Tips & Other Traditions

Verify your plans well in advance with the proper military authorities. Get permission for flowers, music and photography from the chaplain as each academy and military base has its own guidelines.

If members of the honor guard are also wedding attendants, they must wear military dress. No one out of full dress uniform can carry a sword or saber.

For an overseas wedding on or off-base, determine what papers are required before a spouse-to-be leaves the U.S.

Contact the chaplain early if you wish to marry at a military academy chapel. Since undergraduates may not marry, back to back wedding ceremonies may be the norm following graduation.

Most bases will be able to provide sabers or swords, but if you have trouble finding them, check with your local ROTC office.

Seating of Officers

At the ceremony, the bride or groom's commanding officer and spouse may sit in the front pew if the parents are not present. Or, the commanding officer may sit near or with the family.

Flag and general officers are customarily seated just behind the two families.

Other Traditions

Another tradition is that a midshipman or cadet may give his fiancée a miniature of his class ring as an engagement ring.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) personnel may give miniatures of their fraternity rings to their fiancée. During the wedding ceremony, a simple band is exchanged to complete the set.