How to Groom for the Big Day
Anyone wearing a full military uniform to the wedding ceremony will also need to adhere to military grooming standards related to their branch of service. While you may think that regulations can be relaxed on the day two families are brought together, you would be wrong.
Any man planning on wearing their full military uniform will have to abide by the universal grooming standards of the military, which includes no facial hair. Even if your beard is looking epic, it has to go. Anyone thinking about bending the rules should think again—the uniform deserves an extreme amount of respect, and part of that involves following regulations exactly as they are set in stone.
Let the Flag Fly
As a sign of respect, an American flag and the bride and/or groom’s unit standard should be displayed at the ceremony, with both displayed to the left of the officiant. This is a keen reminder of the service that has been given to the country and for the pride felt between both the couple and attendees during this ceremony of love.
The Saber Arch
The Arch of Sabers Ceremony is often common for any newlywed that is a commissioned officer of the military, or any enlisted personnel that wishes to have the ceremony performed at their wedding.
The location of the Arch of Sabers depends on the branch of the military the spouse(s) served in. The Army and Air Force can choose to do it before or after the ceremony while the Navy usually does it right after the blessing.
The outdoor arch, completed after the wedding ceremony, is formed as the bride and groom are headed out of the chapel. Facing off, the veterans—with sabers in hand—will raise their swords, creating an arch for the bride and groom to walk through. As they reach the end, the last two swords are lowered, stopping the couple, where the veterans will yell for the bride to “Give the man a kiss.” The swords are lifted again once she does so.
If the bride is not part of the military, one of the men will tap the woman on the behind with their sword and they will yell “Welcome to the (Branch of Service), Mrs. (Surname).” This is a lovely, traditional way to welcome the couple as a military family, allowing them to pledge their loyalty to both their branch of service and the country.