We know that planning a military wedding comes with issues us civilians aren't aware of. That's when we turn to Kacey, our resident military helicopter pilot/Tribesmaid to dole out the advice.
In the Army, you only have a certain amount of days' leave in which to get married and you can never predict when those days might be. Frankly, my fiance and I might not be able to have a ceremony and reception to which we can invite our friends and family.
Since we are not able to include them on our wedding day, should we be able to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party? Are we cheating our friends out of what's due to them since they are giving us gifts? Is it unfair to invite people to a shower, and then not invite them to a wedding? -Ang
I'd say that if a military couple wanted to have a shower and bachelor/ette parties without a big wedding, then that's their business. Part of being a military family is the constant understanding that all plans are tentative based on the needs of the military.
I'd recommend that they sit down with their friends and family and try to explain that to them. A military marriage is never just about two people. You're always married to your spouse AND their service.
If, after full disclosure, the family thinks that throwing a shower is no longer appropriate, you can either elect to have a no-gifts party, or go some other route.
In my opinion, though, showers and gifts should be about celebrating the milestone, not given in the expectation of some return fanciness paid for by the couple or whoever is paying for a wedding.
Are there any other military couples out there? What did you do about pre-wedding parties?