I always heard the saying “If the army wanted you to have a wife, they would assign you one”. Morbid, I know, but I didn’t realize how sadly true this statement was until I was the one trying to plan a wedding while my fiancé was in the army. You may be thinking “don’t all military weddings happen at a courthouse?” to which I would respond “yeah for good reason”.
If you think planning a normal wedding was stressful, let me give you a little insight into what hidden factors go into a military wedding, but fret not, I will also be giving you my personal solution to all of these problems.
When it comes to your wedding day, the date is very important. It predicts everything from the type of dresses everyone can wear, to florals, time of day, picture backgrounds and for military weddings it is the one thing you cannot predict.
If you know anyone in the military you’ll know they never know what their training schedules are, let alone what’s going on 10 months from now on that perfect April day when you want to say “I do”. Your future spouses command will most likely not sign off on them taking time off for your wedding (let alone honeymoon) in advanced, because they likely don’t know what sort of field training is coming down the pipeline. You could get everything planned and the week before the big day, your fiancé has to go to the field for a month. It’s just reality.
Ever picture you and your fiancé cake tasting together or going to pick out the venue together? Yeah that’s most likely not going to happen if your future spouse is in the military. Many civilian spouses have to plan the entire wedding themselves. If you want to ever have an actual wedding you have to take charge and do it ALL yourself and send pictures and videos of your choices once they are made.
You could be stateside and your fiancé could be deployed, or stationed in another state and cannot fly home frequently enough to pick out everything together. If you are someone who gets hung up on the small details, be prepared to be very alone and very stressed out during this process.
Dwindling Guest List
Military bonds run deep, and I mean DEEP, so you’re most likely going to have a lot of uniform-clad men and women on your guest list. If your soon-to-be spouse has been to multiple duty stations you are going to have a guest from many different states and post, some may even be unknowingly deploying before your wedding.
It is a tough reality you’ll have to face, all your guest won’t be able to make it which means you may be wasting money for a big venue, catering that has a minimum guest number, seating for the amount of guest you’re expecting and you find out half of them cannot make it. It’s no ones fault it is just reality, which means if you are the civilian, you may have a substantially larger crowd then your spouse.
After a few weeks of searching for venues and even contemplating having a backyard tent wedding (in January), I found the saving grace to my stressed-out situation. I happened upon The Grand Magnolia Houses’ elopement package on the website and I could have died of happiness right then and there.
Now when you hear the word elopement you do think courthouse, but that’s not the case. This was basically just a package for a smaller wedding that still included all the things you want in a wedding from floral, to cake, a ceremony, dancing, table settings, and pictures. It was all there and all bundled together so I did not have to think about all the fine details, they took care of it all for me. I toured the venue we picked a date when my fiancé had leave and it was set.
Tamara and the Grand Magnolia House Team took care of everything for us, all we had to do was show up. It was the best thing ever.
She even lined up the most fun photographer for us and we had an absolute blast. The best part is it is super affordable and they give you an additional 10% off if you are military. It is the easiest way to get married, aside from going to the courthouse.
Written by: Mrs. Kiley Gasser
Event & Wedding venue: The Grand Magnolia House located in Middle Georgia, just 11 miles South of Perry
Photography: Carolina Gruters Photography
Wedding dress: Bridal’s by Gilbert
Reception: Catered by Georgia Bob’s in Perry