I wish I could've had my military wedding. I didn't have one because I got married right after I left the service. At that time, I was in the former Soviet Union, and being an American military officer getting married around guests who were former Spetsnaz, I decided not to push my luck.
So – if you're reading this and are undecided, in this article I answer the question, “Should I get married in my military uniform?” Here's what we cover in today's article:
- You have earned the right to wear military uniform
- It sets the tone for the wedding
- A military uniform puts you on equal footing with the bride
- A wedding in military uniform saves money
- You get to pull out a sword
- What Do You Wear To A Military Wedding?
- Wearing your military uniform to a wedding (as a guest)
- What do guests wear to a military wedding?
5 Reasons To Have A Military Wedding
Don't even think about it; this is going to be awesome.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you're going to be able to take it up to a whole new level because you're going to be able to wear your uniform.
Wedding In Military Uniform Reason #1 You Have Earned The Right
Simply put, this one of the perks of serving your country.
You 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.
Reason #2 It Sets The Tone For The Wedding
Weddings are naturally fun events, but a wedding in military uniform acts as a catalyst and heightens feelings and emotions. And it can work for all occasions!
Solemn 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.
Reason #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 in the picture.
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 smile!
Reason #4 A Wedding In Military Uniform Saves Money
A significant cost for many grooms and groomsmen are tuxedo rentals or the buying of new suits that fit.
You already own your uniform, so there is no need to spend more there – assuming your groomsmen are service members and 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).
Reason #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, it makes for a memorable event.
What Do You Wear To A Military Wedding?
Let's talk quickly about my thoughts on the uniform and what should go with it.
What should the groom wear to a wedding? In the United States Marine Corps, we typically get married in our dress blues. We also had a dress white, which was white trousers with a blue top, which looked stellar.
It looked excellent, especially when the bride is wearing white. I would look at what you think will look great with her outfit and not coordinate; you're looking to complement, and there's a big difference.
You want to make sure that you don't wear something with too much contrast.
I see Army gentlemen here in the United States, whether enlisted or officer, get married in their greens. Those look pretty good as well.
Some other things to consider:
If newly commissioned or enlisted, you likely have very few, if any. Don't worry about it. I personally love the look of a clean uniform without the fruit salad.
Be courteous of others and the institutions in which you're interacting. 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. A gentleman isn't out to steal the limelight by displaying his medals and colors on another person's big day. There is always a dress code, whether it is spoken or not.
What Do Guests Wear To A Military Wedding?
The key here is to let people know this is a wedding in military uniform. Dark suits and ties are the best. You could go “black tie“, especially with a military dress uniform, but that may restrict how many people can get their hands on a tux.
In any case, what you want to keep is uniform across the board and get out the message to the guests, especially if there's going to be a lot of military attending so that everyone shows up in the same uniform.
That's going to look better, and you're not going to have anyone feel out of place.
You also want to pay attention to what uniform is the most common. If you choose an uncommon uniform, you don't want to have many guys having to go out and buy something they may never use again.
The #1 thing to remember here is this is your big day. Have fun and make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you both.
Read next: Ultimate Guide To Wedding Attire for Men.