What Exactly Makes a Military Wedding Different from a Regular One?

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette
Military Versus Regular Weddings

Photo: Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style

You may think the only thing that differentiates a military wedding is the military attire, but there's actually a lot more to it than that. Military weddings offer a sense of tradition and customs that go beyond the traditional wedding ceremony. Here, exactly what makes military weddings unique in their own right.

In order to have a military wedding you have to be a man or woman who is enlisted in active duty or any officer or cadet at military academy. The one aspect that really makes a military wedding stand out the most is that it calls for an inherently formal dress code. Anyone at the wedding who is in the military must dress in full uniform (even the bride if she prefers to!), while other guests, obviously not in uniform, should wear formal attire as well. Another interesting note about military wedding dress is that the groom and his groomsmen aren't supposed to wear boutonnieres if they're wearing their military uniforms.

See more: 10 Surprising Facts About Wedding Traditions

If you're hosting a military wedding, you have one less décor item to worry about, because an American flag and the bride or groom's unit standard is also displayed.

The recessional gets a nice little update, too, with the bride and groom passing underneath an arch of drawn swords and sabers outside their ceremony site. Another use for those swords? To cut the cake! Pretty epic, huh? Otherwise, everything else in the wedding ceremony and reception is done according to the bride and groom's religions and personal preferences.

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