Using Military Swords at Weddings

Posted by Devin on 12/20/2013 to Military Swords
While swords are often used at military weddings, they should always be done so with proper respect and education. You'll always want to check with the clergy beforehand to make sure that the event goes smoothly and follows venue protocol. For instance, you may or may not be allowed to wear sabers and scabbards inside the church. There are also religious leaders who prohibit bringing weapons on synagogue or church grounds. 

Wearing the Sword or Saber: Groom
Soldiers who are ceremonially under arms traditionally wear white dress gloves. During the ceremony, when the bride and groom hold hands or when the rings are exchanged, gloves can get in the way. In these instances, it is okay for the groom to remove his gloves before the wedding ceremony and hand them to his best man to keep them safe until the ceremony has passed, after which the groom can slip them back on. 

Wearing the Sword or Saber: Father-of-the-Bride
The father-of-the-bride who wears a sword ceremonially under arms should also wear white gloves. If he decides to spend a little private time with the bride before the ceremony, it’s acceptable for him to remove his gloves during that time. 

Sword Arch
You’ll want to check with the clergy if you plan on having the bride and groom walk through a sword arch. Since some clergy won’t allow swords to be drawn inside a church, many couples plan the sword arch to take place outside of the synagogue or church grounds. Another option might be to have the sword arch at the site of the reception. 

According to military tradition, as the bride and groom pass through the sword arch, the final two bearers lower their swords or sabers to form a cross before the groom kisses the bride. The crossed swords are then raised and the couple passes through. The groom should make sure that he’s using his left arm to escort the bride so that his right arm is free to render salutes. 

When done correctly, using swords at a military wedding can add beauty and tradition to the proceedings.