Dress Blues Wedding

Military weddings are a unique and special occasion that honor the service and sacrifice of our armed forces. One of the most iconic and recognizable features of a military wedding is the dress blues uniform worn by the groom and his groomsmen. These uniforms are steeped in tradition and symbolism, and there are certain etiquette guidelines that should be followed when planning a dress blues wedding.

The History of Dress Blues Uniforms

The dress blues uniform has a long and storied history in the United States military. The first version of the dress blues was introduced in 1833, and it has undergone several changes and updates over the years. Today, the dress blues uniform is worn by all branches of the military for formal occasions, including weddings.

Choosing the Right Dress Blues Uniform

When planning a dress blues wedding, it’s important to choose the right uniform for the occasion. The groom and his groomsmen should wear the same uniform, and it should be appropriate for the time of day and location of the wedding. For example, a daytime wedding may call for a lighter-weight uniform, while an evening wedding may require a more formal, heavier-weight uniform.

Accessorizing the Dress Blues Uniform

In addition to the uniform itself, there are certain accessories that should be worn with dress blues. These include a white undershirt, black dress shoes, black socks, a black bow tie, and a white pocket square. The groom may also choose to wear medals or ribbons that he has earned during his military service.

Invitations and Announcements

When planning a dress blues wedding, it’s important to let your guests know what to expect. Your invitations and announcements should include information about the dress code, as well as any other special instructions or requests. You may also want to include a brief explanation of the significance of the dress blues uniform.

Seating Arrangements

Traditionally, the groom and his groomsmen sit on the right side of the aisle during the ceremony. This is because the bride traditionally enters from the left side of the aisle, and the groom and his attendants should be facing her as she walks down the aisle. However, this tradition can be adjusted to suit your preferences and the layout of your ceremony space.

The Ceremony

During the ceremony itself, the groom and his groomsmen should stand at attention and salute during the playing of the national anthem and any other patriotic music. They should also stand at attention during the exchange of vows and rings. After the ceremony, the groom and his groomsmen may choose to form a saber arch as the newlyweds exit the ceremony space.

The Reception

At the reception, the groom and his groomsmen should continue to wear their dress blues uniforms. They may choose to remove their jackets during the dancing portion of the evening, but they should keep their bow ties and pocket squares in place. The bride and groom may also choose to incorporate military traditions into their reception, such as a cake cutting ceremony with a saber.

Thank You Notes

After the wedding, it’s important to send thank you notes to your guests. If you had a dress blues wedding, you may want to include a brief explanation of the significance of the uniform and how much it meant to you to have your military service honored on your special day.


A dress blues wedding is a beautiful and meaningful way to honor your military service and celebrate your love for one another. By following these etiquette guidelines, you can ensure that your dress blues wedding is a respectful and memorable occasion for all involved.

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