Military Weddings Commandment 9: Pick Thy Time Frame

Choose Military Wedding Time Frame

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Hooray! Your service member proposed! Now just to rent the reception hall, find the perfect dress, contact the caterer, the string quartet…

Whoa there! You’re forgetting something: Picking a date.

Commandment 9: Pick Thy Time Frame

Open up any major bridal magazine – they’ll typically allot about a year for planning. That’s all fine and dandy, but that’s for normal couples with normal jobs who can always get time off. I hate to break it to you, but you’re not normal.

Typically, if you’re planning a military wedding, you have two planning time lines: Less than six months or more than a year. Here’s some ideas for what you should choose, as well as how to make that timeline work for you.

Less than six months

  • Who is this good for: Most useful for those waiting on deployment or TDY orders, as well as those in rapid deploy units.
  • What to do first: If you want to have a custom dress (meaning not from a David’s Bridal or Alfred Angelo store), get to a bridal store now.  Dresses can take six months just to come in, and you will probably need to pay a rush fee to have it in time to do alterations.
  • Pros of this choice: You get married relatively fast and  get onto DEERS/his orders and are able to reap the benefits of that.
  • Cons: You may not get the vendors you want (some book more than a year in advance),  some people won’t be able to make travel arrangements on short notice, and you’re going to eat/sleep/live/breathe wedding.

More than a year

  • Who this is good for: When your soldier is in a long period of training or when your soldier is in a non-deployable unit or is coming home soon.
  • What you should do first: Book the locations, especially if you’re getting married around a holiday time or if you’re particular about location.  These can book up fast.
  • Pros: You get your pick of vendors typically, you have time to make everything just the way you want, and you don’t have to take the planning on as a full time job.
  • Cons: It feels like forever before you’re married, and you have more time to obsess over decisions.

Whichever you choose, know that you have to be flexible. The military can and will change things at the drop of the hat. Take it as a learning experience and remember: whichever route you go, you attain the end goal – you get married! Many people will push you towards a Justice of the Peace (JOP) wedding since you are military, but if that’s not your dream, that doesn’t have to be what you do…but that’s a different post for a different time.

Related posts:

  1. Military Weddings: The Ten Commandments
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