The Saber Ceremony-is it right for your wedding?

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in The Wedding Service, Venues, Wedding attire | 0 comments

The Saber Ceremony-is it right for your wedding?

Dear Engaged Couple— Last week I had the opportunity to be privy to something that is a first to me as regards wedding services—it’s called the Saber Ceremony.  The groom, Adam,  is a helicopter pilot with the army.  Many of the people who were in his wedding party are in the army, too.  He thought the saber ceremony might make a nice touch.  So Adam, Jessica (the bride) and I put heads together and came up with a plan for integrating the saber ceremony into the wedding service.  The wedding, by the way, was outside at an absolutely beautiful vineyard called Early’s Mountain in Madison, Virginia.  The ceremony was just off a patio, which in turn was just off the beautifully decorated dining room.

One saber and several sheaths

One saber and several sheaths

Below is a rundown of the ceremony.  I am using as our starting point, the kiss that the couple shares at the end of the traditional service. I warn you what appears below may be very boring to you if you or your loved one are not in the military and you are not presently working on your wedding service, but if you are, I think you may find this helpful.   And just so you know, you can actually watch a video of a Saber Ceremony.  Go to

The Saber Ceremony: Me: “Adam, you may kiss the bride.” (Kiss)

Me:  “May I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Jones!  (Loud cheers)

Adam's friends practice drill for the Saber Ceremony

Adam’s friends practice drill for the Saber Ceremony


The couple and officiant stay where they are while the wedding party exits, couple by couple as is customary.  Some of the members of the wedding party are also members of the military. After they exit, they don their sabers and begin positioning themselves for what follows.

Welcome to the Army, Ma’am!

While they are getting ready, the officiant (me!)  ask that the guests stay standing  but to turn around facing the patio so that they can witness the saber ceremony.The parents and grandparents of the bride and groom and I exit.  We surround the arch so that we can witness up close what is about to transpire.   The bride and groom are still up front at this point.

Finallly, on command, the saber team raises their sabers into a high arch, with tips nearly touching and the blades facing up and away from the bride and groom. As Adam and Jessica (aka Mr. and Mrs. Jones)  exit down the center aisle toward the arch, the highest ranking officer announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you  Mr. and Mrs. Jones!”

The couple then  begins their walk under the saber arch.  The soldiers last in the arch line-up lower their sabers so that the couple can’t proceed further, though.

At this point the groom (Adam) kisses the bride one more time.

The lowered sabers are raised, and a soldier to the couple’s left says, “Welcome to the army, ma’am.”

The “Ma’am” is swatted on the rear (gently) with one of the sabers and I suppose her initiation is complete.



Mr. and Mrs. Jones and her parents, after the Saber Ceremony

Mr. and Mrs. Jones and her parents, after the Saber Ceremony

It’s a cute little ceremony and one that reminds us that when a bride marries someone in the military, she, like her husband, will be making sacrifices for our country. She has indeed begun a new chapter to her life.  My, but Jessica looked happy!

Happy wedding planning!   Your  Wedding Preacher for Hire

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