Military Brides

How do we pick a date?

My fiance and I are pretty young (we are both 21) and we want to wait until I'm done school before getting married. I have a year left of college and then I'll be doing an internship for almost a year before taking my test to become a Registered Dietitian. When we got engaged he was not in the military and we decided on a date that was 2 years away. Now he has enlisted in the Army and leaves for basic training January 2011.

What do I do? We have no idea where he will be in 2 years, or where he'll be after basic training for that matter. I don't know if I should take the risk of waiting that long or if we should just move the date up.

Any suggestions?

Re: How do we pick a date?

  • edited December 2011
    Good for you both for waiting!  It's important to finish school and get used to what military life will be like before rushing into such a big commitment.  I wish we had more 21 year olds around here who are planning to wait to finish their education and put their own lives in order before getting married.  So give yourselves both a pat on the back!

    Now, to answer your question, you really can't set a date right now.  I know that's tough, but it's unfortunately true.  Wait until he's done with basic training and gets a first duty station.  Once he's in a duty station, you can pick a date with a little more certainty.  Even still, the best dates are usually around holidays as it is usually easier to ensure he'll get those days off.  I know one bride getting married right before Christmas, and one of my good friends is marrying his college sweetheart (both went to West Point) over Thanksgiving.  Fourth of July is a popular one for military weddings.  You can have him talk to his commanding officer when he gets stationed to figure out when would work best.

    Also, when you do set a date, be sure to get military clauses in all of your contracts stating that if his orders change (doesn't get leave, gets deployed, etc.) that you won't lose your deposit - that you can reschedule to another date or receive a refund under certain military-related circumstances.
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    Listen to Catemeg, she knows what she's talking about. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Aww, thanks dnbeach!

    Oh, and don't worry about moving the date up.  There's no risk in waiting.  Yes, there's uncertainty as to where he'll be and you'll probably have to do long-distance for a bit, but that's kind of something to get used to as a military spouse anyway and getting married won't keep you in the same place always.  Also, you'll be busy finishing up your training and certification, and once you're done you can get married and join him wherever he is stationed.  It's worth waiting rather than spending your whole first year or so of marriage apart anyway! 

    And don't worry that you won't have enough time to plan - you really don't need more than 6 months!  If you've got a venue or vendors that are in high demand, maybe 9 months to a year max.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with PPs. Waiting is really your best option. I know it's frustrating to hear, but that's what I did, and I am so happy that I made that decision & stayed with it.  When my Fiance proposed to me (almost 2 years ago) he already knew that we wouldn't be getting married until after I finished school. Then the military does further complicate things. We pushed back the date even further just to make sure that I was stable in my career and to ensure that he'll not be transfered to another base for at least 2 years so we don't have to deal with a move and all the stress that comes with it right after we get married.
    Think about it, if you move up the date then you might be spending the majority of your first year of marriage (or more) alone while he's in BMT or doing further job training. And what if he's sent overseas? Even if he's not sent out of the country he'll be getting stationed at a base that could be anywhere in the US.
    If you wait atleast until your internship is over that will give you time to get used to the military lifestyle (and it IS an adjustment), and you'll know where your FI will be stationed so you can look for a job in that area. On the bright side it gives you tons of time to plan your wedding / save money! Best of luck to you! & if you need support this board is a great place to look!
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  • TBB929TBB929
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice. It's great to talk to people who have been through and are going through the same thing I am right now.
  • edited December 2011
    Fi and I had a hard time. He is an officer in the AF we decided to pick Memorial Day wknd that way he will only need to get 1 day of leave (Friday) In hindsite I should have picked Sunday so he wouldn't need to take any leave.
  • edited December 2011
    I feel your pain! My fiance is in the army and just got stationed in germany a few weeks ago. The only options really is to be EXTREMELY flexible or wait it out. He only gets enough time off (if your lucky) between a.i.t. and his duty station (like 4 or 5 weeks max), or until he's been at his duty station for six months(ish), then the time off he's started building off can be used, BUT he can only use the time off when the army allots time for it. he gets one to two weeks off for summer, and two for winter, and four days occasionally. So if you want the wedding and honeymoon together, do it fourth of july, or right before christmas. 


    also, i wouldnt advise hoping he gets stationed in the states. bases here get deployed twice as much as getting stationed overseas, ESPECIALLY in texas.

    good luck to the both of you! being a military couple is very difficult but it makes things alot easier in the end.
  • Pianogirl12Pianogirl12
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    edited December 2011
    A slightly different perspective. My fiancee found this and thought I could offer some information. I am in the Army currently and have done some research on this subject. There are a lot of benefits to being married when your fiance enters BCT. The Army loves married soldiers. They are less likely to get in trouble. If you are married while he is in Basic, the two of you will be payed a Basic Allowence for Housing (BAH), which is based on your Zip Code; a Basic Allowence for Subsistence, which is based on the national price level; and you will be able to enroll under his health care plan. If you need money for expenses, these benefits are non-taxed and can be spent on anything. If not, then it is just money in the bank.
    What is common, and highly recommended by many members of the military, is getting a courthouse wedding prior to joining (or just after graduating from the initial entry training) and then using the intervening time, which you would be using to become certified anyway, to earn money, plan the wedding, save up leave (on his part because everything is easier when he has lots of leave), and adjust to being with someone in the military. You'll be doing it anyway, you might as well be earning the benefits.
  • edited December 2011
    Actually, the phrase a lot of Officers use to young soldiers is, "If we wanted you to have a wife, we would have issued you one."  Just because it's common doesn't mean it's a good idea.  There's a lot of adjustments that have to be made as your loved one enters the military, and the life of a military spouse just isn't for everyone.  Love is not enough to hold a couple through over a year apart - both individuals need to be fully aware of the situation, which is why it's advisable to date through at least one deployment before getting married.

    Getting married just to get the BAH is dumb - they only pay a small amount more per month, and living off base while settling into active duty can really distract new soldiers.  Do you really want to adjust to being newly weds at the same time as adjusting to being a soldier and a military spouse?  It's a lot of pressure to happen all at once.  And often these young couples will then decide, "Hey, we'll get an extra bonus to have a dependent, so let's get preggers!"  Trust me, the extra money is not worth getting married.  It's a really dumb reason, and why a lot of couples end up divorced so young.  Over 75% of military marriages to soldiers under 21 years old end in divorce.  That's not a statistic I'd want to sign up for.
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  • edited December 2011
    "If we wanted you to have a wife, we would have issued you one."

    HAH!
    Funny! ...but sooooooo true!!! The army (from the perspective my fiance has been in) HATES any and all ties you have to home... excuse me... "home", because it makes you less -Gung ho for the talent show- for lack of a better phrase. Soldiers who are tied down to anything but the gov't are, in their opinion, less likely to be fully and unconditionally devoted to the military. 
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