You know you’re in for a unique wedding when you enter to a sign with a quote about love from Dr. Seuss, and a second indicating two different sites: “I Do” and “We Did.” Such are the special touches in this military wedding in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as photographed by Stephen DeVries. Any bride would feel special finding a “message in a bottle” marked “My Queen” on the outside…and this bride no doubt feels like a queen, surrounded by pretty maids (including juniors!) on her porch for a smiling informal picture. A delicate veiled hat and a sumptuous ruffled gown are breathtaking in the fall sunshine; the “something blue” is a pair of blue heels! Not to be outdone, the men gather for a pre-wedding “facial” of blue, of course…with orange spa robes that need to be seen to be believed.
Soon enough, it’s time for the outdoor ceremony, with full military pomp — the groom and most of his attendants are Marines — as well as thoughtful, fun gestures from participants: note the junior attendants announcing the bride’s arrival by carrying signs up the aisle to precede her. After a ceremonial foot-washing, solemn prayers, and the exchange of vows, the bride and groom are sent forth from the altar under the traditional arch of swords. They also get to use the sword to slice through the five-tiered wedding cake (and no doubt the three-layer nautical-themed chocolate groom’s cake, too!). They’re not shy about posing with frosting-tipped noses; the celebration fairly bubbles with happiness all around. Finally, under another “arch” entirely — guests holding sparklers — the newlyweds bid the guests goodnight and spin off into their future.