Post # 1
My Fiancee and I have been dating for almost 5 years now. He popped the question with a gorgeous 2 carat ring a week ago! Anywho, he’s leaving for the airforce April 24th of this year for basic training. He probably won’t know where he’ll be stationed until early 2013. We had talked about eloping before he left but not telling anyone, but decided in the past week we can have a nice wedding next year. I have a really traditional Vietnamese family…and I hate A LOTTTT of relatives…when relatives have weddings it’s either invite all of them or none! And when I say all, my side would probably include 150 people..and that’s excluding non close close family ties! My mom has always been one of those ‘you’re not getting married until you’re 30’ type of people. I haven’t told her i’m engaged because i’m scared! I am living in her home for now until we get married and I’ll move with him to his permenant base. I’m 23 and will be graduating from UC Davis this coming month. I want to find a job ASAP, but if I can’t I plan to go to grad school. I want to find a job so that my fiancee and I will be able to pay for our own wedding and invite whoever we want (so I can selectively include/exclude people) without constraints from our parents.
Any advice for my mom, family, wedding?
Any additional information on how we can get married and actually set a date when he’s at his permenant base would be greatly appreciated as well.
Post # 3
I would STRONGLY encourage you to get at least legally married before he leaves for basic if possible. You will get a housing allowance, be ‘in the know’, can get Tricare, can get on base easier with your ID, and won’t have to change his paperwork all over when you do get married. Plus, when he gets orders after school, you can go with him immediately and get your moving expenses covered.
If you aren’t married when he gets his first set of orders, he will get unaccompanied orders, which are easy enough to get changed to accompanied, as long as he doesn’t get sent overseas or to a place (like Korea) where dependants can’t go anyway. So, basically, moving with him is always easier if you’re married prior to him getting the orders.
Once you’re settled and want to plan your big wedding, he can take leave, but just know that leave in the military is nothing like putting in for 2 weeks vacation in the civilian world. It’s never guaranteed and can ALWAYS change last minute. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but it’s just what you have to work with.
So, I would recommend trying to have a big wedding now, or getting married over the holidays when his leave is more likely to get approved (and not change!) due to the holiday stand-down most bases take.
Post # 4
I second getting married before he leaves. You’ll make more money while he’s in basic. He’ll be collecting his base pay + basic housing allowance (BAH) because he has a dependent. Also, while he’s there he can get you in the system and enroll you in DEERS/all that good stuff. Also, if you’re in school you can get military funding. MyCAA will provides spouses 4k a year for school.
Another reason you should get married before he leaves is he’s going to be enlisted. People under a certain rank are required to live on base in the barracks. If he’s already married he’ll be placed in married housing (where you can join him) or be allowed to live off base and recieve BAH.
As for the wedding and telling your mother: Tell her. Not telling her will only show her that you’re not ready to get married. She may be dissappointed, but I’m sure she loves you and will move on.
Setting a date will be impossible until he has orders. And his orders after basic will be to go to follow on school so even then they may not even be clear. When he gets to his first station he’ll find out an optimal time, but that’s subject to change. Welcome to the military.
Post # 5
Hey ladies, is the BAH seperate from the seperation pay? So I would be getting seperation pay and the housing allowance? I told my finacee about what you ladies wrote, and that was his one question. I’ve been considering getting married and having a ‘renewal of the vows’ next year. This would be ideal if he would get paid more and can save for a nice wedding from the BAH. We’ve decided to tell my mother this weekend as well regardless of her opinions. We’re set on getting married and I decided I will put my schooling on hold until he gets his permenant base. Grad school for sports management afterall, isn’t a long program and I can always do it at a school near his permenant base. If not choose another program that suits me.
Post # 6
BAH and separation pay are separate. My understanding is that you only get separation oay if he is stationed somewhere that you can’t follow him, though- like in training or if he has unaccompanied orders. I think they generally figure that if you choose to stay in school, that’s your choice and not their fault you aren’t together.
I would also really recommend getting married now and doing a vow renewal later! We got married before my husband left for boot camp for the Marines and it was a great decision. We had a small wedding that we payed for ourselves, and we plan to have the HUGE Italian family and all of our friends celebrate with us after I graduate and we are better off financially, in about 2 years.
Post # 7
I’m pretty sure it’s separate. BAH is to help pay for housing and separation pay is paid out anytime the two of you have to be searated due to orders. I’m a new military wife so someone correct me if I’m wrong.
Post # 8
@thanh16: Yes. BAH and separation pay are two different things. My parents were like your parents, more traditional (I thought I was too) I thought I wasn’t going to want to get married until I was AT LEAST 27 lol. My parents were initially disappointed, but quickly got over it. Now they support me more than ever.
My court wedding is next week!
Post # 9
I was in your boat and was super afraid to tell my parents (after we were already married though!) I ended up telling her AND my grandmother. They both werent excited that they wern’t at the courthouse ceremony but they understand why we did it and were super supportive. We are planning a renewal for this summer and family and friends do plan to attend.
It is WAY Easier to just do a justice of the peace thing and get married and get all the paperwork in order NOW instead of having him file all his paperwork and then get married and go all over it again. Especially if you are not with him. We are curently having the problem of getting me added to my husbands tricare ect. without me physically being there and man is it a lot of hoops to jump through
Post # 10
BAH= housing allowance (google BAH calculator by zip and you can figure out what it will be. During basic the location is based on his home address and E-1).
Separation pay= a few hundred dollars the military gives you extra every month while he’s on accompanied orders. Payments don’t start until you’ve been apart 30 days.
So yes, they are separate.
Post # 11
@thanh16: Yes, they are separate. You’ll get separation pay while he is in basic training, along with BAH and his base pay. You can figure out how much he’ll be making by using this calculator, but they dont include the separation pay in there. I think it’s $250 a month extra, but that’s only when you’re separated by orders for 30+ days at a time.
Also, the only pay that the government taxes is on his base pay. Your BAH, separation allowance, and other forms of pay are not allowed to be taxed. So, when he gets his first LES (leave and earnings statement, his pay stubs) and it looks like they aren’t taking a lot of tax out, it’s because of that law. We didn’t know that at first, and were worried!
Post # 12
@subbywife11: Awesome that calculator really helped! I figured it was around as much as the calculator told me because of where I live. He thanks you for showing it to us =]
Post # 13
I need some advice. I’m newly engaged to a Soldier who just graduated Airborne School (yay!!). I’m from a Military family, but my brother eloped and my mother was stationed at home when she married my father (Vietnam Vet) and only had a small justice of the peace ceremony in the house I grew up in. My parents don’t know exactly hw planning a military wedding works because my father was already long out of the Army once Vietnam ended, and they both agreed to keep it sweet and simple. My fiancee is very patient and wants to give me the wedding we deserve, but I can’t be selfish and not be with him because I want a big wedding NOW. We are trying to see what can be planned once he’s in his unit within the next couple of weeks or so. Rumor is that 82nd won’t deploy for a year and a half, but how that coincides with leave time I don’t know. I didn’t want us to be the typical couple who eloped, especially since I’m graduating College next spring. It just wouldn’t be practical now. But, I’m conflicted…should I go with planning the BIG day, or prepare for a small wedding at his church with just very immediate family and best friends? We have so many who love us dearly and I feel awful thinking about eliminating people from the small one, but I figure they will understand and look forward to the big day. I really don’t know what to do because on one hand I don’t want to spoil the big day by having a small wedding where we would’ve gotten married anyway, but I don’t want us to be apart when it’s unnecessary after next spring. How mcuh in advance can he plan leave for a wedding? How late is too late to book anything?
Post # 14
We are trying to see what can be planned once he’s in his unit within the next couple of weeks or so. Rumor is that 82nd won’t deploy for a year and a half, but how that coincides with leave time I don’t know.
A big chunk of the 82nd is already deployed and some of them very recently followed suit. I’m not going to reveal any details for obvious reasons. He will most likely get block leave during the summer but you never really know when that is either since it can change due to the needs of his unit etc. so it can be very hectic to plan far in advance. When he first gets to the unit, he’ll be very busy with just learning the ropes of what goes on so I think it’d be a bad idea to turn the focus to a wedding at that time.
I didn’t want us to be the typical couple who eloped, especially since I’m graduating College next spring. It just wouldn’t be practical now. But, I’m conflicted…should I go with planning the BIG day, or prepare for a small wedding at his church with just very immediate family and best friends? We have so many who love us dearly and I feel awful thinking about eliminating people from the small one, but I figure they will understand and look forward to the big day. I really don’t know what to do because on one hand I don’t want to spoil the big day by having a small wedding where we would’ve gotten married anyway, but I don’t want us to be apart when it’s unnecessary after next spring. How mcuh in advance can he plan leave for a wedding? How late is too late to book anything?
You can have a small intimiate JOP or court ceremony prior to your big day. That is what I’m doing. There are a lot of benefits to doing it this way. And no, I’m not talking about $ benefits, I’m talking about knowing that you’re the first contact if something happens. It gives a great peace of mind.
To plan a wedding, they say earlier the better. But I just started planning my big day too so I’m sure others can answer that better than I 🙂
Edit to add: Send me a message! I just found out that weddingbee has a messaging system lol I’m pretty new to this site too.