5 Tips For Planning Your Wedding: Military Edition

I was never one of those girls that planned her wedding at an early age. I didn’t have any wedding scrap books and I didn’t daydream about my big day. I thought about it from time to time, but I had too many ideas to make a solid plan. But when Kyle proposed, I dove in head first, ready to plan our wedding for September of 2017, even though we had just gotten engaged at the end of December. We’ve been together for a long time, so I was more than ready to get the marriage part started. But things certainly didn’t go as planned..

By early March, I was already looking at wedding dresses with my mom. I even picked one out, but thank God, didn’t put any money down. I got to my parent’s house that night to find Kyle already there, sitting with my dad. And I just knew. I knew that all of our plans had flown out the window. Because that’s just one of the things you dread when you try to plan anything with the military involved. We found out that night that he had been accepted to further his training, and would leave at the end of the summer, returning a few months later.

All of our plans had to change, and they’re changing again as we speak (more on that later). But I’ve come to learn that what will be, will be. He’s being blessed with some amazing opportunities, and this one day, although it’s our wedding day, will never rival his whole career. So I’ve had to learn to adapt in this lifestyle, once again, and learn how to be accepting of the things I can’t control. And I know I’m not alone.

If you’re planning a wedding with someone in the military, here are some tips that are keeping me sane.

Decide on Your Deal-Breakers

I’m extremely organized (most days), so I had a wedding binder going by week 2. I researched all my vendors, and made a list of “deal breaker” questions for them. These were my top 2 questions when choosing my vendor:

Under what circumstances will you refund a deposit/are there special circumstances for military?

Can we move our date if we find out he’s required for training, deployment, etc.?

If the answer to either of these were “No”, we couldn’t logically spend our money on that vendor. Because God forbid something happen and we lose thousands of our wedding savings. Planning a wedding is scary and stressful, and a military wedding adds a few extra worries. Like any soon-to-be military spouse, I’m constantly terrified that he will get deployed and we’ll have to get married through Skype, or even worse, he’ll miss out because of our wedding. But I have some control over the situation by asking the right questions, and putting us in a position to get our money back if needed.

Ask The Right Questions

Don’t go to a viewing/meeting with a vendor unprepared. You should know exactly what you need to ask so that you can make the most out of the time. Make sure you have all their contact info as well in case you think of additional questions or concerns. Don’t waste their time, and don’t let them waste yours.

Change Is a Good Thing

Accept it and embrace it, because you’re in for a long haul if you can’t. Like any wedding, you’re probably not going to get everything perfect. We had to change our date once already, and we might even have to change it again even though our venue and DJ are booked. Such fun! All you can do sometimes is roll with the punches, and learn to adapt just like you always have.

Not Every Experience Is The Same

I’ve had to learn this lesson in many aspects of life, but it certainly applies here as well. Not everyone’s bad experience will be your bad experience, so try to ignore the wedding horror stories. There are some things that are completely out of your control, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the “worst” will happen. Take it day by day, and just do your part to cover all the bases.

Make Sure You’re Both on The Same Page

We all know who plans the majority of the wedding: the bride. And it’s no different in our case. I have made all of the phone calls, scheduled every viewing, budgeted each deposit, etc. But even though I’ve been doing most of the work, it’s still so important that I keep Kyle in the loop for many reasons. 1. It’s not just my wedding, duh. And 2. We can better avoid the scheduling conflicts if he knows exactly when everything is happening.

There are some obligations that he absolutely cannot get out of, but there are some that he can. His command is aware of when we’re getting married, so they’re trying their best to keep us updated with any news on deployment, training, etc. They still have him going to school at the end of the summer for a few months, and they’ve been really helpful and understanding of our situation. In order for things to go smoothly, everyone needs to be on the same page.

What are some tips you would give to a soon-to-be military spouse? What are some obstacles you faced with your own wedding?

R.E.D. Friday: What It’s Really All About

Among all Americans, there are certain days that we hold very close. Some are in celebration, while others are in mourning. We celebrate the many milestones and achievements, as well as the obstacles that once stood in our way. We celebrate the birth of our nation, and we also mourn for the days in history where a piece of that nation was destroyed. Continue reading

10 Must Have Accessories For Your Military Ball

The military ball is such an exciting time of year for all military significant others. It’s one of few occasions where everyone can get together and enjoy a night of drinks, dancing, and fun. We spend months looking for the perfect dress, which is a key piece to having a great night out, not to mention all of the pictures that will follow. But the accessories you choose can make or break your evening just as easily. Here are some must-haves to guarantee you won’t be heading home early. Continue reading

6 Fun Activities For Veteran’s Day

Each year, Kyle and I try to make a plan to spend Veteran’s Day together if he has it off. This year we have 3 days off together starting today, so we made some fun plans for the whole weekend! Kyle surprised me with tickets to an Ice Hockey game near base, and we’re going to spend the night at a hotel and have dinner at our favorite restaurant. I’ll be doing a recap on all of the details next week, but today I’m sharing some fun things that you should do this Veteran’s Day. Continue reading

Dealing With Emergencies While Your Spouse Is Deployed

Among the many situations we are faced with in military life, it’s hard to have an answer or plan for everything. I’m a textbook over-thinker, but even after going over every possible scenario, I’ve been taken by surprise a time or two. Kyle and I have always worked as a team to overcome the obstacles and challenges of a busy schedule, and the common inconveniences that come up. We’ve discussed the possible emergencies we could face, and multiple ways for dealing with them. Continue reading

10 Myths About The National Guard and Reserve Lifestyle

I’ve put off writing this for a long time, for a lot of reasons. As the SO of an Army  National Guard soldier, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what he does and how it’s different. I’ve also gotten a lot of assumptions thrown at me about what people believe he doesn’t do. So allow me to set the record straight, and give some credit to the other Guard/Reserve families out there. Here are the 10 myths I’ve heard about the National Guard and Reserve lifestyles. Continue reading

4 Communication Challenges That Military Families Face

Sitting in my room, with tears streaming down my face, I couldn’t understand how we got here. How did we go from a loving, carefree couple to the type of people who would yell at each other? How did we lose ourselves in separation, and worry, and stress? I went over it all again and again in my head, and no matter how hard I searched for the answers, I couldn’t find them. Continue reading