Has anyone planned an Officer's military wedding?

I'm planning a military wedding, as you may have read in another post. I never thought I would marry into the military so I'm pretty unfamiliar with the Navy's traditions. I don't want a "military theme" which I find quite tacky but what are some ways, apart from dress uniforms, to incorporate the traditions tastefully?
Posted on October 25, 2007 at 12:03 pm
champagnecholly
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(19) Comments

kathy
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I haven't, but my friend who is in the military (he went to West Point) just recently got married. You can see pictures of his wedding here:

http://www.xanga.com/shlne4me/610161414/item.html
Posted on October 25, 2007 at 4:32 pm
She1
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I have no idea about military weddings, however I can office some ideas. Hope this helps =). You could have your ceremony by the water if hes Navy. Maybe do a color scheme or shades of blue, turquoise and white. Incorporate water into your centerpieces, like a tall clear vase filled with water, maybe add some shells or glass beads, perhaps even a beta fish also known as fighting fish (they can breath in water without filters,they are beautiful and come in all colors ,including blue,turquoise and white.Just don't put more then one in a centerpice as they will kill each other). Then you could have flowers at the top. When the wedding is over you can put the fish in small glass bowls and give to your guests (whoever wants one)...If you have your reception at night you could even add tiny LED lights to make the centerpieces glow, the water will carry the light beautifully. You could have your programs and or invitations shaped as ships. If you add yellow to your color scheme you could tie yellow ribbons on all the trees by the wedding site. Maybe you could do crystal trees as your centerpieces and tie yellow ribbons on the them. If I think of more I'll let you know.









Posted on October 26, 2007 at 3:26 am
She1
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Show respect to this great country by wearing this beautiful gown lol




Sorry, This was a BAD JOKE!! but I couldn't believe this when I saw it,I had to share. Talk about Tacky =oP
Posted on October 26, 2007 at 3:48 am
ssnipes
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wow she1 those are some really great ideas! :)
Posted on October 26, 2007 at 5:49 am
champagnecholly
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Haha that RWB dress is sublime! Thanks Kathy for the pictures!
Posted on October 26, 2007 at 2:51 pm
champagnecholly
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Kathy, I loved your friend's boarding passes! Where did she have them made?!
Posted on October 26, 2007 at 2:56 pm
kathy
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hm i'm not sure, but I'll ask - if I find out I'll post it (sorry this is such a late response)
Posted on November 15, 2007 at 2:28 pm
deeinthenola
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04/06/2007
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How about a sword arch?
Posted on November 17, 2007 at 6:43 am
champagnecholly
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We were planning to do that, and I wish we could, but by the time of the wedding a lot of the others will be deployed because of the way the pipeline works. Its not really normal to ask random people on base to come to your wedding right? I mean, I don't want people to think I've lost it! They'll already think I've lost it if I wear She1's patriot dress, haha!

Thanks Kathy, I really thought those would be fun!
Posted on November 17, 2007 at 7:52 am
kathy
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sorry this is so late, but here's my friend's reply!

Hey, I just saw your post on my xanga from months ago. Sorry, i've switched over to facebook cuz it has a wider network. Anyway, my wife designed all the plane tickets herself. We just used a paper store to pick out the paper. Then had them cut. Hope all's well. =)
Posted on February 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm
champagnecholly
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Thanks Kathy!
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 2:14 am
kittnmouse
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nothing to do with decor, but how about a grooms cake in the shape of something military related?
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 6:57 am
smilkova
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Champagne, I really wish I could help you with ideas but nothing good comes to mind. I am thinking something based on the military insignia as a motif that appears in a subtle way. What about your fiance's uniform - can you look for inspiration in its details, cut, overall look? What about some reading that has to do with the military (not war for sure, but something symbolic and lofty?).

Ok, it might be going too far, but there is a poem by Sappho that I love (I am a literature professor) and I was thinking of using for my wedding, but my fiance said he didn't want anything war-related. It's NOT about war, it's about LOVE, so you might actually like it. It fits the navy theme too!!! It is Sappho fragment 16 and here it is:

"Some say a host of cavalry, others of infantry, and others of ships, is the most beautiful thing on the black earth, but I say it is whatsoever a person loves."

(this is not the full poem, but the opening lines from David Cambbell, Greek Lyric: Sappho and Alcaeus, Harvard University Press, 1994). There are other translations - you might look for Anne Carson's - and find the one you like the best!
Posted on February 2, 2008 at 7:49 am
champagnecholly
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Smilkova, that is great! I'm a wannabe lit prof, just kidding but I just picked up Pindar, but just the Penguin Bowra translation. I haven't read Sappho since college so thanks for mentioning that, its really lovely! I may have Wonderful Graffiti do that and then frame it and later put it on a wall in our home or something!
http://secure.wonderfulgraffiti.com/
Oooo just figured out what I'm going to do! I'm going to put that quote in an ornate mirror using the wonderful graffiti!
Like on one of these
http://www.ukhomeideas.co.uk/images/old-french-mirrors/antique-mirrors.jpg

kittnmouse, I hadn't even thought about a grooms cake! Maybe some groom's petits fours with sugar anchors just to be a goof ball?!

I found a good book (if anyone ever has a similar dilemma in future readings of this board). My biggest conundrum at first was figuring out rules/traditions/etc but this book is VERY detailed:
Service Etiquette Fourth Edition
by Oretha D. Swartz
http://www.amazon.com/Service-Etiquette-Fourth-Oretha-Swartz/dp/0870216201/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202055148&sr=1-1
Posted on February 3, 2008 at 3:17 am
ambersmith59
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Name tables after famous battles in his units history, instead of just numbering them 1 thru 20. You can also ask if his unit has any traditons that can be used at the wedding; any mascot to be borrowed, speeches typically made at a formal military dinner or other actions that the unit does when they get together.
Good Luck!
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 8:23 am
catandmark
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hey champ,
i've been to plenty of military weddings with the groom as the military officer. the sword arch is definitely the most popular tradition. it doesn't matter if the members making up the arch aren't good friends with your FI...i've seen some random people make up the sword arch. =) people always seem to be willing to get in their dress whites to help out a shipmate...and any reason to bust out your sword always brings a smile to your face! have your FI just ask around. maybe there are some junior officers at his command who he's acquainted with who are free for your wedding.

in my case, i'm the military officer and the future hubby's the "civilian" =). i've been racking my brain to tie in some military traditions for my wedding too! one thing i've incorporated is that the toasts at the reception will be done with port wine and will be conducted somewhat like a dining in. ask your FI what a "dining in" is (sometimes also called a "dining out" or "mess night"). he should be able to explain it, and there are some good sources online if you google it. basically we'll have a card explaining the traditions at each table and once the formal toasts are done, the guests will be allowed to "address the mess" (this will all make sense once you understand what a "dining in" is!) some of the traditions include passing the wine to the left, never allowing the bottle to touch the table until all glasses are poured; raising your glass to your lips whether or not you drink; etc...all the traditions have some sort of explanation and that's what the cards will explain.
Here's a good site. It also has the Navy Mess Night manual:
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq89-1.htm


HTH!

-Cat
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 12:14 pm
champagnecholly
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Cat! I remember when I went to my first dining out! I was so lost! He gave me his OCS phamphlet to study but oof. And the weekend before my bank had hired some former Marine aviators to do a consulting thing so I got to talking to them at the social hour and they were trying to prep me. My family has aviators too from WWII (that's how my grandparents were introduced) and yet no one EVER explained this stuff to me! Not that I ever expected to be marrying into this!

I found the GREATEST book for it, in a pp. I don't think we're going to adhere to the dining out rules (since we will have only about 25% military guests) but I think FI is pretty determined to do the arch. I saw a gorgeous Navy couple wedding, the husband was a SWO and the wife and aviator, on theknot.com... it was in Savannah, you should check it out! I've been to a couple aviator-aviator weddings and the wife wore her dress but they still had a few traditions. Honestly most seem to just hit the City Hall... It seems some take traditions more seriously than others, particularly depending on how into it their parents are.

Do you know where to get the swords? I was going to ask around at our next base but also I heard some ROTC chapters have them on hand... I wish we were still planning to get married in Newport because I know they have tons for the OCS graduations.

Ambersmith, that's a cute idea, FI is an aviator so we decided to do the aviation alphabet for the tables, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie etc
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 12:53 pm
champagnecholly
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champagnecholly

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PS Cat - I like the use of port... maybe some grog ;)
May I ask, the weddings that you've attended what did people do? Which traditions did people keep?
Posted on February 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm
krysbarnes
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champagne, when and where is your wedding? I am also getting married to a (navy) officer in August and I have recieved several good bits of help and advice. Depending on what branch of the military, you can actually buy premium sword packages from a very reputable site... for $550.00 it includes: belt, sword, lazer etching, carrying case, knot, and gloves.

http://www.militarysabers.com/navy-officer-sword-package.html

My fiance should have already had these but for the price and the quality, it's not bad at all. We looked at the prices on the NEX website and this comes out a little cheaper.

As for who can do the swords, you can ask the chaplain (if you're using one), to try to arrange for people to do the arch for you or you can also ask his commanding officer to 'find' the right people for the job.
Posted on April 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm

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