There is no wrong way to celebrate your wedding day, and having a military wedding is no exception. Those who have served in the armed forces may choose to incorporate military traditions or clothing into their big day, and if you’ve ever seen photos of military weddings, then you know that the result is not only patriotic and meaningful — it is also seriously breathtaking. After all, a military wedding isn’t necessary militant in its rules. Just like any wedding, the degree of formality is determined by the couple, and all are equally romantic.
Some military weddings take place in a military chapel, while other couples may opt for a civil service. Some couples may choose to wear dress uniforms, while others may wear whatever they please. In any case, having a military wedding is a wonderful way to celebrate the service provided by either one or both individuals (as well as the marriage of those two individuals, of course). With its saber arches and uniforms, military weddings may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one imagines fairytale weddings, but just a look at these gorgeous wedding shots from around the country proves that military service can be a beautiful thing.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based photographer Kerwin Brackbill helped Gabe and Shi capture their dreamy, traditional ceremony.
Pensacola Beach, Florida
White sand beaches, white wedding gown, and a white Navy dress uniform — could this wedding (which was captured by photographer and Marine Corp wife Karissa Layne) be any more breathtaking?
Idaho Falls, Idaho
With deployment, Jesus and Berenice weren’t sure whether they would be able to have their dream wedding day, but two years after eloping, they finally celebrated with family and friends in a wedding captured by Ashlyn Sadler.
San Diego, California
Though Troy recently left on deployment, I have a feeling that the beautiful boho ceremony he shared with Emilie (which was captured by Kendra Rose) will be something they both remember forever.
Grand County, Colorado
Mike and Melissa tied the knot at The Winding River Ranch in a breathtaking ceremony, and luckily, photographers Mike and Taylor Fisher were there to capture it all.
Teton County, Wyoming
Ashley and Juan eloped in Grand Teton National Park, and despite the cold, the photos captured by husband-and-wife photography team Austin and Nicole of Adventure Wedding Photography were nothing short of magical.
Amy and Mike celebrated their big day with the help of photographer Kami Olavarria at Leo Carrillo Ranch, a former working ranch that offered a perfectly secluded and beautifully romantic space.
Providence Forge, Virginia
Photographer Tina Thomas immortalized Alycia and Alex’s special day at the classically southern (and totally classy) Antebellum of New Kent.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Few things are more beautiful than a first-look photo (except perhaps this gorgeous Joshua Tree setting captured by Dakai Perez and Matthrew Morse).
Kayla and Tommy opted for an intimate backyard wedding to celebrate their day, and Nikki Baker was there to photograph every lovely minute.
Kevin and Marty tied the knot at Giulietta Castle, one of the two castles (the other being Romeo Castle) that supposedly inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Of course — as Maria Cavins’s photos can attest — there was no tragedy on this day, only love.
North Yorkshire, England
Sara-Jade and Vince hosted a grand celebration at the historical 17th-century Old Lodge in Malton, where photographers Hollie and Patrick of M and G Photographic helped them capture all the joy.
Asheville, North Carolina
Brittany and Andrew celebrated their love in an intimate ceremony along the French Broad River in Olivette, and husband-and-wife team Nick and Sam of Anorda Photography captured the day gorgeously.
San Francisco, California
The Embarcadero was the perfect pick for this couple, who looked beautifully windswept (and totally smitten) in this wedding photo captured by Coco Jeannine.
High school sweethearts Mikaela and Nick shared their first kiss beneath a traditional saber arch, and the husband-and-wife photography team behind Photo 243, Ang and Chaz, captured it just at the right moment.
Felix was deployed just days after marrying Rachel, making their beautiful Nashville celebration (and all of the moments immortalized by photographer Billie-Shaye Style) even more precious.
Live Oak, Florida
Melissa and Anthony had an intimate backyard celebration, where Melissa sported cowboy boots, Anthony cut the cake with his sword, and photographer Holly Frazier sat back and watched the lovely day unfold.
No matter what branch of the military you served in or what traditions you choose to incorporate into your day, having a military wedding can make for a day you, your partner, and your friends and family won’t soon forget.