Post # 1
I’m entirely new to this, so please bear with me:
I have a dilemma. Or so it would seem. My fiance and I have been engaged since August 2010, and have the intentions of being married in the summer of 2011, but have yet to set a date. It proves especially difficult for us because of his obligation to the Army National Guard and his drill/deployment schedule. As of now, he only has a “tentative” schedule, which is subject to change, of course. I have my heart set on getting married next summer, but I’m so worried a conflict is going to come up (in regards to training and deployment), and our wedding is going to suffer.
I really need help deciding whether or not we should get married and have the wedding before or after his deployment. Any feedback from those who may have experienced this type of situation would be greatly appreciated.
For those who want an explanation of why I so desire it to be next summer, I can’t really say… it’s just what I’ve been planning on since we’ve been engaged and I would be crushed to change it now. But if it’s for the best… it has to be done.
Thank you all for reading. Your thoughts and comments are invaluable.
Post # 3
We got engaged in March and we are getting married in secret with just family at my mother’s house in about a month. Fiance has a chance of getting deployed in the spring. All of the soldiers on base here are going to go through their work up training and they’re not being told if they are being deployed or not because they don’t want anyone to slack off. At first I was trying to plan a wedding between the training and actual deployment with the thought that the date could get changed in a second and all my planning and deposits are out the window. Or we find out he isn’t getting deployed and he is high-strung and exhausted from the training, not to mention the gauntness in photos because he will be doing so much physical activity and hardly eating because there is no time.
Instead we are having our secret ceremony in December and in the spring/summer of 2012 we will be having our big wedding and ceremony which will be well after the time he should be back from deployment. This way I’ll be next of kin and I’ll get any important information first and I can take my time planning the big wedding and ceremony.
Post # 4
If he’s getting deployed, as a reservist, he’d have a good amount of time prior to prepare. My FH knew about both MONTHS in advance. Also, they plan their drill schedules a year in advance (so they know what each unit will need financialy). If you have a doubt, the unit SHOULD, with enough time in advance, allow your fiance to pre-drill if your wedding falls on a drill weekend (though that’s not guaranteed, depends on command).
You can write in to each contract that in case of unexpected military duty, the wedding will be treated as posponed (we did that) so you won’t lose deposits.
However, we’ve planned our wedding in under 6 months and it’s not difficult. I would just plan it when you know he’ll be home if you can, or hedge your bets and ensure your vendors know. Also, he can ask his unit whether a specific date is a go or a no go. That should help.
It’s not easy, but you might have to compromise a bit if you want to be sure it won’t get changed (if you’re positive he’ll deploy)
Post # 5
i would set your date for whatever you like because your fi should be able to split train (drill on another day) if a drill does get scheduled for your wedding date…. keep in mind though that june and july are the most popular months for their AT (annual training) which is 2 weeks long. and as for deployment, he should know at least 4 months to a year in advance if hes getting deployed…. that being said…. plan away!!! 🙂
Post # 6
Thank you to everyone who has responded so far. Your feedback has been extremely helpful. I’m still going to weigh the pros and cons of getting married before and after, and hopefuly make a decision ASAP so I can put deposits down on the venues! 🙂
Post # 7
My Fiance is also a NG reservist and is due back from his deployment on the 16th of this month. We got engaged Feb 09, he came home May 09 and in Oct 09 found out he was being deployed AGAIN within the next 6 mos. He spent that next 6 mos in training and classes and was barely home 30 days collectively. Needless to say it was either the Justice of the Peace office or wait. We decided to wait.
I agree with the other pp that he should have is drill schedule well in advance and depending on his commanders should be able to work around his drill date if it lands on your set wedding date. He may even be able to make up that drill with a different unit at a later date. With a year notice I’m sure its all very doable. Don’t worry.
Post # 8
You might consider JOP wedding before deployment and the “wedding” after. That way you are NOK and can handle anything for him with the power of attorney. My brother and sil did and I only found out a few months ago. It ended up saving them thousands (actually paid for the wedding) in benefits alone not including the extra housing allowence and other benefits.
Post # 9
When I booked everything for my wedding, I told all of the vendors that Fiance was active duty Army with a looming deployment. It was originally supposed to be late summer and was moved up 3 months-ish. Luckily, I booked it in March for a little breathing room (his pre-deployment training was moved up to January so that breathing room is a little tight!). All of my vendors were all VERY willing to be flexibile if something changes. Luckily, February isn’t a big “wedding month” so if we have to move everything it might be possible. So definitely let ALL of your vendors know and try to schedule around the tentative dates. It’s the military, you’ll NEVER have definite dates.
Post # 10
I agree with both, if it’s too stressfull, do the justice of the peace thing beforehand so you have all the information you need, but then you also have the leisure to plan a wedding.
ALSO make sure to get insurance on your wedding in case of change of deployment or training dates.
Post # 11
Honestly, if you already know you want to be married then you want to be married before he gets deployed. There are tons of perks to it, even if you have to JOP it beforehand and then have a wedding later. As a wife, you are privy to information they dont share with anyone else plus you have a built in support system within his unit and their spouses. Plus theres the issue of family separation pay, additional benefits, and the unfortunate but necessary arrangements having to do with his life insurance and benefits just in case. Its not something that we want to consider happening, but it does and marriage offers protection in the event that something does happen to him overseas.
We had an “Act of God/War/Government” clause in all of our vendor contracts. They did not guarantee the return of an deposits, but they guaranteed a postponement if something were to happen and he would have had to miss the wedding. Thank god, we didnt end up needing to use it (we thought we were going to have to postpone until a week before, phew) but it was good that it was there.
Post # 12
No my Fiance but my brother is in the Marine Corps, he is 10 months younger than me and we are pretty close. I was engaged in July of this year and as soon as i found out i started thinking wedding dates, originally Fiance and I wanted April or May 2011 but found out my brother was leaving for Afghanistan in November 2010..so i knew i wouldnt get the dates i wanted there was no way he would be back in time. well i put off picking a date and basically planned my wedding date based on his deployment. As you know the military doesnt exactly have a set schedule, his deployment has been put off first to january and now march. there was no way i was going to wait 7+ months from march so i decided to jump the gun and plan a wedding in 5 months… (7 month engagement but it was 5 months by the time i picked a date) i really wanted to get married and waiting until after his deployment just wasnt an option for me, but i really wanted him there so i picked the furthest date out without jepordizing him not being there. Lucky i did because now they are saying late february/early march.
i say follow your heart. the advantage of waiting until after is that you have longer to plan and something to keep you busy while he is away.
Post # 13
Not sure if you have made up your mind yet on this one, so thought I would add my ‘story’ in case it helps. It looks like your summer 2011 date that you are keen on is the same as our wedding date if the website is telling me right 🙂 – 9th July 2011.
My H2B is in the air force full time, we got engaged in Feb this year & knew he would be deployed sometime within the next 12 months, no idea when at the time though. We then eventually found out it would be Jan 2011 that he would go for about 4 months (UK air force, not US) and had a big debate about the wedding before or after he was deployed. We wanted to get married in Dec this year, but realised that it would mean me moving up to his base right before he was deployed and then being in a new place by myself for the first 4 months of our marriage whilst he was deployed. Add to that the fact that I decided to change career and go back to university for a year, we realised we simply couldn’t afford to get married this year & it would be awful to get married, then have him be deployed immediately afterwards, and planning a wedding in such a short time would have been a nightmare as he prepared for deployment. We ummed and ahhed about a court civil wedding before he went, then our ‘proper’ wedding next year when he got home, which I think is a really good idea but we then realised it was pointless as I still wouldn’t move up to where he is until he was home as it is a 2 hour drive to where I am studying.
So in the end, we decided on 9th July 2011, with him deployed Jan – May 2011. No court wedding before, we are just going for our religious wedding on 9th July & we will somehow move house etc after that. It gives us more time to save, me time to finish my postgraduate degree & find a job up north and means we start off married life in the same country rather than him deployed! I still wish we were married now, before he goes, but at the end of the day this was more sensible and I can enjoy planning and we don’t have any more stress before he goes.
I think you need to go with whatever works for you guys. It may be very hard to plan a wedding at short notice, but maybe a court wedding then a big wedding next year when he is home? He should get a bit of notice about deployments as well. Make sure you take out insurance in case he is delayed if you book your wedding for after he gets home & good luck!