Military Wedding Traditions

Are you getting married and want to incorporate military wedding traditions into your big day? Military weddings can be both meaningful and beautiful. From the attire, ceremony, reception and more – there are many unique ways for couples to honor their service members or veterans in a special way. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to plan a memorable military wedding that pays homage to those who have served our country, then read on. We’ll explore all the different types of military wedding traditions from dress codes to ceremonies so that you can make sure every detail is just right.

Military Wedding Traditions

Military Wedding Attire

When it comes to military wedding attire, there are certain rules and traditions that should be followed. For the bride and groom, traditional military dress uniforms are typically worn. The groom will wear his service uniform with medals or decorations while the bride may choose to wear a white gown with her husband’s service colors incorporated into her ensemble in some way.

For the bridal party, members of the armed forces often opt for their own service uniforms as well. If they do not have access to a uniform, then formal civilian attire is appropriate such as tuxedos or dark suits for men and floor-length gowns for women.

Guests at a military wedding should also adhere to proper etiquette when selecting their outfits. While cocktail dresses or eveningwear is acceptable for female guests, male guests should stick with more formal attire such as suits and ties rather than jeans or shorts. Military personnel who are attending in uniform must make sure that all components of their dress code are up-to-date according to regulations set by their branch of service.

It is important to note that some branches may have additional requirements regarding what type of clothing can be worn during an official ceremony, so it is best to check with your local base before making any final decisions about what you will wear on your special day.

From the bride and groom to the guests, it is important to understand military wedding attire in order to make your special day a memorable one. Now let’s explore some of the unique traditions that are associated with a military wedding ceremony.

Military Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Military weddings are a special and unique occasion, with many traditions that have been passed down through generations. The processional and recessional are two of the most important elements of any military wedding ceremony. During the processional, the bride is escorted by her father or other family member to the altar while accompanied by music or a bagpiper playing traditional tunes. The groom then follows with his best man at his side as they make their way up to join the bride. After exchanging vows and rings, both parties will then proceed out of the chapel together in what is known as a recessional.

The exchange of vows and rings is another important tradition during military weddings. This part typically involves both partners repeating traditional marriage vows before exchanging rings as symbols of their commitment to each other for life. It’s also common for couples to include personal touches such as poems or readings during this portion of the ceremony.

Finally, one last element that often takes place at military weddings is a sword arch or sabre arch ceremony. This involves members from either branch forming an archway using swords or sabres which symbolizes protection for the newlyweds throughout their lives together after marriage. It’s usually performed just before exiting the chapel following completion of all ceremonies and can be quite dramatic when done correctly.

From the solemnity of a traditional military wedding ceremony to the festive celebration of a reception, couples can honor their service and add meaningful elements to their special day. Now let’s explore some traditions that may be incorporated into the wedding reception.

Military Wedding Reception Traditions

Toasting the Couple with Champagne or Sparkling Cider is a traditional part of any wedding reception, but it takes on special significance at a military wedding. The bride and groom can choose to have their guests toast them with champagne or sparkling cider as they enter the reception hall. This is an opportunity for family and friends to honor the couple’s commitment to each other, as well as show their appreciation for those who serve in the armed forces.

Cutting the Cake with a Sword or Saber is another popular tradition at military weddings. The bride and groom will often use either a sword or saber to cut into their cake together, symbolizing their union and strength in marriage. It also serves as an homage to those who have served in the military before them, showing respect for all that they have done for our country.

Tossing the Bouquet and Garter Belt with a Sword or Saber is one of the most memorable moments of any wedding ceremony, and this holds true even more so at a military wedding. As part of this tradition, both the bouquet and garter belt are thrown using either a sword or saber instead of just hands alone; this adds extra excitement (and danger) to what can already be an unpredictable event. Additionally, if there are service members present at your wedding who would like to participate in this ritual, you may want to consider allowing them do so while wearing full dress uniform – it makes for some truly amazing photos.

Military wedding receptions are a great way to honor the service of those who have served and show your appreciation for their sacrifice. There are many other traditions that can be incorporated into a military wedding, so consider these options when planning your special day.

Other Military Wedding Traditions to Consider

Honor Guard for the Bride and Groom’s Entrance to the Reception Hall. A military wedding tradition that couples may want to consider is having an honor guard present at their reception hall entrance. An honor guard typically consists of a group of service members in uniform who line up on either side of the entrance, saluting as the bride and groom make their grand entrance into the reception hall. This can be a powerful way to show respect for those who have served in our armed forces, while also making your special day even more memorable.

Serving of Specialty Drinks in Honor of Service Members Past and Present. Another unique military wedding tradition that couples may want to incorporate into their celebration is serving specialty drinks in honor of service members past and present. For example, you could offer signature cocktails such as “The Salute” or “The Hero” which are named after various branches within the military or veterans organizations like The American Legion or Veterans Of Foreign Wars (VFW). This would be a great way to pay tribute to those who have served our country while providing your guests with something special they won’t soon forget.

Finally, many couples choose to display photos at their wedding reception honoring loved ones who have served in our armed forces – whether it’s current active duty personnel or veterans from previous wars – as another meaningful gesture during this special time together with family and friends. You could create a collage wall featuring pictures from each branch within the military or simply hang individual frames throughout your venue filled with images that represent those closest to you who have bravely defended our nation’s freedom over generations past and present alike.


Military wedding traditions are a unique way to honor the service of your loved one. From the attire and ceremony to the reception, there are many ways you can incorporate military elements into your special day. Whether it’s having an arch of sabers or incorporating music from their branch, these traditions will make for a memorable event that honors those who have served our country. No matter how you choose to celebrate, be sure to take time to appreciate all that comes with military wedding traditions.