(Closed) Arch of Swords Needed for NYC Wedding (How To?)

posted 8 years ago in Military
Post # 3
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Hey lady! Amy Wife here =].

Check local ROTC or JROTC units. 

Is your husband an officer? I’m not sure how Navy rules work but the swords only apply for Army officers in the Army. Not sure if anyone really follows that though. But that could be making it more difficult!


Post # 4
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

I’m not military, but I did a quick search and this is what I found:

Contact your local recruiting center for the branch of the military that the couple are in.  If you have a national guard base for that branch of the military in your city or a nearby one, contact them also.  They will probably be the ones to do the arch. 

Post # 5
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

EJS – the army is the only service that allows enlisted to participate in sword arches – She’ll need officers or NCOs. The recruiting centers can probably find people for you – but with no personal connection – you really want them at your wedding? (JUST MY OPINION!) I’d think you’d be better off with friends of friends  if all your navy buds will be deployed.  Also – keep in mind, mixing branches is normal.  Got any Coastie or jarhead friends?  Toss them in!

If your fiance is military - he needs to start asking military friends. (You need at least 6). No one sets it up for you - its you (or him) asking military friends to attend the wedding in the dress uniform and creating the sword arch at your entrance/exit point of choice. Many choose to have it be as the bride and groom exit the church, but we chose to do it as our entrance to the reception. They should already know what to do - but will need time to practice ahead of time. Keep in mind that anyone flying in will have to check their sword separately from any bags (we contacted friends who were driving in and they borrowed enough from other friends that no one had to fly theirs in). The guys (and gals if there are any - im not excluding - i just feel like typing that everytime so I'll refer to them all as guys), will line up, enter, break out into two lines and form the arch. We had our entire bridal party enter through the arch, with us last. Traditionally, as the bride and groom approach - the nearest swords cross down in front of them and the bride and groom have to kiss to "unlock" the pass.... then the next set does it - etc. And then you "unlock" the last set and guy on the right swats you on the butt with his sword and calls out "Welcome to the Navy/Army/Coast Guard/Marines/Air Force etc!!"

By The Way - I am assuming he's an officer or NCO because enlisted don't have sword arches.

I posted a couple photos here:


Let me know if you need more info or photos!

Post # 6
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@mdarrah, that was really helpful! thanks for the info.

My Fiance and I will be having the arch at our wedding. He is an officer in the CG and so much of our wedding and our lives together have been shaped by his Academy and military experiences. I couldn’t imagine not having it.

Post # 7
2907 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@mdarrah:Actually in the marine corps, NCOs carry a sword, too. Due to unforseen circumstances we were unable to have a sword arch, but my husband (an enlisted marine) has a ceremonial sword with his dress blues.


I believe NCO is E3 and up, but I may be wrong.

Post # 8
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@ellabee:  E4 (corporal) is an NCO. 

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