding.  We also had our reception on base the representative that we worked with from MWR was able to fax some last minute additions to the guest list to security for us but if that hadn't worked either DH or one of his friends would have had to drive them on to the base.  

    Make sure your guests know the rules too, must have ID if over 18, must wear seat belts, kids in carseats, no weapons, etc.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thank you ladies for the insight!  FI stopped by the chapel today after his shift and picked up the packet so I'll be reading that cover-to-cover this evening! 

    I'm a little concerned about the date since it's only five months out.  FI indicated he thought we'd easily be able to get one of our target dates, but I wonder if he actually has any clue :)

  • PlumPeach said:

    Thank you ladies for the insight!  FI stopped by the chapel today after his shift and picked up the packet so I'll be reading that cover-to-cover this evening! 

    I'm a little concerned about the date since it's only five months out.  FI indicated he thought we'd easily be able to get one of our target dates, but I wonder if he actually has any clue :)

    We had no trouble getting our first choice date/time and we booked, at most, 4 months in advance.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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