Saturday, January 30, 2010

Swords and Sabers

After their beautiful wedding Ashley was deployed to Iraq. The Whistlestop Gang wishes her a safe tour of duty.
And thanks to Bill Herloski for the images.
If anyone noticed the absence of posts in January, my husband and I were visiting family in Florida. We had lots of fun but it was rather cold. Day after day of freezing nights was very hard on the butterflies, anoles and tree frogs. But that's a story for another day.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Arch of Swords

*From the Ceremony Program of Ashley and David

Military weddings are one of the best examples of how traditions and rituals can be the foundation for creating a truly memorable event.
What most guests at a military wedding are most likely to remember is the "crossed sabers," or the arch of steel. The word steel is synonymous for and used to represent either sabers for the Navy or swords for Army, Air Force and Marines. Traditionally the bride and groom walk through the arch of swords. That passage is meant to ensure the couple's safe transition into their new life together.
The arch of swords procedure is a simple and elegant one. The honor guard form two lines opposite each other. On the command of "draw sword "or "draw saber," the steel is raised with the right hand, with the cutting edges facing up. The couple enters the arch, kiss, and then pass through. The newly married couple then salute the honor guard. Members of the honor guard then sheath the swords and return them to a carry position.
Yet another tradition is the gentle "swat to the backside" that the bride receives from the last swordsman. In addition, it is also traditional for the wedding cake to be cut with a saber or sword.