For each branch of the armed forces, there are specific customs and rituals for a military marriage. Not all military members will choose to have a military wedding, but such a service can be a great way to demonstrate loyalty and pride to your country. A military wedding ceremony can only be held if the bride or groom is an active or retired member of one of the military branches.
Military weddings are usually held at chapels and synagogues on base, but can also be held at another location on or even off base. A military wedding can be performed by the Officiant of your choice, however if the ceremony is held by a military chaplain, etc., there is no fee for the service.
Arches Of Sabers Or Cutlasses
The Arch of Sabers is what really sets the mood at your military service. The arch is symbolic in that it wishes the newlywed couple a safe passage into their new life together. When the ceremony is over, the ushers line up on both sides of the chapel steps and perform the ritual. They then return their weapons to their side and escort the bridesmaids down the aisle.
Attire And Accessories
If the groom is a member of the military, he must wear his appropriate military dress uniform. If the bride is in the service, she has her choice of wearing either her military dress uniform or a traditional wedding gown. Either way, she may hold a bridal bouquet. Marine grooms who are commissioned officers should wear white gloves and carry sabers. Navy grooms who are commissioned officers should carry cutlasses. All saber or cutlass bearers wear white gloves.
Cutting The Wedding Cake
On command, the saber or cutlass bearers enter the reception room in front of the wedding cake, while facing each other. The bride and groom pass beneath the sword/saber arch again, approaching the cake. The groom hands his new bride his unsheathed sword saber, and with his hands over hers, they cut their first piece of cake together.