One aspect of our Offbeat Bride army, if you will, that doesn't often associate with being particularly offbeat, and is definitely under-represented on Offbeat Bride, are military brides. (Seriously, in our entire military tag there is only ONE military bride! Where are y'all hiding?)
Unlike civilians, who can get weddinged and go on honeymoon whenever and wherever they damn well please, sirs and ma'ams on active duty are often relegated to before or after long deployments, often leaving one partner at home with the bulk of the planning.
Of course the armed forces don't work on any kind of normal or predictable time-line, switching tour dates and locations to and fro, changing up units at the last minute, etc. It's a hard row to hoe when you're trying to plan a wedding, but these offbeat military guys and gals somehow pulled off some amazing offbeat weddings.
So, here are a few of our favorite military brides and grooms representing this offbeat (and dangerous) wedding niche.
Kacey & EZ's wedding was a double-whammy as both bride and groom are active military. Here's my favorite excerpt from their wedding profile:
There was a moment during the cocktail reception where [my friend] Bill and his boyfriend were talking to several active duty friends of ours, and they were all swapping war stories about deployments to various locales, etc. I stood back and took a look and smiled, because here's Bill, his arm around his man, and here are these entirely macho badass dudes, and they're all telling war stories … and no one has a problem with any of it. Bill's gayness was a complete non-issue; they were all just veterans swapping stories. And that, to me, was pretty badass.
Shyla and and her Marine groom Richard saved a ton of dough by having a celebratory vow-renewal ceremony with their friends in Vegas. Shayla said her favorite moment was…
…everyones reaction when I lifted the dress and revealed the chucks with my stockings. It was so me, and helped tie that into our ceremony. With my hubby wearing dress blues I had to compromise to match with the colors and mood etc., this was really just me shining through.
Melissa and Sean planned a strikingly colorful, and very military-esque Scottish wedding from CANADA (all over email purportedly)! Her custom-made medieval dress, his Canadian Highland regiment dress uniform, the wonderfully mismatched bridesmaids and uniformed groomsmen in a castle on top of a volcano! (I'm fanning myself as we speak… whew!)
Who doesn't love a man in uniform OR a bride who wears wings to her reception? Sarah & Jeff had a military wedding at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and then a Victorian Steampunk fairyland reception.
Here's a military wedding from WAY back in 1979. The groom got married in his Navy uniform, because it was the only suit he owned. A gorgeous lace coat acted as the bride's train and her bouquet was from her grandmother's garden.
Our friend, Josh, re-enlisted in the military a few months before our wedding. He was supposed to be one of our groomsmen, but we understood his reasons and timing as what he felt he needed to do for his family and country. Before he left, he gave me his Infantry crossed rifles as my “something blue.” I asked our florist, a friend and former employer of mine, to attach it to my bouquet.
Tribe member Em Graves and her husband who's a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army cut into their cake with a little mini sword! And you have to check out their cake topper…
There are tons of ways to incorporate armed forces participation into your wedding, so don't let the white wedding police shut you down. Dust off those dress uniforms and throw out tradition, because being in the military doesn't mean you can't be offbeat! And if you'd like to get even MORE military-inspired ideas, check out our entire tag devoted to our armed forces!