Military Uniforms & Weddings

Marine-wedding-Cake-500Military weddings are awesome.

I wish I would have had one.

When I married my wife in 2004, I had just separated from the Marines months earlier.

And although technically I was in the reserves and could have worn my uniform, I opted not to because

1) I was getting married in the former Soviet Union

2) My uniform was in an unorganized storage unit 15,000 miles away

3) I thought finding a well-fitted suit in Ukraine would be easy.  It wasn’t, and this in part lead to me founding A Tailored Suit.

Well – looking back I wish I would have had someone ship my dress blues to me.  I have very few pictures of me in my dress uniform, and none with my wife (the pics I do have are with “wife prospects”….. which stay in storage as I want to stay married).

So – in the case you’re reading this and are undecided as to whether or not to have a military wedding, here are my reasons why you should go for it.

5 Reasons To Have A Military Wedding

1.  You have earned the right – simply put, this one of the perks of serving your country.

Kate  Middleton and Prince William weddinYou may not get paid well, you may get shipped to a hostile land for 18 months, and you may have to have the same haircut for 20 years……..but you can dress like a future king on your wedding day.

2.  It sets the tone for the wedding – Weddings are naturally fun events, but when military uniforms are introduced into the mix they act as a catalyst and heighten the feelings and emotions.

military-wedding-500Solemn moments are more reflective –  joyous moments are more joyful.  Perhaps it’s how the uniforms (and the history they represent) remind us that all that is beautiful and earthly is fleeting.  And that’s why we should cherish every moment with our good friends and family.

3.  It puts you on equal footing with the bride – Most grooms, especially in the pictures, play second fiddle to the bride.  When you wear your uniform, don’t be surprised when you start to become the person everyone wants a picture with.

Marine-wedding-pic-The infusion of color, great fit, and classic lines shaped over centuries will make your outfit something everyone wants to have a picture with.  All you have to do is just smile!

4.  You save money – A large cost for many grooms and groomsmen are tuxedo rentals or the buying of new suits that actually fit.  You already own your uniform so no need to spend more there – assuming your groomsmen are service members as well they have the same luxury.

An added benefit is that your dress uniform should fit reasonably well thanks to inspections, you being in great shape, and military regulations requiring a form fit.  In fact for many men their dress uniform is the best fitting garment they’ll ever own (unless they go custom).

5.  You get to pull out a sword – I don’t need to elaborate on this point.  Anytime you can wear a sword and use it, outside of combat, makes for a memorable event. military-weddingA few points worth considering

Medals – If you’re newly commissioned or enlisted, chances are you have very few if any.  Don’t worry about it.  I personally love the look of a clean uniform without the fruit salad.

Swords – Be courteous of others and the institutions you’re interacting with.  Some churches do not allow swords inside – respect this and work around it.

Wearing your military uniform to a wedding as a guest – unless it is a military wedding where other uniformed men will be present, I advise caution in wearing your uniform and suggest you wear a suit.

Although you have earned the right to wear your uniform, the event you’re attending isn’t about you and a gentleman  isn’t out to steal the limelight from the bride and groom by displaying his medals and colors on another person’s big day.

Instead wear a well fitted classic suit that subtly displays your masculine physique.

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About Antonio

Antonio Centeno is President of ATailoredSuit.com and the founder of RealMenRealStyle.com. He has created over 700 articles & videos on men's style, blogs over at the Art of Manliness, and is the creator of the internet's best selling personal presentation course - A Man's Guide To Timeless Style. Antonio has studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine with an MBA from UT Austin and a BA from Cornell College. He loves to hear from old friends and make new ones.

  • josephkonrad

    Semper Fi Antonio

  • rmrstyle

    @josephkonrad Semper Fi Joseph!

  • CarsonWard

    Semper FI Marine. Excellent article. Carson Ward

  • YuriYeleyko

    I remember walking with you streets of Kiev, Ukraine maybe 2003 visiting all fancy boutiques. You were not satisfied with any single suit you saw. Years after, when I first heard about ATailoredSuit, I thought- Antonio is a core personality – if he can’t find a suit he likes, he creates one by himself. Sounded like a joke first, it turned to be a solid business!

  • rmrstyle

    @YuriYeleyko Haha – that was a long time ago Yuri – you have a good memory! Yea – couldn’t find a good suit in a city of 3 million people…..amazing…..so much opportunity in this world! You just have to see it and then go get it.

  • rmrstyle

    @CarsonWard Semper Fi to you as well Carson!

  • Davelli0331

    Semper Fi! I got out about a year before I got married and debated between wearing my blues versus buying a nice tuxedo and having it tailored. I chose to wear my blues. We did not have a military wedding, and the church would not have allowed my NCO sword anyway (I was a sgt upon getting out), but it still looked great. Your point of looking as good as the bride is close, though I doubt anyone would have outshone my wife that day!

    By the way, uniform regulations state that Marines may wear their uniforms for the rest of their lives so long as they still meet height and weight standards and have a regulation hair cut. I know for fact this applies to any dress uniform, and I believe it may also apply to all service uniforms, though it obviously does not apply to camouflage utilities.

  • rmrstyle

    @Davelli0331 Thanks for the refresher on the uniform regs – I have read through the old regs for a while – hopefully they have them digitized by now so it’s easier to search through:)

    Great to hear you wore your blues – sounds like it was a great time!

  • cascabel187

    Tracking…Wife & I got married twice (civil & church services). Both times I wore my dress blues as a Lance Coconut. Although, I have committed the faux pas of wearing my blues to other people’s events.

    Wedding pic link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1694875725028&l=875465c8bd

  • rmrstyle

    @cascabel187 Great pic! Thanks for sharing……and I wouldn’t worry too much about the wearing the blues to another’s wedding detail. Just an opinion – if done tastefully and under the right conditions who am I to judge:)

  • http://www.theweddinginvitation.co.uk/ Wedding invitations

    I think military weddings are soo romantic :)
    I’ve seen a few photo sets from army and navy weddings today and it’s making me a little jealous that my man didn’t have a nice uniform for our big day!

  • rmrstyle

     @Wedding invitations Well, we won’t tell :)