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Military wedding etiquette

Military weddings provide a lot of pomp and circumstance, but you must follow certain etiquette rules. There are perhaps more rules involved in a military wedding than any other type of wedding ceremony.

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Invitations for a military wedding use the rank of military personnel much like civilian weddings use Mr. or Mrs. Use the person's rank and military branch in the invitation, whether it applies to the bride and groom or either set of parents.


Military members of the wedding party will wear their uniforms. The uniform they wear depends on the formality of the occasion. If the bride is in the military, she may wear either her uniform or a traditional wedding dress. Guests may choose to wear their uniform or civilian clothes.

Arch of Swords or Sabers

When leaving the church, the bride and groom exit under an arch of swords. Military personnel holding the swords must wear gloves.


The bride and groom may enter the reception under an arch of swords. They also may choose to display the flag behind the receiving line.

Cutting the Cake

It is customary for United States Marines to use an officer's sword to cut the cake.

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About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.

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