Post # 1
My FI at the time of our wedding will have graduated from OCS and will be a commissioned officer/ 2nd Lt. I have a few questions about our ceremony as far as tips and regulations…
Firstly, we want to have an arch of swords after the ceremony. FI and I have a lot of siblings, and we were hoping to have one of his brothers and mine as ushers so that they can be involved in some way.
I know that traditionally the ushers are Marines, and they’re the ones who do the arch of swords. Could our brothers also be ushers or be ushers instead of the Marines? Or should I find a different job for our brothers? Also, if our brothers are the only ushers, should the Marines just take a seat/stand at the back until their part comes?
Question two: These Marines will probably just be local guys that we don’t know super well. Should we pay them, or is it okay to just invite them to the reception and feed them?
Next question. One of FI’s brothers is a Marine, and he will be either best man or a groomsman. Would it be okay if he is in dress blues, but the rest of our wedding party (excluding FI) are in suits?
Finally, how exactly does the cake-cutting part go? I’ve seen a lot of different answers on Google, but not anything super consistent.
Thank you in advance!
Post # 3
Hi there! My FI is a 2nd Lt. at TBS right now and we participated in the sword arch in his roommate’s wedding a few months ago, so I have at least one example for how these things work 🙂
Having your brothers as ushers is a GREAT use of family in a military wedding. As far as I know, there’s no restriction that only men in uniform can do it, so it gives them an important role if they’re unable to be groomsmen.
In the wedding I went to, the men participating in the sword arch sat near the back of the church during the ceremony so they could slip out to set up. It sounds like right now you’re assuming the Marines in your sword arch will be people you don’t know well. It was my understanding that usually other friends in uniform will do it for your FI (my FI is considering it sort of like his extended groomsmen 🙂 ). If he’s so early in his Marine Corps training he may not have a lot of friends in the Corps right now, but they get SUPER tight rather quickly since they spend so much time together during training. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds people during OCS or TBS that he would want to invite to your wedding anyway! But if you do end up using people that you don’t know very well, I think “paying” them in food would be more than appropriate. In fact, I think if you were to offer to pay them in money it would kind of cheapen the whole thing; it’s supposed to be an honor.
What are your questions about the cake cutting? Traditionally it’s done with your FI’s saber, but I don’t know what more you’re interested to know.
I hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you’d like to chat further. I’m far from an expert, but in the middle of planning all this too.
Post # 4
I recently heard a huge debate in regards to military weddings and the uniforms involved. It’s not exactly the same topic, but if the wedding is part military, part civilian, I suggest letting all USMC/military guests and bridal party memebers wear their dress blues/uniforms/garb. Not sure whether it is ‘protocal’, but I do have a high respect for their service and wouldn’t shun or hide the fact that they served our country!!
(Very proud of my daddy!) Sorry for the mini rant, just a perspective! Congrats on your wedding and his graduation! 😀
Post # 5
it’s perfectly fine to have ushers that are not marines. there’s no rule about that.
our marines sat towards the back, so they could exit the church quickly.
the marines in our arch are my husband’s buddies, so they were definitely invited to the reception (and they had a blast, by the way!). we didn’t pay them anything, but we are going to give them a small thank you gift. i had my photographer get a few good shots of them and we’re going to give them each a framed photo.
members of the wedding party who are marines, are definitely allowed to wear their unforms. my brother, who was an usher, wore his uniform (he’s in the airforce) for our ceremony and changed into a suit for the reception. you can also encourage other guests who are in the military to wear their uniforms.
i don’t have much advice as far as the cake cutting because we didn’t do that. all i know is that it’s cut with a saber.
Post # 6
Thank you all for your answers!
@wubewe: My FI did his first half of OCS in the summer of 2011, and he’s finishing the summer of 2013. He has a few friends, but I know he will make more when he goes back (:
The question I had about cake cutting… Whoops, forgot to specify there. I read somewhere that only NCO’s could cut the cake… He won’t be an NCO, and I found a lot of articles saying a commissioned officer could still cut the cake as well, so I probably stumbled across some article written by someone who had no idea what they were talking about :p
And yay for our FI’s! Love those Marine boys. Haha (: I’ll PM you in the future if I have any other questions!
@GenkiKanojo: I absolutely want our militaty guests/ wedding party to be in whatever they feel comfortable wearing, whether it be dress blues or suits… I guess I wasn’t sure if dress blues next to suits would look okay, or if I should do dress blues with tuxedos or… I dunno. Geez, I was vague with my questions! Lol.
On another note, I appreciate your father and his service to our country 😀 And thank you for the congrats! We’re excited for the future (:
@lilchicana: I like the idea of giving them photographs as little gifts; I know they’d love to have stellar photos of themselves in all their dress-blue’d badassery. Thank you!
Post # 7
Dress blues are usually considered equal in formality to a tuxedo. While I don’t think it looks bad next to a nice suit, its “technically” considered the same as wearing a tux.
Post # 8
@nikkialys: Thank you! I thought I’d heard that equivilant before. But I’ve also heard that an officer should wear dress blues regardless of the formality of the wedding.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - Italiano's Humble
I know this is an older thread, but thought I’d chime in. I’d be pissed if FH couldn’t cut the cake. Second, any service member, male or female, is generally given the option of wearing ANY dress uniform in regards to their rank, over a rented suit/tux. Also, we enlisted wives must get to have all the cool “guy things”, w/o worrying about this kinda stuff. I’ve been to 2 Marine weddings, where K-bars were dressed up and used to cut the cake.
One wedding, the entire groomsmen group was enlisted. Since 2 guys didn’t have their Blues, the bride had them all wear their mess dress/Alphas, b/c it was a combo of Marines & Soldiers. We ladies wore chocolate brown chiffon, the MOH wore a celadon, and we all looked great.Also, I’ve heard most guys want their own unit to do the Arch, or as many as possible, which has included groomsmen from one wedding I attended.
Post # 10
@cheetah2b: Thanks for the input! I just noticed you commented lol. Old thread, like you mentioned :p We decided that the servicemembers can choose uniforms or not, and FI and I are sure as heck cutting the cake with his saber.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2014 - Italiano's Humble
@Britk: I think they’re awesome touches, and I do know that unlike the K-bars(basic combat knift), it’s a good idea to have the ceremonial sabors taken to a jeweler, who can clean it afterwards. IDK what the deal was but several years ago, I saw a bride who’d mentioned her husbands original sabor was ruined from something in the cake(maybe it was lemon filling, the acid?!), I just recall another chick saying to take it to an actual jeweler, who can correctly clean the metal and recondition it 🙂