Q. Hey! so I love your blog (: I have a question for you. What is the proper military wedding etiquette? My fiance and I are getting married next September and I was wondering if there is a specific way I need to address the envelopes and if there is a certain way I need to write out the invitation. Also, one more thing, for the arch of sabers all have to be corporal and up right? So he can carry the saber if he’s an E-4? I was wondering about it and found mixed answers on different places and can’t exactly ask him since we don’t get to talk very much while he’s on deployment. I just need to make sure everything is done right and nothing is forgotten for the wedding since he’ll be in his dress blues and protocols and such.
First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I had already addressed wording for invitations in another post, but the groom was going to be retired. So, in your case, the following would be the proper protocol (just replace the branch of service with his, if he is not in the Army:
Rank for invitations is traditionally only incorporated for senior officers (Captain and above) not enlisted. So senior officers would use the following example:
Lieutenant Colonel John Wayne Smith.
United States Army.
For enlisted (since he is a Corporal this would be the case) the rank is omitted all together, so you would use the following example:
John Wayne Smith.
United States Army.
As for the sabers (or swords, depending on the branch of service) only commissioned officers, SNCOs and NCOs can carry swords and participate in this ceremony. An E-4 depending on the branch of service may or may not be considered an NCO. Typically if he holds the rank of Corporal, he is considered an NCO and can carry a saber/sword. In the Army an E4 can be either a Specialist (which is not an NCO, and Corporal which is a NCO).
If you will be having an Arc of Sabers (or Swords) ceremony, remember that all those that participate in it must either be all NCO’s, all SNCO’s, or all Officers (it cannot be a mixture). In the past it was a requirement that only Officers were able to perform the Arc of Sabers/Swords ceremony, however, that is no longer the case.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to comment below and I will get them answered for you =)