Getting married and putting the whole event together at a location half across the world can be a little stressful. We’d recommend starting as far ahead of time in the planning process as possible. Look for inspiration online, in crafting stores, on TV, wherever!
Google Docs are a dream…spreadsheets can be emailed back and forth to family, friends and your fiancee. From there, everything from cost to availability can be noted.
Planning a wedding from afar is so much easier if there are people you can trust to help you out (like your planners!). Don’t be afraid to assign different tasks to several people to help ease the load. Elect another person to help you organize, delegate and run around.
Buying insurance will save headaches and cover the loss of deposits or money due to changes or cancellations. When you marry into the military, never-ending shifts in deployment dates (quick deployments, delayed deployments and extended deployments) are common. It’s best to plan ahead just to be safe.
Learn the Lingo!
For a bride who is marrying into the service, there’s a whole new lingo to learn. Get acquainted with the formalities of the Arch, but do the groomsmen raise swords or sabers? Sabers are used for air force and army, while swords are used for coast guard, marine corps and navy. Most military personnel won’t own a sword or saber, but they can contact the chaplain, who will normally have these on hand for your use. Don’t worry, as time goes on, the language will become second nature.
Know the Etiquette!
It’s important to know the proper seating arrangements for guests–not to mention where the bride and groom should stand. The standing arrangement is determined by whether the service member is an officer, or enlisted. Everyone associated with a service member (like their commanders, officers and peers within the unit or office) should be invited to the wedding. When seating the groom or bride’s commander and spouse, be sure to seat them with the family of the bride or groom, whichever group they represent. All other higher-ranking officers should be seated behind the family of either the bride or groom.
Don’t forget, you’re not alone during this process! There are so many people who do cross country/state planning and you just have to brace yourself for it. Look into Skype or video chat that you can do with family for the tough conversations like budget, or to show off your latest DIY triumph. Hire a local planner if the location is a destination for everyone, including yourself. The more you allow yourself to let go, the better your sanity will be.