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Practical advice re: uniformed wedding (officer) needed!

(21 Posts)
frakkinaround Sat 07-Nov-09 15:37:58

Hi all,

As wedding day draws nearer and nearer I'm just starting to get to grips with DH2B wearing uniform on our wedding day.

Are gloves compulsory at all times? How does this work with exchanging rings etc?
Swords and walking around?!
Any of you cut the cake with a sword?
What's the protocol for medals?
How do they manage holding onto you, the hat and sword when walking inside?

DH2B has no clue, despite being the one who will be wearing the uniform, and I have even less so I thought I'd apply to you lovely ladies for advice as some of you must have been through it!

TIA

luciemule Sat 07-Nov-09 15:49:03

Our's (officer) was 9 yrs ago (winter wedding) and we had an 8 man guard of honour so swords everywhere! In fact my daft dad on the wedding video pretended he got his ear cut off as he was walking through it!!!
DH says your DH will/should know as they're taught it at Sandhurst.
Basically though, he should wear hat and gloves at all times when outside - take them off inside (solves ring prob).
Wouldn't cut the cake with the sword because the Silvo that he's used to clean it, will poison everyone! Just hold it onto top of cake for pics and then have it cut with knife. Or discard piece that it's cut.
Walking around with swords was fine - just watch your dress doesn't get caught up.
Any other questions - just asksmile

luciemule Sat 07-Nov-09 15:50:00

ps - if you're having a guard of honour, there is a drill protocol for drawing/replacing swords. He should know that already - or get someone from honour guard to organise.

luciemule Sat 07-Nov-09 15:51:37

pps - wear medals - that's fine.

frakkinaround Sat 07-Nov-09 17:09:38

Not having guard of honour, thankfully. That was one stress we've elected to do without. There's no-one convenient to ask as all his classmates are completely scattered, he's not attached to a ship at the moment (sailing a desk!) and is the most junior in his office by a long, long way.

The French don't teach them these things, apparently. For a country that's so strict on protocol and whatnot they never even touched on weddings! That's why I'm stressing so much....he just replies to everything with 'they didn't tell us that' or 'why should I know?'

I'm sure he does know about the gloves thing - and it would make sense that they're not worn inside [daft emoticon] - so that does neatly solve the ring problem. Phew! Next time I will try to engage brain.

Good advice on the discarding the cut piece - will make sure caterers who will be carving cake up know that.

Thank you so much for your help! I love MN.

luciemule Sat 07-Nov-09 22:18:24

So your DH2B is French then or do you mean he is at french military college?
If he's french - everything I just told you could be wrong!
Think the dress protocol is for all formal events; they won't specifically mention weddings during training I wouldn't have thought!
Let me know and I'll ask my french friend who's DH is Naval officer smile

Mcdreamy Sat 07-Nov-09 22:23:03

You will probably be told when you pick the ceremonial swords up that you MUST NOT cut the cake with it. We just posed with the sword balanced as though we were about to cut it IYSWIM.

Have a lovely day! smile

Yorky Sat 07-Nov-09 22:30:04

Don't cut the cake with the sword - he'll kill you for having to clean it! Just hold it over the cake and smile, then use knife! (Or that's what we did 5yrs ago - another winter wedding)

As for carrying sword and hat and holding on to you, don't know how Navy manage, DH is RAF so had sword belt, hat just tucks under an arm.

Swords should be secured as soon as possible, DH's best man locked his and the GoH's swords in the wardrobe in his hotel room so they didn't get in the way once they'd finished posing!

Mcdreamy Sat 07-Nov-09 23:00:20

We did the same Yorky. Once the guard of honour and photos were done, our friend "in charge" of the guard collected and locked up the swords - you don't want one of them going missing. They all had belts but make sure your DH tries it on before he takes it away as the belts come in different sizes.

madwomanintheattic Sat 07-Nov-09 23:55:14

lol. won't bother to answer - ours the same as everyone elses. grin

just a point of note though - when you are posing all girly white dressy and poising said sword carefully over beautiful cake, on no circumstances should you forget that swords are designed to be sharp on both sides, and move to 'push' the top edge down to 'help' imaginarily slice the cake...

several people will leap forward to prevent bloodshed.

but do reconsider having an honour guard. it's in the the rules.

have a lovely lovely day. everything will go swimmingly!

<wonders why we all get married in winter.... then remembers how heavy dress uniforms are...>

Mcdreamy Sun 08-Nov-09 10:19:51

Oh yes second madwoman - reconsider the guard of honour - it's lovely, they are all waiting for you when you arrive and then when you leave together you do it all over again smile Wonderful photo opportunities!

frakkinaround Sun 08-Nov-09 14:01:54

DH2B is French. He has his own (ceremonial) sabre so not using hired swords. His brother (best man) is French air force and has a pathetic little knift and father is gendarmarie with a whacking great sword!

Will suggest he reconsiders Guard of Honour, think he only has one person who's able to make it though! Tis only an ickle wedding. Haven't heard from any of the others, but suspect a 2 person GoH would look a little silly.

I'll leave whether we cut the cake to him or not, as he'll be cleaning it afterwards, not me and I will remember they are sharp on both sides and not touch!

lucie if you could check with your friend I would be everlastingly grateful! Like a typical man he won't ask anyone for help or advice...

luciemule Sun 08-Nov-09 16:40:36

Have just emailed her FA so will hopefully get her reply later.
Whereabouts in France are you getting married or are you getting married in UK?

flossie64 Sun 08-Nov-09 17:45:43

My Dh ,RAF says medals are not to be worn for weddings . Not sure if that applies for French military.

frakkinaround Sun 08-Nov-09 17:48:09

Getting married in the UK - in London - and then Catholic blessing France next summer where we will have the full GoH because a lot more of his people will be able to come. Just a shame his old ship is deployed right now (or not considering that he'd be on it!).

lucie I really, really appreciate that - thank you so much!

luciemule Sun 08-Nov-09 20:31:56

Hello -me again. Ok, didn't realise you were getting married in London.
My french friend says:

"my husband wore 'tenue 22' with white gloves, hat and madals for the wedding and then changed for dinner at the manor into 'spencer uniform'."

She said that the most important bit for a french navel officer was to cut off the top of the champagne bottle with his sabre but check that it is ok to do it first. Hope this helpssmile

frakkinaround Sun 08-Nov-09 20:59:38

Ye-es...we knew that one but we're trying to find a way around it as don't think the venue will be very happy! May do it outside.

Thanks for the advice on uniform!

scaryteacher Mon 09-Nov-09 10:25:22

Brit Naval Officers do not wear gloves for their weddings. Cap left at back of church for retrieval on way out for tucking under arm whilst walking through guard of honour. Sword on sword belt. I think sword was removed for service and then reattached at back of church before GoH and phots. I've had a quick look at my wedding phots for this.

HTH

luciemule Mon 09-Nov-09 10:27:07

Her DH is french though so won't be wearing a british uniform.

scaryteacher Mon 09-Nov-09 18:14:32

I'd gathered that, but as my dh is RN, and her soon to be is also Navy (albeit the French Navy), I thought it might help, as the Navies tend to do it differently.

frakkinaround Tue 10-Nov-09 21:08:56

Navies are indeed special grin

The hat at back of church is interesting...very interesting. I think we'd get away with that. Likewise with sword. After the chapel it doesn't matter how much room he takes up but the aisle is small and my dress, whilst not huge, is bigger than I would normally need to take into account!

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