Military Brides

Military vs. Non-Military Wedding Help


My fiance recentley proposed and we are trying to decide between having a military wedding or not. Our situation is very unique as he is serving in the Army National Guard and involved in the ROTC program at college. Because he is doing both he really doesn't have a designated rank. We are getting married before he graduates, so he will still be in rank limbo.

There are still a lot of questions I have for him, but does anyone have some advice on picking a military or non-military wedding? What are/were your best memories from your military wedding?

I have dreamed of having an Arch of Sabers since he joined, so I'm leaning toward a Military wedding. He is not fond of getting married in his Class A's from Basic when he was a Private.

Any advice would be helpful! Thank you!

Re: Military vs. Non-Military Wedding Help

  • manjermjmanjermj member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited January 2013
    I'm confused on he doesn't have a rank. If he is serving with the National Guard then I would think he would have to have a rank.

    Anyways, there's really nothing about the actual wedding that makes it a "military wedding" or "non military wedding". No matter what he wears, etc, the ceremony will still be the same. Plus, I'm 99% sure that only commissioned officers (and in some branches NCO's) in the military are permitted to have the saber arch for their wedding. I know that for the Marine Corps that is the way it is. So if he is not a commissioned officer or NCO in the Army, then he cannot have the saber arch. 

  • I'm a bit confused on the rank situation as well. I would think one rank would supersede the other. Anyway, the answer to making the choice between having a military theme and a nonmilitary theme is pretty simple if you ask me. Ask your FI, the SM, what he wants. Also, the previous poster is correct on the sword arch. I've heard of things that give me the impression that there really is something such as a true military wedding, typically done at the base chapel. DH was asked to be in one by a Marine from his old unit because his Chaplain for his wedding was requiring him to have a Corpsman present. We were under the impression that it was due to some kind of tradition but maybe it was Chaplain preference? Maybe someone else knows the answer to that.
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  • allied08allied08 member
    First Comment
    edited January 2013

    Because of the ROTC commitment he is considered a "cadet", even though by the time we get married he will have served in the Guard for 5 years. When he graduates college he will be a second lieutenant.

    Trust me, I am still confused by the whole rank situation.

    Mainly the difference I see between a military and non-military wedding is the uniform and the requirement to invite his commanding officers. I may be incorrect on this?

    By your description I will not be able to have a saber arch.

  • If he wants, he can wear his uniform - either his National Guard uniform or his cadet uniform (might have to get permission for his cadet, no totally sure). But since he will not be a 2nd Lt. by the time of the wedding then you are correct, you cannot have the saber arch. 

    And no need to invite commanding officers, even if he wears his uniform. Not saying that you can't, just saying that you don't HAVE to.
  • The PP is right.  Because he is a Cadet, he will probably have to get permission to wear his uniform.  However, if he isn't really hot on wearing it, I wouldn't force it on him.  Class A's are extremely uncomfortable.  I always hated having to wear mine.  
    PP is also right that he will not qualify for the Arch of Sabers.  You must be either an NCO or an Officer to have one.  Because he is neither, he doesn't qualify.  
    Frankly, I would skip any military traditions.  
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  • Actually, there are quite a few caveats to this one.

    First - he is a member of the Army National Guard, regardless of his ROTC status, and is just as entitled as any other member to wear his uniform to his wedding - permission is not needed.  HOWEVER... OP mentions Class A's and not ASU's.  If your FI has the green uniform and not the newer Army Service Uniform he won't be wearing that to your wedding as it will be out of service by your date.  There is Cadet rank for that, just as their is for the Class A's.  While Class A's are technically still "current", most commands have required their Soldiers to get the ASU's now.

    Second - National Guard and Reserve Cadets who are SMP's (Simultaneous Membership Program) are advanced to the rank/paygrade of E-6 for the duration of their time in ROTC even though they wear Cadet rank.  "Technically" he is an NCO.

    Third - I wish you luck on the saber arch.  Who does he know who has the sabers?  There is no where to borrow them from if the ROTC unit doesn't  have them.  I was AGR (Active Guard Reserve)  in the Michigan Army National Guard for 26 years and I can tell you for sure there is no place where you can sign them out or borrow them from the Guard.

    The uniform reg AR 670-1 doesn't say anything at all about sabers, but FM 3-21.5 Drill and Ceremonies does.  Basically what  you need to know is this:

    "The saber is worn with the ceremonial belt when used with the Army Service Uniform (ASU). Officers will wear their branch-colored ceremonial belt and NCO's will wear the Enlisted belt"  Sabers are not and have never been worn with the Green Class A's.

    That presents this question - what belt do ROTC Cadets wear when they have sabers?  This is a question for him to ask of his military science professors and his ROTC command.

    When you start talking sabers and belts you start talking some major major money. If the ROTC command doesn't have sabers/belts you guys can borrow you need to let this go.

    Your FI needs to remember that you must be an NCO or Commissioned Officer to carry the saber, so if he can get them and he asks friends from his unit, they can't be E-4 and below.

    Also - be aware of your ceremony venue's policy on this.  Many churches will not allow the saber arch inside church (didn't say all, but many) because the saber is a weapon of war.  They do usually allow them on the steps outside the church though.  If your arch has to be outside, you might not want that to be in the dead of Michigan Winter!

    Hope that helps.

  • Hey im a little confused do you mean e4 and below for all branches or just the army/ national guard?
  • She means all branches.  I believe the only exception is the MC.  I'm pretty sure that's CPL and a junior NCO.  In other branches, it's lower enlisted.  
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  • Ok.I was gonna say i believe my fiance who is a corporal is considered an nco im glad I wasn't confused! Lol
  • Thank you kmmssg! You are one of the few who know what our situation entails. 

    My fiance and I have talked last night and decided on a non-military wedding to keep it simple. I would LOVE to have an arch of sabers, but I feel it might be more of a pain than its worth. 
  • My husband recently was the NROTC coordinator for NRD Seattle. So, I know exactly what you're saying. I'm a professional wedding photographer and did a wedding that the sailrors all had their cutlesses (Sabres) and it was beautiful. If you love the traditions of a military wedding, stick to it!

    I've got he military wedding in one of my facebook albums. It should be labeled "Steve and Karina's wedding" but if not, it's the only Naval wedding in there....

    Have fun and do whatever YOU guys want <3
  • You know, even if you can't do the arch, he can still wear his uniform to the wedding if that is what you guys want.  Dress Blues are hot on just about any man!
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Military vs. Non-Military Wedding Help</a>:
    [QUOTE]You know, even if you can't do the arch, he can still wear his uniform to the wedding if that is what you guys want.  Dress Blues are hot on just about any man!
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]
    Truth! <img src="" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />
  • In Response to Re:Military vs. NonMilitary Wedding Help:[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Military vs. NonMilitary Wedding Help:You know, even if you can't do the arch, he can still wear his uniform to the wedding if that is what you guys want.nbsp; Dress Blues are hot on just about any man!Posted by kmmssgTruth!nbsp; Posted by CAB1217[/QUOTE]

    Unless you're Navy, then the Chief's choker whites are where it's at.
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