Wedding Ceremony - Military

Wedding Ceremony - Military. The most outstanding feature of a military wedding ceremony that makes it different from other ceremonies is the arch of swords through which the bride and groom pass at the end of the ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony - Military Style

The military wedding ceremony is a very formal, striking and dramatic event. It is also very beautiful. If you know quite a few military officers, the military wedding ceremony is the way to go. The stunning ‘Arch of Swords’ will make any couple feel positively regal.

Wedding ceremony - Military style wedding receptions take the usual form but another stunning feature is that the bride and groom may use a sword to cut the cake.

Extract from: The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Military uniform is appropriate for wear by either or both of the marriage partners and members of the wedding party.

Service dress (1 or 1A) may be worn.

Members of the wedding party may wear swords in the church.

A sword arch is a traditional accompaniment for the wedding of a serviceperson, whether the wedding party is in uniform or not.

The sword party consists of three or four pairs of fellow officers with one named to command the sword party.

The sword party lines both sides of the departure walk in facing pairs with swords drawn. On the command “Form arch”, the sword is brought to the recover position and, after a regulation pause, the right arm is extended fully upward at a 45 degree angle.

As the arm is extended, the wrist is rotated 270 degrees counter-clockwise into the final position with the back of the sword facing down, the edge of the blade and the guard facing up.

Following the passage of the wedding party, the movements are repeated in reverse order on the command “Attention”.

Instructions for the drill movements for a sword arch are contained in A-PD-201-000/PT-000 Canadian Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial.

It is traditional for the bride and groom, after having passed under the arch of swords, to ride on a waiting gun limber from the church to the reception.

After the couple passes through, the head usher says, "Return swords", and the men put the swords back in their sheaths.

The tradition of the bride and groom walking through the arch of swords is meant to ensure the couple's safe passage into their new life together.

Alternatively, the arch may be formed outside the church entrance.

The ushers leave by a side door, they go to the front of the church, and are waiting, swords raised, when the couple emerges.

The bridesmaids walk out two by two but note, they do not pass through the arch.

Any civilian ushers in the party line up beside the others and stand at attention as the bride and groom pass by.

Usually, unless the ushers are all officers, it is wiser to omit this ceremony since it would not achieve the same impact.

Navy ceremonies use an arch of swords.

Army ceremonies incorporate sabers.

More on weddings:

Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony - Australia

Catholic Wedding

Wedding Ceremony - Japanese

Wedding Ceremony - Jewish

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