Wedding Ceremonies for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard
If either or both of you are active duty or Honorably Discharged from the Military or various security organizations, thank you for your service! We offer a 5% discount on our suggested donation by request, as a little gesture of our appreciation for the sacrifices you have made for all of us. There are some important considerations for your military wedding ceremony that Revs. Chris and Karen Mohr are sensitive to as officiants. We have some military wedding ideas and information we’d like to share with you here.
Plan a Wedding in Three Days
Military personnel are on occasion called to duty at very short notice. If you or your fiancé faces a sudden deployment, we have organized full-scale weddings and receptions with three days’ notice, and elopements with an hour’s notice.
Day One: Call us at 303-986-2022 and we will get the venue, the officiant, the catering, photographer/videographer etc. lined up. When we confirm the venue and time, you call or email everyone on your guest list. Try to find a best man and maid of honor to hold your bouquet and your rings.
Day Two: Meet with or phone wedding vendors and officiant to decide on the ceremony, the food, the cake, etc. Get the marriage license from the County Clerk or DMV ($30 cash). Buy a nice wedding dress “off the rack.” Rent tuxes or iron your dress blues. Pick up rings, even inexpensive “temporary” ones if necessary.
Day Three: The Wedding!
We’ve done this many times for active duty military, and you’d be amazed how beautifully it all comes off. We know people who are happy to take care of all of this on very short notice; you’ll be surprised at how little stress you’ll have on the day of your wedding. Mostly you and your guests will be amazed at what you have pulled off!
Advice: If either of you faces a possible deployment, go ahead and make your regular wedding plans, but be sure you ask in advance if venues and wedding service people will give you a refund if one of you is indeed deployed last-minute. Get that promise in writing. Most venues have a no-refund policy on your wedding deposit, but many will make exceptions in this circumstance.
Rev. Chris Mohr and Military History
In the 1980s, when the Lowry Air Force Base was still open in Denver, Rev. Chris Mohr performed dozens of weddings for active duty military at their Eisenhower Chapel. General and President Eisenhower attended services at this chapel in the 1950s.
Revs. Chris and Karen Mohr used to own Foothills Chapel in Golden, which has a rich military history dating from World War II. That church was originally built at Camp Hale above Leadville by Lutheran prisoners of war in 1943. It was later brought down to Golden, parts of the old facility used to build the new church in 1947. A Navy shipbuilder used the techniques he learned during the war to create soaring arches for the ceiling that looked like the hull of an upside- down ship (Noah’s Ark).
Social Protocol for Military Ranks
Military ranks up from Junior Enlisted, Senior Enlisted, Warrant Officers, Company Grade Officers, Field Grade Officers on up to General Grade Officers command respect even at social occasions such as wedding receptions. Revs. Chris and Karen Mohr recognize the difference between the stripes of an enlisted person and the bars and medals of an officer. We ask family members and friends in uniform what their rank is, and thank them for their service.
The traditional way to name the bride, groom or guests from the military in invitations and placecards: for officers, rank before name; for enlisted no rank listed, just their branch of service
Always acknowledge commanding officers and chiefs at your reception. Reserve a table for them, close to where the family sits.
Privacy and Respect
If you or your fiancé have access to classified information in a military or civilian capacity, you may need to have your privacy respected. For some people, that means not allowing Facebook posts, Pinterest, tweets, photography by the guests, etc. Your hired photographer must be willing to give you all negatives and digital images for your private use only. Everyone must understand not to spread photos or other information around.
We discourage boutonnieres on uniforms because the military considers them inappropriate.
CIA and other top-secret personnel do not appreciate wires, oily packages, , and other things that may come as gifts. Revs. Karen and Chris Mohr will keep their cars clear of anything that could be construed as dangerous.
Swords, Honor Guards
Ask your commanding officer about an Honor Guard and archway of swords for the groom and bride to walk through together. Generally, this requires at least one month’s advance notice. Generally, swords and other weapons are discouraged or forbidden in churches. If you are renting a chapel and the sword is a part of your dress uniform, ask the proprietor if this is allowed.
Revs. Chris and Karen Mohr have always supported our men and women in uniform by being flexible with scheduling, last-minute cancellations and delays due to sudden deployment, and informal counseling for military brides whose wedding plans have had to change days or weeks before their scheduled ceremony. This kind of flexibility and understanding is especially important when the bride or groom is in the military in a time of war.
When Chris and Karen Mohr owned Foothills Chapel from 1996-2013, we learned that our building first started up in a prisoner of war camp near Leadville, Colorado. The German soldiers being housed at Camp Hale were mostly Lutheran, and one of the American captains asked the German POWs if they would like to help make stained glass and lantern-like lights for a new Lutheran Church for the glory of God to be built in Golden after the war. Several of the POWS joined with the American captain, making this one of the few cooperative ventures between Germans and Americans during the War. When the war ended, the rest of the church was completed in 1947. A Navy shipbuilder created the beams employing old shipbuilding techniques, warping them in water just the right amount to give them a perfect curve in the final architecture. The entire top of the church was built to look like the hull of Noah’s ark turned upside down!
If you are military personnel, thank you for your service. Do consider Revs. Chris and Karen Mohr; we’ll show extra consideration for your special situation. We help you through the sudden changes because we have seen so many other couples who have had to go through this. We allow the archway of swords (ask at your chapel, too… some churches consider swords weapons and forbid this military tradition). Call us at 303-986-2022 now and we will help you create the wedding ceremony of your dreams.