The past few weeks we have been highlighting advice from military spouses on planning a military wedding. With so many unique situations, as you might imagine, the wisdom shared from these spouses was very diverse. Part one features military wedding traditions, next we talked about having a traditional (non-military) wedding. Third in the series, spouses shared advice on how to be flexible during the planning process.
In this last installment, the following spouses share thoughts on:
What is the key to a successful wedding?
I think on a practical side as opposed to traditional; have a backup date in your contracts. Our wedding was pushed back 2 times. Went from August 9 to the 11th (Friday to Sunday) then the second delay was pushed to Sept 5. Church and hall as easy to reschedule cause it wasn’t a Saturday, but remailing 100+ invites twice was a nightmare and very costly. We only sent the original invite once and then made postcards with the updated info. –Brittanie
We planned our wedding for a month or so after deployment. He got extended 5 times. After planning and canceling 5 weddings, we went to Las Vegas with a few family members. We had to cancel our luxurious Hawaiian honeymoon. Even though it was a time of war, we were not able to receive all of the money back. - Amber
We opted for a 5 week engagement due to upcoming workups and cruise and kept things simple. The groomsmen were also enlisted so they all wore their dress whites. I think my husband bought them new hats and paid for dry cleaning, much less than tuxedos or suits. My advice is to keep things simple! No, you do not have to have a 7 course meal or open bar to have a great wedding. Choose together the most important parts you want included. Don't worry about other people's opinions and remember, it's just the beginning of a forever life together. - Cora
Know what's most important to you and stick with it. We got engaged in March 2008, I finalized the big items that June (caterer, church, and florist) and literally the next day he was told he would either be training or deployed on the date we set for our wedding. We had to scrap the whole thing and start over but…lucky for us everyone was more than accommodating of our changes to move up the date and we were able to have a wedding pretty close to our original plans. We had a mini-moon instead immediately after the wedding and saved the big honeymoon for after he came back from deployment.- Jennifer from http://writtenbyjennifer.com
We got married pre-internet world, so ours was based entirely on just asking at the unit and talking to people. Since we were both super young and new to the whole thing, I was really hesitant to ask guys to come for the sword party when we were getting married away from where they were all stationed, but hubby knew they'd come and one of my best memories from the wedding was realizing the kind of 'family' I was marrying into. It was so foreign to me that they would travel and spend the time/money to be there for our day when we were so new, it made it that much more special. I was glad I let Dh talk me into asking. – Kim from sheisfierce.net
Skipping the church ceremony and opting for a quick elopement?
I wish I knew that it's 110% easier to go to a courthouse because there's no guarantee they'll be available the day you want to get married. - Victoria
I wish I knew that it's ok to get married by a lawyer with no rings. He was supposed to be deployed during the date we chose to get married. So we just said, let's do it now and have the ceremony later. 9 years later and still no wedding! It's ok though, we'd rather save that money for other things. I'm happy we got married the way we did. - Cortinas
I wish I had known I wouldn't regret eloping. I was so sad at the time but a decade later we love the memory of our stress free union! - Anne
At the end of the day, uniforms or tuxedos, chapel or courthouse, long engagements or elopement-none of it truly matters. Marrying the person you love, with the bonus of joining a wonderful support group and lifestyle, is what is important. Thanks to all of the military spouses who shared their marriage stories and advice over the last four posts!
Have something to add this article? Share your advice below in the comments.
About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (2 years and 4 months), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.
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