How to Dress for a Military Wedding

Written by ehow weddings editor
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Members of the wedding party who are serving their country in the armed forces traditionally wear their uniforms to add an elegant and distinguished touch to the event.

Skill level:


    Groom and Ushers

  1. 1

    Select uniforms based on the formality of the wedding. Dress uniforms are appropriate for a very formal wedding (equivalent to white tie); "dress blues" are a good choice for an informal wedding; and dinner or "mess dress" is best for more formal or semiformal weddings (mess dress is the military equivalent of a tuxedo).

  2. 2

    Take the weather into account. Navy uniforms are usually worn in winter and white uniforms in summer.

  3. 3

    Ask the ushers to wear white gloves, but the groom and best man should not, so that they can easily handle the ring.

  4. 4

    Wear your sword (for navy and coast guard) or saber (for army and marines). Include military decorations in place of boutonnieres.

  5. 5

    Ask members of the wedding who are not in the military to match the formality of your uniform with tuxedos or suits.

    Bride and Bridesmaids

  1. 1

    Decide between your uniform and a traditional wedding dress. If you choose the dress, select a very formal one that will complement the men's attire.

  2. 2

    Wear a long train and veil. (For a second wedding, you can skip these accessories.)

  3. 3

    Carry a bouquet.

  4. 4

    Pick formal bridesmaids' gowns. Navy is usually a good choice because it looks nice with the men's uniforms.

    Parents and Guests

  1. 1

    Suggest that the fathers of the bride and groom wear uniforms if they are active or retired officers.

  2. 2

    Allow mothers who are active or retired officers the option of wearing traditional mother-of-the-bride dresses or uniforms.

  3. 3

    Military guests may wear either their uniforms or formal civilian attire if they are active or retired officers.

Tips and warnings

  • Some grooms choose to forgo the uniforms when not all members of the wedding party are in the military. This allows everyone to match.
  • The bride stands to the right of the groom in a military wedding because he wears his sword on the left.
  • Include "Full dress uniform invited" on your invitations to let your guests know the dress code.

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